The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

What is bovine growth hormone?

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Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST), sometimes called recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring protein that helps cows produce milk. It is species-specific and therefore only works in cows.

All animals, including humans, produce hormones naturally in their pituitary glands. This protein is necessary for normal growth, development, and maintaining good health.

Dairy cows produce milk naturally after having given birth to a calf. Some farmers choose to use a supplemental bovine growth hormone to help cows produce more milk. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed that milk from cows given bovine growth hormone is safe for consumption.

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