Central Valley Goes rBST-Free

VISALIA, Calif. -- Citing pressure from retailers, including Vons and Safeway, California's Central Valley dairy co-op said yesterday that it will phase out the use of rBST, the controversial artificial growth hormone that many large dairy operations use to get cows to produce more milk.

VISALIA, Calif. -- Citing pressure from retailers, including Vons and Safeway, California‘s Central Valley dairy co-op said yesterday that it will phase out the use of rBST, the controversial artificial growth hormone that many large dairy operations use to get cows to produce more milk. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said that rBST is safe to use in dairy production, consumer concern about the artificial hormone has been growing recently, and its use in many conventional dairy operations is often cited by consumers as a reason for choosing organic dairy products. Dean Foods last year discontinued the use of rBST in several of its dairies in the Northeast, and several smaller operations have since followed suit. Central Valley supplies private-label brands, as well as brands including Foster Farms, Knudsen Farms and Producers Dairy.