Are Growth Hormones a Bad Moo-ve?

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When your child starts drinking milk, you'll want to ensure that she's drinking the cream of the crop. With so many types of milk out there, the choices can be confusing. Should you choose cow's, goat's, almond, rice, soy? Only you can say what's right for your family, given any allergies or other considerations. But if you choose cow's milk, then you must decide whether to opt for whole, reduced-fat or skim milk...and whether you might choose organic milk or milk labeled antibiotic- and/or rBGH-free. What do these designations mean? Recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rBGH, is a medication given to dairy cows that is supposed to make them mature faster and increase their milk output. Up to one-third of cow's milk on the market may contain varying levels of rBGH, which the Food and Drug Administration approved for use in 1994 and believes is safe for consumption. However, many researchers and critics disagree. Cows that are given rBGH are more susceptible to leg and hoof problems, serious reproductive problems and mastitis - an infection of the udder. To counteract the infections, cows are given preventive doses of antibiotics, which also leach into milk.