Dairy Farmers of Canada has removed ads falsely stating that there are no growth hormones in Canadian milk following complaints to Advertising Standards Canada—the advertising industry’s self-regulating body. The ads have been running across Canada.
All dairy contains naturally occurring insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which is intended to promote rapid growth in calves. Dairy also contains bovine somatropin (BST), the naturally occurring growth hormone upon which the banned synthetic rBGH is modelled. And because on modern farms cows are milked throughout pregnancies, dairy contains large amounts of estrogens and progesterone.
“While synthetic bovine growth hormone is mostly banned for use in Canada because of the harm it causes to cows, Canadian milk does contain several hormones,” said Anna Pippus, a lawyer and director of the Plant-based Policy Centre.
“Like all mammalian milk, cow milk is intended to promote rapid growth in babies, helping calves to gain up to 80 pounds per month. Milk contains naturally occurring growth hormones to help accomplish this. Milk also contains high levels of estrogen and progesterone, because on modern dairy farms, cows are kept in a state of near-constant pregnancy to ensure continued lactation. Most milk comes from pregnant cows. The Dairy Farmers of Canada ad claiming Canadian milk contains zero growth hormones is false, which violates advertising standards. It is appropriate that the ads have been pulled.”
Here is the ad at the centre of the controversy: