Why is rBGH given to cows?
The Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)Ã¢â‚¬Â, more commonly known as PosilacÃ¢â‚¬Â, is a synthesized version of a natural protein hormone created by cows called Bovine Growth Hormone or Bovine Somatotropin (bST)Ã¢â‚¬Â which plays a major role in a cattle’s natural growth and development.
Over the past 10 years, this artificial growth hormone is developed and manufactured by several drug and chemical companies like Eli Lilly, American Cyanamid and Monsanto. Compared to bST, rBGH is an artificial growth hormone genetically engineered to double the effects of natural growth hormones. When injected to cows, this hormone enables them to produce more milk to about 10% – 15% and in other cases, up to 40%.
With its enhancing effects, many farmers and farm factories have been injecting this artificial growth hormone to their cows. They gain much more profit in using rBGH compared to the natural way because the faster the cattle reaches its slaughter weight and the more milk it can produce, the greater the profit gained from the operation. In fact, about 67% of all the beef cows and 22% of all dairy cows in the US are injected with artificial growth hormones.
But not all agree in using this method. Forcing cows to produce more milk than they should naturally will only make them malnourished due to the loss of more nutrients in their bodies. In their malnourished state, cows are more susceptible to various types of diseases. Studies have also shown that this synthetic hormone increases the possibility of getting mastitis, an infection of the udder which causes the cows to secret blood and pus together with the milk. Because of all these harmful effects both to the human and the cattle, many countries like Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the European Union have banned the use of this artificial growth hormone.
Sadly, despite of all this opposition, many farmers especially in the United States are still injecting their dairy and beef cows with rBGH. I guess to them, cows are just another form of produce and profit is more important than the wellness of their consumers.