There is Nothing Wrong with Bovine Growth Hormone BGH Essay

1537 Words 7 Pages
As the sun lit the blue sky, my petite hand was engulfed by a long, coarse cow tongue: the Holstein cow enjoyed its morning meal of carrots and celery. The next thing I knew, my alarm clock beeped loudly. My childhood memories of the “petting farm” were interrupted by the reminder of another hike with my English class. This time we were going to the Dairy Unit. After meeting Professor Marx at the classroom, we headed down Mt. Bishop Road, a dirt pathway on the north side of campus. When we reached the barns we were greeted by Leanne Berning, a dairy science professor at Cal Poly. She acted as our tour guide, showing us the baby calves and milking cows. Professor Berning also provided us with insight about the technology Cal …show more content…
In the corridor, Professor Berning explained that each cow requires an intake of approximately fifty thousand calories a day, eighty percent of which is solely for the production of milk. During the cow’s ten month lactation period, they produce between eighty-six and one hundred and thirty pounds of milk per day. The Cal Poly Dairy uses advanced technology, like rBst and artificial insemination, to increase the efficiency of milk production. I found these technological methods to enhance milk production disturbing: I was concerned about the danger of this milk for the human population and for the cows, whose dangerously full udders look poised to explode.

Back at my dorm, I immediately searched “Google” and found that Bst was an extremely controversial issue in the Dairy Industry. Many dairy consumers appear to have similar concerns about the health effects of Bst (www.nal.usda.gov/bic/BST/US_DAIRY_INDUST_AT_A_Crossroad_PartI_OF_5.htm). However, the majority of web sites that I found were written in scientific terminology beyond my comprehension level.

One week later, I found myself sitting across from Professor Berning in her office asking about Bst and its effects on human population. I wanted to know why it is controversial. She told me that Bst is a natural hormone made by the pituitary gland in cows. Unlike most hormones, Bovine Growth Hormone, another name for Bst, is not a steroid hormone. Instead, it is…