By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only


Genetic Engineering

      Paying The Price With Increased Cancer Deaths

America's Food and Drug Administration approved the use of
Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone
(rbGH) for cows on February 4th, 1994. Remarkably, milk from
rbGH-treated test herds was allowed into America's milk
supply seven years before actual approval. One cow can
produce 10,000 quarts of milk per year. A herd with 200 cows
could produce 1 million quarts per year. Conceivably,
hundreds of test herds might have been producing one quart
of experimental milk for every American to drink during each
of the years prior to approval. Since 1994, most of
America's milk supply has been tainted with milk produced
from cows injected with genetically modified organisms.
Those symbolic seven fat years of ignorance may have
resulted in cracking the mirror of bad luck for genetically
modified foods. Like Joseph's amazing technicolor dream,
those years after rbGH approval have resulted in a cancer
explosion of seven years of bad luck.

The rest of the world watched America's experiment. The
European community considered an application for rbGH
approval, which was turned down. Health Canada also turned
down Monsanto's application, preferring to wait and see what
might occur in the United States. Now the world will learn
the truth.

How and why did FDA allow experimental milk into the food
supply in 1989?

I obtained an internal memorandum that reveals the innermost
betrayal in the inner sanctum of FDA.

Monsanto had applied for approval of their genetically
engineered bovine growth hormone in December of 1986. Nearly
eight years later, they received final approval. During
those eight years, Monsanto invested $500,000,000 and
submitted 55,000 pages of data to FDA. Two months after the
original application, Monsanto sprung a trap. They requested
a "zero withdrawal and milk discard period." What that means
is that Monsanto requested that FDA allow milk from test
herds to be placed into America's milk supply without any
further research.

In granting Monsanto's 1986 request, Judy Juskevich wrote:

"Based on the results of the oral feeding study and our
knowledge of the characteristics and biological activity of
bovine somatotropin, we have no objection to granting the
sponsor's requests."

For most of my adult life I have trusted the FDA. I assumed
that our government health regulators cared about human
health and safety. This memorandum clearly demonstrates that
my trust in FDA had been incorrectly placed. Can anything be
clearer than this?

That 28-day study was "pivotal" in FDA's decision. It was
more than pivotal. The entire approval was based upon that
lone study. Milk from dairy herds treated with Monsanto's
hormone was introduced into America's milk supply because
FDA deemed that milk was safe to drink seven years before
the hormone was approved.

Before citing an animal research study, let me say that I do
not believe in citing animal research, for it proves
nothing. Half of the cancers rats get, mice do not get. Half
of the cancers mice get, rats do not get. If one cannot
relate one species of rodent to another, that shows the
absurdity in applying experimental data from one species of
rodent to humans. Rats do not even have gallbladders. They
lack human enzymes, which enable us to process certain

I make one exception to my rule. When pharmaceutical
companies lie, as they did with the genetically engineered
bovine growth hormone, I then write and lecture about their
deceptions. In the case of the milk hormone, Monsanto and
FDA concluded that there were no biological effects upon lab
animals from rbGH-treatment. That was not true.

Most Americans are unaware that laboratory animals treated
with rbGH experienced enormous changes in their lymphatic
systems. The spleens of these animals grew dramatically. FDA
claimed that there was no evidence of biological effects.

The approval process for rbGH was the most controversial
drug application in the history of the Food & Drug
Administration. In order to address that controversy, the
FDA published an article in the journal SCIENCE (August 24,

Data in that paper reveal that the average male rat injected
with rbGH developed a spleen 39.6 percent larger than the
spleen of the control animals after just 90 days of
treatment. The spleens from rbGH-treated females increased
in size by a factor of 46 percent. Spleens of animals
receiving rbGH orally also increased in size, although not
as dramatically as those animals injected with the hormone.
Based upon injections, researchers had the responsibility of
rigorously reviewing oral ingestion data. They did not.
These are not normal reactions, and portray animals in
distress. These animals were "under attack" by the
genetically engineered hormone. The spleen is the first
sentinel of defense in a mammal's lymphatic system.

Lab animals treated with rbGH developed lymphatic
abnormalities. After reviewing the actual data from
Monsanto's experiment in 1994, I predicted that the rates of
death from lymphatic cancers would soar in America.

A cancer takes 8-10 years to grow from one cell to one-
million cells. The timeline for cancer deaths would be the
year 2000 data. I anxiously awaited those data. America's
cancer surveillance statistics are three years behind real
time. Today, in April of 2003, I have just had the
opportunity to review the actual data.

As Americans continue to ingest genetically engineered milk
and dairy products, lymphatic cancer death rates have
soared. Americans have become laboratory subjects in genetic
engineering's experiment, and the resulting data indicates
extreme cause for concern.

