CONTACT: John R. Keeling, Jr.
Vice President, Legislative & Public Affairs
recent statement distorts official codex position on
RECOMBINANT BOVINE SOMATOTROPIN
WASHINGTON, DC - The Animal Health Institute today denounced misleading
irresponsible statements by Samuel Epstein on milk safety. In an August
1999 press release, he suggested that 'genetically modified milk' was
unsafe by the United Nations. Official statements from the United
however, say nothing about milk from Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin
treated cattle being 'unsafe' as Epstein claims.
On July 4, 1999 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
Nations released a statement (Press Release 99/41) that announced the
Alimentarius' decision "to postpone setting maximum residue limits for
Bovine Somatotropine (BST) until a consensus is reached" by member
countries. Epstein's press release does not reflect the facts of the
decision. The Codex Alimentarius is the body charged with setting
international food safety standards.
Epstein misrepresented the process that the Codex followed with regard
evaluating rBst. Not only is there no such thing as 'genetically
milk' but he has distorted the official position of Codex and ignored
overwhelming scientific evidence that demonstrates its safety.
After thorough scientific review, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
determined that milk from rBst treated cows was no different from the
produced from untreated cows and in 1993 approved rBst safe for use. In
addition, this finding has been endorsed by the World Health
and regulatory agencies in 30 countries.
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AHI represents the companies that manufacture animal health products -
pharmaceuticals, vaccines and feed additives used in modern food
and the medicines that keep pets healthy.
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