------------------------------ CONTENTS ------------------------------

{ About Mystic Gateway } { About Directors } { Articles - Current } { Articles - Previous }
{ Bulletin Board } { Classes } { Events - Ongoing } { Health Freedom Watchdog }
{ Legal Disclaimer } { Links - Holistic (commercial) } { Links - Holistic Oriented }
{ Links - Other } { Links - Search Tools } { Mailing Address } { Newsgroups }
{ Practitioner Listings } { Products & Services } { Therapies } { What's New }
{ Drinking Water Filter Systems, Drinking Water Safety (offsite) }


Mystic Shoppe - Vitamins, Herbs, Books, Gifts, etc.

Ottawa Refuses to Approve Bovine Growth Hormone

by Anne McIlroy
Parliamentary Bureau

Ottawa -- Health Canada has decided not to approve the use of a controversial hormone that boosts milk production in cows, because of a new report that finds the drug may hurt the health of animals injected with it.

The announcement on bovine growth hormone to be made tomorrow is the latest development in a controversy that dates back almost a decade.

The hormone, manufactured by Monsanto Corp., has been approved in the United States since 1993 and has been under review in Canada for more than eight years. It has been criticized by public-interest groups and some scientists who warn it could result in more udder infections in cows and so lead to the increased use of antibiotics, which could end up in milk. The report that has given Health Canada grounds not to approve the drug was prepared by six animal-health experts appointed by the Canadian Veterinary Medicine Association at the request of the government.

The panel concludes that there are legitimate animal-welfare concerns associated with the use of the hormone.

"These included an increased risk of clinical mastitis [udder infection] and lameness and a reduction in the life span of treated cows."

The panel found that the hormone increases the frequency of udder infections by about 25 per cent in animals treated with it. It also concluded that there was about a 50-per-cent increase in the risk of lameness in cows given the drug.

"Many of the cases of lameness involved joints, and dairy producers and vets currently have a limited ability to control this increased risk."

The report "will be enough for the government not to approve the drug under the Food and Drug Act if that is what they want to do," said one source familiar with the document.

Health Minister Allan Rock has appeared uncomfortable with the drug and has repeatedly said that it would not be approved until the department is sure it is safe for both animals and people.

The controversy over bovine growth hormone focused attention on problems at the health protection branch, which is responsible for drug approvals.

The branch's scientists have pushed internally for more study on the growth hormone, although documents show that several years ago their managers had decided it was safe. Six scientists alleged they were pressed to approve the drug despite their fears that it wasn't safe, although their complaint was recently dismissed by a labour board. One of the scientists told a Senate committee that Monsanto had offered government scientists a bribe of research money if they approved the drug, an allegation the company has denied.

Two expert panels were set up because of the controversy, one to look at the drug's impact on animal health and another to look at human health.

The human-health panel was chosen by the Canadian Medical Association, also at the request of the government. Its report will also be released tomorrow.

Although Mr. Rock's office had said no decision on approving the drug would be made until June, tomorrow's announcement in effect will turn it down.

Richard Wolfson, PhD Consumer Right to Know Campaign, for Mandatory Labelling and Long-term Testing of all Genetically Engineered Foods, 500 Wilbrod Street Ottawa, ON Canada K1N 6N2 tel. 613-565-8517 fax. 613-565-1596 email:

Our website, contains more information on genetic engineering as well as previous genetic engineering news items Subscription fee to genetic engineering news is $35 for 12 months See website for details. [Cheques payable to BanGEF]





E-mail us

Page maintained by Jan Rosenstreich, Copyright(c) 1997. Created: 7/24/97 Updated: 01/15/1999