chapter  Chapter 10
16 Pages

Debate on Safety of Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone

WithSamuel S. Epstein

In early 1990, the International Journal of Health Services published a report on the potential health hazards of the use of synthetic bovine growth hormone (BGH) in dairy cattle, in which the author included criticisms of the US Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory activities. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for approving the registration and use of animal drugs and issuing residue tolerances. The US Department of Agriculture is responsible for monitoring food animals and their products by FDA-approved methods in order to detect and prevent the occurrence of illegal food residues. As stated in a FDA Talk Paper, sponsors have not been required to measure the increase of BGH in milk of treated cattle over that in milk from untreated cattle. Heat intolerance was noted at two dosage levels in one of nine trials. Such intolerance could pose particular problems for uses of biosynthetic hormones in tropical climates.