Addressing the rbST test rumors..
Dear Dairy Producers and Industry Representatives,
At periodic intervals popular press articles and industry quotes state that there is a test for rbST (recombinant bovine somatotropin) use in dairy cows; in some cases the articles state that the test has been developed by Cornell University. These statements have led to confusion, and the following addresses some of the most frequently asked questions to help alleviate confusion about this topic.
1. Any test for rbST that is used in food labeling must be approved by the FDA, and this requires validation using accepted scientific practices, similar to the requirements of all tests currently used to verify label claims for food and feed products. Validation will include demonstrations of repeatability, accuracy, sensitivity, and variability. We are not aware of such validations for any test for rbST use in lactating dairy cows.
2. After checking with colleagues throughout the University, we can safely say none of the divisions within Cornell University are currently working on a test for bST; this includes the Department of Animal Science, the New York State Diagnostic Laboratory, the College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Department of Food Science....
Dairy Cow makes the cover of "The Journal of Nutrition"
The top rated experimental nutrition journal for research relating to human nutrition or animal models for human nutrition chose to feature a dairy cow on the cover for May 2009. The regulation of lipid systhesis in the adipose tissue of dairy cows is the subject of research published in this issue, see Harvatine et al. (pages 849–54), and a commentary (Bergen, pages 826–7). Photo by Keith Weller; courtesy USDA Photo bank.
On the subject of using animal models for human nutrition research, a group of Cornell researchers recently undertook an effort to increase the awareness at the National level of the current situation in support for Farm Animal Research. The article Farm Animal Research in Crisis appeared in "Science" a few weeks ago. This was a continuation of the joint NIH-USDA Workshops that are discussed in the article.
Environment Impact of Dairy Farming
The latest article on The environmental impact of dairy production: 1944 compared with 2007 authored by J. L. Capper, R. A. Cady, and D. E. Bauman is in the March edition of the Journal of Animal Science.