David Bloomberg P.O. Box 20302 Springfield, IL 62708 August 16, 1994 Letters to the Editor

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David Bloomberg P.O. Box 20302 Springfield, IL 62708 August 16, 1994 Letters to the Editor Illinois Times P.O. Box 3524 Springfield, IL 62708 To the Editor: I read the allegations about Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) made by Maria Mootry in her letter printed August 11, and find it necessary to correct some errors in her statements. The major errors are in her claim that "use of rBGH is known to generate pus in milk and to increase the need for antibiotics in cows." A search of the relevant studies shows that the first claim is simply false, and the second may be technically true, but is stated in such a way as to use it more as a scare tactic than as useful information. On August 8, the Wall Street Journal published an article about this very topic. According to that article, "the claim about pus and bacteria turns out to be a false alarm." Later in the article, the author notes that more than a dozen "large-scale studies ... have compared the number of udder infections in [BGH]-treated cows with those in a control set and found no increase in infections in treated cows." If any cow does become infected, whether it is being treated with BGH or not, it must be removed from milk production. Milk is tested for antibiotics at least three times before it reaches the consumer. The FDA put together an advisory panel before making its decision about allowing BGH, and that committee investigated all aspects of the use of BGH before coming to its conclusion. That conclusion is supported by the American Medical Association (AMA), the National Institutes of Health's technology assessment panel, the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization, and a panel of 40 specialists from the White House and seven federal agencies. In particular, a news release from the AMA states, "After prolonged analysis of [BGH], the American Medical Association's Council on Scientific Affairs found [BGH]-supplemented milk to be completely safe and nutritionally comparable to cows milk currently on grocery store shelves." Alleging "pus in milk" is a sure way to scare people, but without the facts to back it up, that's all it is -- a scare tactic. Claims like this need to be analyzed objectively, not repeated without verification. David Bloomberg, Chairman Rational Examination Association of Lincoln Land


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