Q: I am confused by the different labels on milk about hormones. Which label means that my milk is free of added hormones?
A: Cow’s milk sold in the US often is produced from cows injected with the synthetic hormone recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), also known as recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), which increases milk production. The hormone may be linked to cancer and antibiotic resistance in humans. It is banned in Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the European Union.
Unfortunately, there is no uniform labeling rule. Best: Buy organic milk, or look for labels such as, “This milk is from cows not treated with rBGH”…“rBGH-free”…“rBST-free”…or “no artificial hormones.”
Source: Suzanne Havala Hobbs, DrPH, RD, a licensed, registered dietitian and clinical associate professor in the departments of health policy and management and nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is author of Living Vegetarian for Dummies and Living Dairy-Free for Dummies (both from Wiley).