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You Ask, I Answer: Farmers’ “No Bovine Growth Hormone” Pledge?

farmers_pledge_150I see this verbiage on my milk carton and it seems very vague.

“Our farmers pledge not to treat their cows with rbST.”

The word ‘pledge’ implies to me that they may or may not do what is stated above.

I’m interested in your input.

– Ken Leebow
(Location Unknown)

In the overwhelming majority of cases, farmers who pledge not to use recombinant bovine Somatotropin (rbST)/ recombinant growth hormone (rBGH) sign legal affidavits that are kept on file by the respective companies they provide milk to.

In the vast majority of cases, though, this is done via an honor system.  There is no formal inspection process.

There also aren’t unannounced assessments or investigations.  For example, the New York and Connecticut chapters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association explicitly state that they “do not investigate or make any guarantee that the individual farmer is complying with the Farmer’s Pledge.”



  1. Vincci said on July 27th, 2010

    How can both cases be a majority? I’m confused.

  2. Andy Bellatti said on July 27th, 2010

    Meaning, that almost every farmer who pledges signs a legal affidavit.

    However, almost no farmers are inspected or assessed. The legal affidavit is signed with the agreement that the farmer understands that lying about this is considered perjury (and may even be witnessed by a notary public, but the notary public does not go to the farm and inspect it to make sure there isn’t a trace of rBGH).

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