Notes to understand this post:
Afact is "A new advocacy group closely tied to Monsanto."

Monsanto is a company that creates and sells a version of "rBST or rBGH, an artificial hormone that stimulates milk production."

An "absence label" is something that advertises that something wasn't done to a product, like, say, that hormones weren't added to cows that made a certain gallon of milk. They are apparently evil.

From Fighting on a Battlefield the Size of a Milk Label from the New York Times. The article was run about three months ago.

Afact says it believes that such "absence" labels can be misleading and imply that milk from cows treated with hormones is inferior. In fact, the F.D.A. maintains that there is no significant difference between milk from cows that are treated and from those that are not.

Here's the kind of fun stuff that take produces.

Last fall in Pennsylvania, Dennis Wolff, the agriculture secretary, tried to ban milk that was labeled as free of the synthetic hormone because, he said, consumers were confused. Mr. Wolff's office acknowledged that it had no consumer research to back up his claim, and he eventually had to scale back his plans when consumer groups and Gov. Edward G. Rendell balked.


There are many too many ways to come at this to say just how ludicrous it is. Is milk sans hormones in some way inferior? Price, perhaps, because you're losing what the Times says is one gallon per cow? Then say so. Say so on your label if you want. Let the consumer see your inarguable superiority.

Is hormone-less milk more dangerous somehow? Kinda doubt it. So what's the issue with saying your cows have one less ingredient shoved into them? Fight the implication that your milk is more dangerous with explication if you want. Don't say an absence label is confusing. Help unconfuse me. Heck, I've ingested a ton of hormone-enhanced cow milk, and I bet I'm fine. I'm not against milk with hormones, but given the choice with the same price -- or not given a choice at all -- I'm going without.

For whatever reason, people like milk without hormones, and apparently more than a few countries buy the argument too. Don't wimp out fighting your PR battle by bribing the government with money and power. I mean, even if we buy that hormone-fed cows are better for everyone because they become more efficient milk factories, would this be the first time people spent more for irrational reasons? What's next, we have to shut down organic milk? Perhaps we'll then see Dell getting the government to force Apple to stop selling computers that are overly cool. Evil, evil Apple.

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