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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Don't Be Fooled by Dairy Marketing

My wife and I do our best to make good decisions in the grocery store.  So when my wife shops for coffee creamer she tries to get the most natural product she can get.  She saw the following in the store and decided it was a good choice.

All the great marketing buzz words are there!
"All Natural"  "Does Not Contain Artificial Growth Hormones"  "No Additives"  "No Preservatives"
How can this product possibly be bad?  Well, with me being my skeptical self I dug a little deeper into this milk carton's claims.  On the back of the carton you will find the following in the fine print.
"No significant difference in milk from cows treated with artificial growth hormone."
The FDA loves to use the word "significant."  Which means they know there is a difference, but not to the point it's going to cause enough disease to change their policy! 
Report on the Food and Drug Administration's Review of the Safety of Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin (click link to view report)
Lets look back at the original pictures.  The statement "Does Not Contain Artificial Growth Hormones" seems to be a bit misleading.  According to the FDA, cows treated with artificial growth hormones produce milk which is not "significantly" different from cows not treated with hormones!

"No Additives" means the product has not been fortified with vitamin D, or any other vitamins or minerals.  "No Preservatives"?  To my knowledge there are few milk products which contain preservatives.  That is why milk spoils in your refrigerator!  These statements are similar to the "No High Fructose Corn Syrup" label on peanut butter!
Peanut butter never had high fructose corn syrup!  Trans fats?  Yes! (hydrogenated vegetable oils)  But never high fructose corn syrup!

The following picture is an example of what you want to see on a food label.
As far as I can tell there are no loopholes here.  They come right out and say "produced from naturally Pasture-Fed Jersey Cows without the use of artificial growth hormones or pesticides."  Instead of saying their product does not contain hormones, they are telling us the cows themselves were not treated with hormones!

Be very skeptical when looking at food labels.  There are a lot of loopholes companies can use to make their products seem healthier than they really are.


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