All cattle produce a naturally occurring growth hormone called “bovine somatotropin”, often abbreviated as “bST”. Scientists have learned how to make a copy of this growth hormone using recombinant DNA technologies. This copy is called “recombinant bovine somatropin” (“rbST”) or “recombinant bovine growth hormone” (“rbGH”). It is identical to the one naturally produced by cows and can be used to increase milk production from cows.
A growing number of food companies are responding to consumer requests for choice in the dairy aisle, including dairy products from cows not treated with rbST. This is not related to any health or safety issue as multiple scientific and regulatory organizations have concluded that food products from cows treated with rbST are safe.
Both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permit companies that sell milk and other dairy products to convey that the milk comes from cows that were not treated with rbST. However, FDA requires that the labels of these products must also indicate that no significant difference has been shown between milk from rbST-treated and untreated cows.
To provide consumers with choice, HERSHEY’S Shelf Stable Milk Products contain only milk that is naturally produced from cows that have not been treated with rbST.*
*No significant difference has been shown between milk from rbST-treated and untreated cows.