Let me make one further comment about cancer. As a result of
increased surveillance and awareness, cancers are being
diagnosed much earlier than ever before. As a result of
increased technologies, cancer death rates have been
reversed. Breast cancer death rates have dropped. The May 3,
2003 issue of the British Medical Journal (Vol. 326:949)
reports that mammography screening in European nations has
cut the number of deaths from breast cancer by nearly 50
percent. Prostate cancer death rates have decreased. The
same can be said for colon cancer death rates. Sadly, my
prediction for lymphomas has been right on targt. Death
rates have soared, despite better medical treatment. Here
are the numbers, as recently published by the SEER cancer
statistics review and the National Cancer Institute. Rates
are per 100,000 of population.


From 1980 to 2000, colon cancer death rates decreased 25.2
percent in males, and decreased 27.9 percent in females.

From 1980 to 2000, prostate cancer death rates decreased 7.6
percent in males.

From 1980 to 2000, breast cancer death rates decreased 15.8
percent in females.

From 1980 to 2000, lymphoma cancer death rates increased
37.3 percent in males, and increased 26.4 percent in

I am shocked.
And vindicated.

Milk is indeed a deadly poison.

Shall we thank Monsanto, or is this about dairy?

The consumption of concentrated dairy products has increased
dramatically in the last 30 years. In 1970, the average
American consumed just 10 pounds of cheese per year. Today,
the average American consumes 31 pounds of cheese.

Cows treated with Monsanto's rbGH produce milk with
increased levels of another powerful hormone, IGF-I.

There are hundreds of millions of different proteins in
nature, and only one hormone that is identical between any
two species. That powerful growth hormone is insulin-like
growth factor, or IGF-I. IGF-I survives digestion and has
been identified as a key factor in cancer's growth. IGF-I is
identical in human and cow.

If you believe that breast feeding "works" to protect
lactoferrins and immunoglobulins from digestion (and benefit
the nursing infant), you must also recognize that milk is a
hormonal delivery system. By drinking cow's milk, one
delivers IGF-I in a bioactive form to the body's cells. When
IGF-I from cow's milk alights upon an existing cancer, it's
the signal to grow. To proliferate.

Monsanto worked closely with government regulators, and
their first priority was to convince consumers that the new
GMO milk was the same as the old milk. It was not. The
February 9, 1994 Executive Branch White House Report on
rbGH, concluded:

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

That was not true.

A February 6, 1994 statement issued by C. Everett Koop,
America's ex-Surgeon General, convinced  America's media:

"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."

That was also not true.

Monsanto also issued a press release:

"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."

After investigation one of those so-called independent
authorities, the Journal of the American Medical Association
(JAMA), I learned that the two authors of a JAMA study
(Volume 264;8, 8/22/90) both worked for Monsanto.
JAMA reported:

"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."

I learned that his co-author, David Barbano, also
worked for Monsanto. These authorities were not independent.

SCIENCE magazine confirmed a difference in their 8/24/90

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

The World Health Organization also confirmed my fears,
and contradicted media reports:

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

Even the National Institutes of Health confirmed the lie
in their December, 1990 National Institutes of Health
Assessment of Bovine Somatotropin:

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

The following sixteen references together support sixteen
converging laser-like beams of evidence, focusing their
pinpoint light upon America's 21st century cancer fuel.

"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

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

"Human Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) and bovine IGF-I
are i dentical. Both contain 70 amino acids in the identical

Judith C. Juskevich and C. Greg Guyer. SCIENCE, vol. 249.
August 24, 1990.

"IGF-I is critically involved in the aberrant growth of
human breast cancer cells."

M. Lippman. J. Natl. Inst. Health Res., 1991, 3.

"Estrogen regulation of IGF-I in breast cancer cells would
support the hypothesis that IGF-I has a regulatory function
in breast cancer."

A.V. Lee, Mol-Cell- Endocrinol., March, 99(2).

"IGF-I is a potent growth factor for cellular proliferation
in the human breast carcinoma cell line."

J.C. Chen,   J-Cell-Physiol., January, 1994, 158(1)

"Insulin-like growth factors are key factors for breast
cancer growth."

J.A. Figueroa,  J-Cell-Physiol., Nov., 1993, 157(2)

"IGF-I produces a 10-fold increase in RNA levels of cancer
cells. IGF-I appears to be a critical component in cellular

X.S. Li,   Exp-Cell-Res., March, 1994, 211(1)

"IGF-I plays a major role in human breast cancer cell

E.A. Musgrove, Eur-J-Cancer, 29A (16), 1993

"IGF-I has been identified as a key factor in breast

Hankinson. The Lancet, vol. 351. May 9, 1998

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

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

"IGF-1 accelerates the growth of breast cancer cells."

M. Lippman Science, Vol. 259, January 29, 1993

Was it biotechnology which increased IGF-I levels
in dairy products, or was it the increased consumption
rate of concentrated dairy products such as cheese and
ice cream? I believe that we've suffered a double
whammy effect. Cancer and dairy products have one
thing in common. The delivery mechanism of powerful
growth hormones which make cancers grow.

   Companion article: 

Robert Cohen, author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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