55 Glasco Turnpike, Woodstock, NY 12498 USA
172 Cudzynowice, 28-500 Kazimierza Wielka, Woj. Kieleckie,PL
Facsimile: (48) 12-861586
July 15, 1993
In the June 19th-25th 1993 issue of The Economist an article entitled "The
cows come home" discusses the EC debate on accepting or rejecting the drug
bovine somatotrophin to increase milk production in EC cows. The debate,
according to The Economist, focuses on the potential social impact of the
drug. The Economist claims that "[there] are no economies of scale for BST;
all it takes is a needle, a veterinarian and a cow." Although large scale
producers of the drug are likely to adopt the technology before small scale
farmers, regardless of size, may benefit equally from the drug.
My impression is that this conclusion is false; that there are other
variables which distinguish the cows of small and large scale producers
besides the number of cows which have direct relevance on the efficiency of
bovine somatotrophin. Breeding, nutrition, veterinary care, and shelter
play significant roles in reaching increases in milk production of 15%.
Since these variables are not equal from small to large scale producers,
the benefits of bovine somatotrophin will not be equally distributed.
Is this assessment accurate? Please cc santet-mg in your responses.
Tokya E. Dammond
Director of the SRDSBR