STATEMENT OF C. EVERETT KOOP ON THE INTRODUCTION OF SUPPLEMENTAL BST -
February 6, 1994
"Milk from cows given supplemental bovine somatotropin is the same as
any other milk. So, there should be no doubt in the minds of consumers
that the milk they drink is just as safe, nutritious and wholesome as it
has always been. Every issue and every question about BST has been
thoroughly and carefully studied by the federal government and several
independent scientific institutions. Consumers can continue to enjoy
milk and dairy foods with complete confidence.
"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. Their long-range goal is to prevent the
benefits of biotechnology from reaching the public. Because dairy foods
are an important, widely consumed source of nutrition, it is necessary
to condemn these attacks on the safety of milk for what they are:
baseless, manipulative and completely irresponsible.
"Even worse are attempts by some persons to use school children as
pawns in their opposition to BST. Any suggestion that milk from BST-
supplemented cows is unsafe for children to consume at school, or at
home, is a potential threat to their health and well being. We should
be reinforcing the message that all dairy foods, when consumed as part
of a varied and balanced diet, are healthful - and not burden our
children with unwarranted fears about food safety.
"Supermarkets and dairy processors can play an important role by
assuring consumers of the safety of the milk supply, by providing the
facts on BST to interested customers, or by referring them to credible
health and nutrition authorities."
How Monsanto Plays "Politics"
After leaving government service, C. Everett Koop, M.D., the respected
ex-surgeon general, issued the above well-publicized and strongly worded
statement in favor of Monsanto's genetically engineered hormone. Koop
relied upon statements made previously by Monsanto in attacking critics
of the new hormone. It was clear which side he had chosen. I called
and wrote to Koop. I faxed a letter to him on April 3, 1995. He did
not return telephone calls, letters or my fax.
America had a love affair with the respected ex-surgeon general and his
assertion carried great weight. That affirmation was reproduced in
newspapers and magazines and marketed to benefit Monsanto's agenda. The
first line of Koop's statement reads, "Milk from cows given supplemental
bovine somatotropin is the same as any other milk."
When we review Juskevich and Guyer's abstract in their landmark Science
paper (August 24, 1990) we find that the authors state, "Recombinant
rbGH treatment produces an increase in the concentration of insulin-like
growth factor-I (IGF-I) in cow's milk." What appeared to be "the same
as any other milk" to Koop was significantly different to FDA
It appears that Koop never read Juskevich and Guyer's paper. Had he
done so he could not have said that wholesome milk "is the same as"
genetically engineered milk. Ethics and morality are directly
proportional to and measured by dollars invested to shape perception,
which becomes the one and only reality. Koop was part of the problem.
Did he review Monsanto's BST data?
Is Koop an ethical man and do you really believe that "a few fringe
groups are using misleading statements and blatant falsehoods?"