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Friday, March 04, 2005

Tillamook Gives Big Cheesy Finger to Monsanto

happy Oregon cows breathe a sigh of relief

Today is Oregon day on the blog!

And the Grace Under Pressure award goes to the Tillamook County Creamery Association's dairy farmers, who voted Monday to support a ban that prohibited them from using Posilac, a genetically engineered growth hormone designed to make cows produce more milk.

Why should you care? Well, aside from consumer worries about potential cancer risks, there is evidence to suggest that cows treated with the chemical run increased risks of udder infections (causing them to be treated with increased antibiotics, which winds up in the milk). There is also increased risk of lameness in the cows.

But the bigger story is the heavy-handed tactics Monsanto has used to try and force Tillamook into using Posilac. When Tillamook announced that it was interested in phasing out the drug, Monsanto not only came to Oregon and started organizing farmers to fight the ban, they also tried to push forward a measure that would have prohibited Tillamook from regulating the use of ANY FDA approved drug.

I'm going to go out and buy some Tillamook cheese today to give to my friends. And then I'm going to send Tillamook a letter with a copy of the receipt and tell them I'm totally behind them.

Because Monsanto is the same company that spent $5.5 million in Oregon in 2002 to defeat a measure requiring labeling of genetically modified food. I'm guessing they're not done yet, and Tillamook is gonna need all the support they can get.