OMB BST report - Exec. Summ. (fwd)
Alan Furchtenicht (FURCHT@macc.wisc.edu)
Thu, 03 Feb 94 07:12 CDT
To: Multiple recipients of list <email@example.com>
Subject: OMB BST Report, Jan 94 Exec
OFFICE MEMO OMB BST Report, Jan 94 Exec Sum Date:2/3/94
To UW-Extension County Faculty, and to BCEPP Biotechnology Education and Public
Here's an electronic file of the executive summary of the Clinton
Administration's BST report, released in January. In another e-mail I will
send you a copy of Senator Feingold's critique of the report.
USE OF BOVINE SOMATOTROPIN (BST) IN THE UNITED STATES:
ITS POTENTIAL EFFECTS
A Study Conducted by The Executive Branch of the Federal Government
On November 5, 1993, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the
metabolic protein hormone, bovine somatotropin (BST), for commercial use in the
U.S. BST is used to increase milk production in dairy cows. Since FDA's
action, experts in various Federal agencies have reviewed the available
scientific evidence and other data related to the impact of potential BST use.
This report presents their findings on BST's implications for U.S. consumers,
the dairy industry, and the economy. Key findings are:
There is no evidence that BST poses a health threat to humans or animals. It
has been studied more than any other animal drug, and been found safe by FDA
and many other scientific bodies in the U.S., Europe, and around the world. FDA
also concludes there is no legal basis requiring the labeling of BST milk,
since the milk is indistinguishable from non-BST milk. Voluntary labeling is
The Dairy Industry
Income for individual farmers who adopt BST is likely to increase. Productivity
and profit per cow should rise for both small and large farms. BST favors good
herd management rather than small or large farms.
BST is likely to reinforce productivity changes that have been occurring for
decades in the U.S. dairy industry. BST use will increase U.S. milk production
by about one percent, through FY 1999. This production will likely lead to
slightly lower prices for milk, averaging about two percent lower over the next
six years. These lower prices are expected to result in declines in aggregate
farm income from dairy farming of about one percent over this same period.
Lower milk prices from BST use are also expected to contribute to higher
Federal Government dairy price-support costs, but decreased Federal costs for
nutrition programs like Food Stamps and the Special Supplemental Food Program
for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
Federal dairy price-support program costs would increase by approximately $l50
million in the peak year, FY 1996, and decline in later years. This would
represent a 1.8 percent increase in total projected Federal farm commodity
subsidies for that peak year.
Savings in the costs of Federal feeding programs would begin in FY 1997, and
could completely offset the increased cumulative costs of the Federal dairy
price-support program over 10 years. While there would be savings in the
feeding programs before FY 1997, those savings would be used to either increase
program participation rates or provide additional benefits to participants.
Consumption of Dairy Products
Consumers are expected to benefit over the next six years with BST use due to
the availability of more milk at lower prices. Largely because of this
increase, the net national economic impact of BST usage is expected to be
No significant reduction of demand for milk and dairy products is expected to
result from BST use. While some surveys reveal strong consumer resistance to
BST, others indicate confidence in the U.S. milk supply, and no substantial
intent to forego use of BST milk. There appears to be a need for nutrition
education on BST's effects.
BST is expected to have a minor, but beneficial net impact on the environment.
It should lead to a slightly smaller U.S. dairy herd, and therefore less
pollution through decreased use of fertilizers for feed production, and less
cow manure and methane production.
BST should have little, if any, effect on U.S. dairy exports. Nearly half of
U.S. dairy export volume goes to countries that have approved the use of BST,
and more countries are expected to do so. The European Union (EU), a major
dairy exporter, recently decided to extend its BST moratorium for one year,
instead of the anticipated seven years. For countries to ban BST use, after the
hormone has been scientifically found to be safe, would undermine efforts to
eliminate unfair trade barriers to U.S. exports.
U.S. leadership in biotechnology, as well as private-sector investment for
research and development in the biotechnology industry, would be enhanced by
proceeding with BST, and would be impeded if there were new Government
obstacles to such bio-tech products following their approval for use by FDA and
other regulatory agencies.
(Original summary scanned electronically by Amanda Kohout and edited for typos
by Tom Zinnen, University of Wisconsin Biotechnology Center and UW-Extension)