Should you consume dairy products if you have cancer?
It should be noted that milk in its pasteurized form is inflammatory to the body. Additionally, many people suffer from unrecognized allergies to milk and upon its elimination start to feel much better. Many of the testimonials of healing cancer naturally that I have written about in this blog involved people who recognized the need to change their diets, and this meant the elimination of all dairy and most meat products in general because they are inflammatory and acidic nature. That being said, this post is specifically about rBGH hormones; why they are so detrimental to your health and the controversy that surrounded their approval.
Conventional milk and added hormones
Along with the lack of Omega-3 essential fatty acids in conventional milk and dairy products, we also have to be concerned about the use of bovine growth hormones being injected into the animals whose milk we are consuming.
Recombinant growth hormones (or rBGH) were developed by the Monsanto Corporation and was declared safe for human consumption in 1985, this allowed Monsanto to sell milk and meat from its research herds and experimental dairies. It was officially released in 1994 for commercial use to dairy farmers. This hormone is now being injected into cows to stimulate their pituitary glands into producing more milk.
The use of rBGH has not been without controversy however, as it adds a myriad of health concerns to the cows including a much shorter life span- down from an average of 12 years to only 3 years, birth defects, reproductive disorders, foot and leg injuries resulting in lameness, metabolic disorders, uterine infections, indigestion, bloat, diarrhea, lesions, cystic ovaries, shorter gestation length times resulting in lower calf birth weights. Cows on this drug for 8 months had larger hearts, livers, kidneys, ovaries, and adrenal glands. Use of this hormone also includes a much higher risk of developing mastitis resulting in milk with a pus ratio up to 19% higher than from untreated cows, and therefore requires the steady use of antibiotics which will end up in the milk products as well.
Although the use of this hormone is usually done by large scale milking operations to increase their milk production, its presence in the milk supply could still be a concern for someone who is trying to heal their body. Hormones run our body, they will make you either feel good or feel bad. Imbalances in human hormones are responsible for many physical or mental diseases to manifest. In 1998, The Lancet medical journal, reported that women with even relatively small increases of a hormone known as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) were up to seven times more likely to develop pre-menopausal breast cancer.
According to a January 1996 report in the International Journal of Health Services, rBGH milk has up to ten times the IGF-1 levels of natural milk. IGF-1 increases have also been implicated in prostate and colon cancer. An article in the ‘Washington Independent,’ quotes internist Jenny Pompilio “even subtle amounts of IGF-1 can increase the risk of cancer. It’s been known for years that the particular hormone is linked with cancers (because of its effects) on the endocrine system.” The endocrine system regulates the release of hormones and is instrumental in regulating metabolism, growth, development, puberty, tissue function, and also plays a role in determining mood. As Dr. Pompilio explains,” the endocrine system is so sensitive that subtle effects make a big difference.”
In 1993, the European journal ‘Cancer’ concluded that “IGF-1 plays a major role in human breast cancer cell growth.” ‘The International Journal of Cancer’ described the significant association between circulating IGF-1 concentrations and the increased risk of lung, colon, prostate and pre-menopausal breast cancer.
IGF was also mentioned in regards to cell growth: “Insulin and IGF have another effect: They promote the factors of inflammation which also stimulate cell growth and act, in turn, as fertilizer for tumors” and also “that the insulin and IGF not only stimulates the growth of cancer cells but also their capacity to invade neighboring tissues.”
In a joint American-Canadian study, Susan Hankinson, ScD, of Harvard Medical School, has shown that in a group of women under fifty, those with the highest levels of IGF were seven times more likely to develop breast cancer that those with the lowest. Another team, composed of researchers from Harvard, the University of California, and McGill in Canada demonstrated the same phenomenon for prostate cancer: In their group of men, the risk was as much as nine times greater for those with the lowest levels of IGF.
Since 1994, Monsanto has publicly denied a difference in the concentration of IGF-1 in rBGH treated cows, but in its 1993 application to the British government for permission to sell rBGH products, it acknowledged a 500% elevation in IGF-1 levels. Author and researcher, Howard Lyman says that IGF-1 is not deactivated by the processes of pasteurization or digestion, as Monsanto had claimed in the U.S. approval process. And that the meat from rBGH treated cows is also higher in IGF-1 than meat from untreated cows.
There is a large community of scientist’s, who disputed the FDA’s approval of Bovine Growth Hormones, just like GMO’s and aspartame, this hormone is knee- deep in controversy and revolving doors between government and industry.
Fox News report that was never shown to the public about Monsanto’s Bovine Growth Hormone
How did this happen? FDA Commissioner of Policy, Michael Taylor, announced the policy of not labeling milk which contained rBGH, along with not allowing other dairies to state that their milk was free from the hormone, in order to inform consumers. Taylor was a former partner at King and Spaulding, a law firm which had Monsanto as a major client. He helped them with food labeling and regulatory issues while they sought FDA approval of rBGH. After serving as FDA commissioner, he then returned to Monsanto to become VP for public policy.
Margaret Miller was a Monsanto researcher, who wrote the reports that stated that rBGH was a safe product. She left Monsanto to work for the FDA as deputy director of the office of New Animal Drugs- drugs just like rBGH which she helped bring to the marketplace. She also approved a 100-fold increase in the amounts of antibiotics that farmers were allowed to give their cows in order to help with all of the mastitis infections they were going to be getting from being on rBGH in the first place. Remember all of those antibiotics end up in the milk too.
The FDA did not carry out its own testing in regards to rBGH, but relied on the biotech industry to perform the tests for human safety which consisted of testing 30 rats for 90 days, They then summarized this faulty data and presented it to the FDA for review, but once again a review never happened. The governments of Canada and the European Union, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have all wisely banned the consumption of products which containing rBGH. In fact, the European Union has a permanent ban on rBGH treatments being given to cows. And yes, they know something that we don’t. They investigated further into the FDA’s own faulty approval process and came to the conclusion that the hormones safety had never been proven, and therefore should not be consumed by humans. They did not bow to the high pressure being put on them by the industry, and the public’s health concerns were put before big business profits.
The anti-GMO movement– Jeffery Smith is a leader in the anti-GMO movement, and writes that Canadian scientist compiled a lengthy report that recounted all the various omissions, contradictions, weaknesses and gaps in the FDA’s approval process and it became known as the ‘Gaps Analysis Report’. In the report it charged that the FDA’s 1990 evaluation was largely a theoretical review, taking the manufacturer’s conclusions at face value. Neither the details of the studies, nor a critical analysis of the quality of the data, was provided. It also stated that since rBGH is a hormone, its chemistry should have prompted more exhaustive and longer toxicological studies in laboratory animals. These are usually required to ascertain human safety. Because they weren’t conducted, the potential of causing sterility, infertility, birth defects, cancer and immunological derangement were not addressed.
Locating organic or raw milk -If you are a dairy consumer it is best to choose organically processed dairy to avoid the hormones, antibiotics, as well as the pesticide residues that are found in the standard cattle feed. You may find products which state they are made from animals that are allowed to graze naturally out in the pasture. Yogurts, butter and cheese are all concentrated forms of dairy so recognizing the importance of avoiding hormones is important here as well. An even better choice if you have access to it is raw milk as it will be nutritionally superior in vitamins and minerals, omega 3 fats, as well as rich in enzymes.