UPDATE: BOVINE GROWTH HORMONE
Way back around late March of 1994, Sherman Skolnick of the
Citizens' Committee to Clean Up the Courts warned about the
dangers of Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH), and gave background on
FDA big-shot Mike Taylor. Once again, the "seer of Oglesby
Avenue" has proved to be remarkably prescient. I often find,
months later, that Skolnick has indeed been "ahead of the
parade." Of course, as with anyone, I have at times disagreed
with him. Still it's worth pointing out to naysayers that, here
again, our man Skolnick has been right on target.
This morning (01/24/96), on CBS This Morning, host Paula Zahn
talked with a Dr. Samuel Epstein of the University of Illinois.
Epstein was emphatic in his warnings about drinking milk treated
with BGH. He says that there are significant risks of colon
cancer attached to drinking BGH milk. What's more, says Dr.
Epstein, "We think it plays a significant role in breast cancer."
Epstein also raised conflict of interest concerns when he pointed
out that Mike Taylor of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
was counsel for Monsanto Chemical before his move to FDA.
Monsanto Chemical manufactures BGH and they sought and won rapid
FDA approval for their product.
The conflict of interest concerns are reminiscent of similar
questions of this type originating with that smiling bunch of
yuppies in the Clinton entourage... for example the Robert Rubin
- Goldman Sachs - Mexican peso bailout nexus and the Ron Brown -
$700,000 payoff - Vietnam trade normalization link.
So too with Mike Taylor: according to Skolnick and easily
verifiable, "The head of the Food and Drug Administration has
been David Kessler, carried over from the Bush administration.
His chief deputy is Mike Taylor, a cousin of Al Gore's wife,
Tipper. Taylor was previously chief outside counsel for
Although Dr. Stephen Sundlof of the FDA counters that FDA does
not agree with what Dr. Epstein is saying, Epstein insists that
BGH milk "is very different from the natural product." What's
more, it is dangerous to drink.
Even hard-nosed Paula Zahn could not hide her shock behind the
normal "mask of professionalism." She worriedly asked, "What
should we do? Stop drinking milk?" All that Dr. Epstein could
answer was that the public must insist that BGH milk is so
labeled so that consumers can at least choose for themselves
whether they will drink that or the non-treated milk.
Yet consumers and sympathetic farmers *were* loudly demanding
just that very thing, back when BGH milk was first hitting the
stores. In fact, to my recollection, some farmers were even
beginning to label their own milk as "non BGH" -- *but* *the*
*FDA* *stopped* *them*!
So what do we have to do? Which of the smiling boys do we have to
make a "campaign contribution" to just so our children can drink
milk that won't put them at risk of developing cancer?