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Specialist Says BST Concerns Are Needless
When the growth hormone BST
entered the Georgia dairy market
this month, it plunged straight into
an outpouring of consumer
questions, fears and even protests.
But Larry Guthrie, a dairy
specialist with the University of
Georgia Extension Service, said the
fears and protests were needless.
"When BST (recbmbinant
bovine somatotropin) is
adminstered to cows, it doesn't
increase normal BST in milk,"
Guthrie said. "BST is a normal
component of milk, so your mild
products wont be different."
Guthrie said there is no scientific
way to tell the difference between
milk from BST-treated cows and
that from nontreated cows.
There is absolutely no credence,
he said, to a protesting group's
statements that the milk product is
contaminated by the use of BST.
Guthrie predicts that fewer than
10 percent of Georgia dairies will
use BST on well fewer than 5
percent of total cows.
"Not many have indicated they
Ga National Stock
Show And Rodeo
To Feature Rides
Amusment rides in February?
It's not fair time yet, but a new
feature for the fourth annual
Georgia National Stock Show &
Rodeo, Feb. 23-March 5.
"This will add to the family
environment of the livestock/rodeo
event," said Michael A. Froehlich,
executive director for the Georgia
National Fairgrounds & Agricenter.
"We encourage everyone to see
Georgia's top 4-H and FFA students
compete for statewide honors and
enjoy the rides."
Rides will include Tilt-a-Whirl;
Scrambler; Orbiter; Tomahawk;
Lost Mine; Raiders; Up, Up &
Away; Snow Convoy; Jungle
Jeep Ride and Rio Grand Train.
A special ride offer is available
Feb. 24, 25 and March 4:
unlimited rides for $6 from 4 p.m.
until closing. Amusement rides
will also operate Feb. 26, 27 and
March 5 starting at noon.
Livestock show events are free
and parking is free.
Tickets are on sale now for the
Georgia National Rodeo and
concerts in Reaves Arena. Country
music concerts take place during the
rodeo intermission as follows:
Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
"Family Night" (no concert-reduced
ticket prices); $6.50/adults,
$5.50/children 2-12;- Friday, Feb.
25 at 7:30 p.m. Rodeo and Brother
Phelps Concert; $ 11.50/adults,
$9.50/children 2-12; Saturday,
Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. Rodeo and
Highway 101 Concert;
$11.50/adults, $9.50/children 2-12.
Ticket prices include the service
Selected for his outstanding
accomplishments in conservation
Robert Thompson has been named
Conservationist of the Year by the
Ocmulgee River Soil & Water
Conservation District. Thompson's
achievements represent the highest
ideals in soil and water resource
protection in Houston County. For
these efforts a banquet and awards
program were held Thursday night
at the Fort Valley State College
Pettigrew Center for him and the
eight other county winners across
The Georgia Bankers
Association along with local banks
jointly sponsored this event with
the Ocmulgee River DistricL More
than 200 people attended this
program and were able to see, first
hand, the movers and shakers in
natural resource conservation.
Heading up conservation efforts
in Houston County are District
Supervisors David Muse and
Richard Johnson. These men have
dedicated themselves to protecting
the soil and water and caring
stewards of these resources, like
Thompson, are great proponents of
the conservation cause.
The Ocmulgee River District is
composed of a nine county area
S eluding Bibb, Crawford, Dooly,
ouston, Macon, Peach, Pulaski,
Taylor, and Wilcox counties. Each
county in the district has two
supervisors-one elected by the
registered voters in the county and
one that is appointed by the
Georgia Soil & Water Conservation
will use it on all eligible cows," he
said. "Dairymen will be cautious
in their use.” Eligible cows include
those with no health problems.
BST could help small and large
dairies alike. "BST is a size-neutral
technology," Guthrie said. "Small
producers will be able to benefit as
much as the largo 1 producer.
"In some cases," he said, "the
small producer may be in a better
position to administer the program
than a large dairy because he has a
smaller herd, and the 10-15 percent
increase in milk production will be
The FDA requires no BST
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"Consumers can find out from
the milk companies what their
policies are relative to BST,"
Guthrie said. "But because you
can't test to determine whether
they're using it, labeling isn't
Some protesters were voicing
concern not only about the drug's
effect on the milk but about the
safety of the animals.
"BST doesn't harm the cows in
any way," says Guthrie.
"If the nutrients necessary to
produce milk aren't present, nothing
happens," he said. "The fanner gets
no response, and no return on his
investment. This is very safe
technology as far as the cow is
concerned. It doesn't make her do
something she can't do unless the
nutrients are present.
"The research indicates that BST
treated cows tend to have a slightly
higher incidence of mastitis, but no
greater than cows producing at the
same rate," he said. "High milk
producing cows, whether BST
treated or not, run the same risk."
Guthrie said BST was the most
tested animal drug in FDA history
before it was allowed onto the
Monsanto, the manufacturer,
also agreed, before FDA approval,
to set up a monitoring program to
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Wednesday, February 23,1994 Houston Times Journal -
check selected herds for general
health and mastitis, said Tom
Curran, a Monsanto research
"We are in the process of setting
up those herds and are getting ready
to start the study,” Curran said.
The FDA will monitor the program
tentaviely scheduled to last two
Curran said consumers had also
shown concern over the insulin
growth factor (IGF1).
"We did tests that proved it's
inactive in human beings." he said.
"During the early lactation period of
cows, the IGFI levels are 10 times
higher than when a cow is treated
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with BST. You have more IGFI in
your saliva than in a day's
consumption of milk."
BST has received a safety seal of
approval from the National
Institutes of Health, World Health
Organization, American Medical
Association and American Dietetic
Association in addition to the FDA.
To learn more about milk
products from BST-treated cows,
contact the county Extension office
or call the American Dietetic
Association Nutrition Hotline at 1-
(Faith Peppers is a news editor
with the University of Georgia