What is RBGH or BST?: Not "Got Milk?", But Do You Want Milk?

Essay by AhulaniUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2006

download word file, 11 pages 5.0

The average consumer has been misled and not informed of the many conflicting viewpoints regarding bST and rBGH. What is bST and why is rBGH so controversial? Is milk still the same natural wholesome product you have always thought it to be? Are people trying to change nature's most perfect food into something genetically altered? Do you and the average American consumer know what you are consuming and the risks? These are some of the questions I will be looking closer at through out this paper that you may be armed to make an informed decision as to your choice in milk products. You've heard the slogan "Got Milk?", but my question to you is "Do you want Milk?"

Bovine Somatotropin is a bovine growth hormone (bST) found in cattle. The word bovine refers to cattle, and the word samatotropin refers to the name of the hormone. Hormones are chemicals that are secreted by glands within the body.

They are natural substances that affect the way the body operates. Bovine samatotropin, abbreviated as bST, is a protein hormone produced in cattle by the pituitary gland located at the base of the animal's brain. The hormone is produced naturally in lactating (milk-producing) cows to feed their young. A hormone similar to bST is produced in all species of animals including humans (HGH). This hormone is important for growth development, and other bodily functions of all animals.

In the 1930's, it was discovered that by injecting more bST into lactating cows significantly increased milk production (on average 20-40%). The only natural source of

bST however that was available was from the pituitary glands of slaughtered cattle. There were only small quantities of bST available, and it was very expensive. There have been

extensive studies done over the years on the natural...