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Bovine growth hormone (also referred to as recombinant bovine growth hormone, rbGH, or recombinant bovine somatotropin, rbST) is a genetically engineered version of a hormone that occurs naturally in cows. When injected into cows, it can increase milk production by between 15 and 25 percent. Consumer organizations, animal welfare groups, environmental groups, and small farmers' organizations have opposed the use of bovine growth hormone due to its potential threats to food safety, cow health, and the economic viability of small farms.

The Monsanto corporation began experimenting with rbGH in the 1980s. Their rbGH product, Prosilac, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for commercial sale and use on November 5, 1993. But the approval process and subsequent use of rbGH have been surrounded by ...

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