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Wednesday, March 26, 2008



Ben & Jerry's Homemade Holdings Inc. is now owned by a conglomerate, but the company's luscious ice cream still is made from milk that contains no synthetic growth hormones in it – a fact the company proudly advertises right on its cartons. And that really POs Monsanto.

Monsanto is not in the ice-cream business, but it is in the deadly serious business of trying to ice anyone who disses the synthetic hormone that it manufactures. Some dairy farmers inject their cows with Monsanto's recombinant bovine growth hormone product, which forces the animals to give more milk. It isn't good for the cows, and there are unanswered questions about its impact on human health, so many consumers don't want milk products with this stuff in it, preferring not to have their families used as guinea pigs for corporate profit.

Thus, Monsanto has waged a long campaign to keep consumers from knowing, opposing efforts to label any dairy products as being free from the synthetic hormone. Last year, however, Monsanto lost its effort to get the Food and Drug Administration to ban such labels. But now there's a new group standing against consumer choice on this issue. It's called American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology.

Sounds very science-y, doesn't it? It isn't; it's a lobbying front that's going state to state, trying to get legislatures to prevent companies like Ben & Jerry's from advertising that their goods contain none of the synthetic stuff. Guess who's behind this outfit? Right: It's funded by Monsanto.

You'd think that any effort to ban companies from making a true statement on their labels would be laughed out of any legislature, but Monsanto is determined to kill the consumer's right to know, already having pushed for bills and regulations in Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. To keep informed about where Monsanto's attack squad will strike next, contact www.organicconsumers.org.

Chi's comment: Think twice. Monsanto isn't nice.

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I live on the Pacific slopes of the Talamanca mountain range in southern Costa Rica. My adult children live in the United States. I have a Masters Degree in Gerontology but have worked as a migrant laborer, chicken egg collector, radio broadcaster, secretary, social worker, research director, bureaucrat, writer, editor, political organizer, publicist, telephone operator, and more. My hobby of photography has garnered some awards.

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