By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

G = Growth Factor

Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) in humans and cows are identical. Like a key fitting into a lock, this hormone is a perfect match between two species of animal and exerts powerful growth effects. IGF-I is the most powerful growth hormone in the human body. Every sip of milk and every bite of cheese contains IGF-I.

"BGH-treated milk is safe because it is indistinguishable from normal milk."

Executive Branch Report on rbGH, February 9, 1994

"Milk from cows given supplemental bovine somatotropin is the same as any other milk... Unfortunately, a few fringe groups are using misleading statements and blatant falsehoods as part of a long-running campaign to scare consumers about a perfectly safe food."

Statement of C. Everett Koop on Genetically engineered milk, February 6, 1994

"Five independent authorities, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), World Health Organization (WHO), the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and ex-Surgeon General C. Everett Koop had found rbGH-treated milk to be indistinguishable from normal milk."

Monsanto (manufacturer of rbGH) Press Release, June, 1992

"From 1984 to 1986, Dr. Daughaday was the recipient of a research contract from Monsanto Company, a small fraction of which was paid to Dr. Daughaday as a consulting fee.

JAMA, 264 (8), 8/22/90 (Dr. Daughaday, the author of the JAMA publication was an "independent authority" referred to in Monsanto's Press Release)

"Recombinant rbGH treatment produces an increase in the concentration of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) in cow's milk."

FDA review of genetically engineered milk SCIENCE, 8/24/90, Vol 249

"After somidobove (rbGH) injection, mean IGF-I levels in the treated milk are always higher than those found in the controls."

World Health Organization Report Geneva, Switzerland. June, 1992

"Levels of IGF increase in milk after cows are treated with rbGH."

December, 1990 National Institutes of Health Assessment of Bovine Somatotropin

"A strong positive association was observed between IGF-I levels and prostate cancer risk."

Science, vol. 279. January 23, 1998

"Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, a mitogenic and antiapoptotic peptide, can affect the proliferation of breast epithelial cells, and is thought to have a role in breast cancer."

The Lancet, vol. 351. May 9, 1998

"Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), in particular IGF-I and IGF-II, strongly stimulate the proliferation of a variety of cancer cells, including those from lung cancer. High plasma levels of IGF-I were associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. Plasma levels of IGF-I are patients with lung cancer than in control subjects."

Journal of the National Cancer Institute, vol. 91, no. 2. January 20, 1999.

"Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is expressed in many tumor cell lines and has a role in both normal cell proliferation and in the growth of cancers.

Cancer Gene Ther, 2000 Mar, 7:3

"The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system is widely involved in human carcinogenesis. A significant association between high circulating IGF-I concentrations and an increased risk of lung, colon, prostate and pre-menopausal breast cancer has recently been reported. Lowering plasma IGF-I may thus represent an attractive strategy to be pursued..."

Int J Cancer, 2000 Aug, 87:4, 601-5

"... serum IGF-I levels increased significantly in the milk drinking group…an increase of about 10% above baseline-but was unchanged in the control group."

Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 99, no. 10. October 1999

Robert Cohen author of:   MILK A-Z

Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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