Bowing to pressure from consumer advocates, Pennsylvania officials have dropped plans to bar farmers from revealing whether or not milk hails from hormone-enhanced cows. The state's agriculture department on Thursday issued new guidelines that allow dairies to label milk so that customers know if it was produced from cows pumped with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) also known as recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST).
''This is a victory for free speech, free markets, sustainable farming and the consumer's right to know," Michael Hansen, a senior scientist with the Consumers Union (CU), said about the state's about-face. "Consumers increasingly want to know more about how their food is produced and, particularly, whether it is produced in a natural and sustainable manner. There is no justification for prohibiting information about rBGH use on a milk label.''