The Debate over Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone

There’s been a healthy debate in the Ithaca (NY) Journal the past few weeks over a new study published by researchers at Cornell University. The study claims that cows supplemented with recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) have less negative environmental impact compared to conventional cows.

The Ithaca Journal wrote an article to coincide with the publication of the study, which appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Since then, there have been several different letters (one available here) published by the paper debating the merits of rBST use in dairy cows. Yesterday, a guest editorial by the lead author of the study appeared that cites this 1991 OTA report, U.S. Dairy Industry at a Crossroad: Biotechnology and Policy Choices.  This report features an extensive examination of the policy issues surrounding rBST use.