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Oakhurst loses bid to move lawsuit
SHARON KILEY MACK, OF THE NEWS STAFF.
Bangor Daily News. Bangor, Me.: Nov 18, 2003. pg. 5 Section: A
Abstract (Article Summary)

The dispute centers on consumers' perception of Posilac, or recombinant bovine growth hormone, that is injected into cows every two weeks to increase their milk production. Monsanto is the only producer of Posilac. About one-third of the United States' 9 million dairy cows are given the hormone.

Monsanto is not asking Oakhurst to change the label, but rather to modify it to contain wording that informs the consumer that the FDA has found no difference in the milk from treated and untreated cows. The FDA recommends the additional wording, but does not require it.

Full Text (335 words)

Copyright 2003 Bangor Daily News)

BOSTON - Oakhurst Dairy of Portland, which is being sued by chemical giant Monsanto, has lost its bid to have the federal lawsuit moved from Boston to Portland.

The suit maintains that Oakhurst's label, which proclaims "Our Farmers Pledge: No Artificial Hormones," is misleading and implies there is something unsafe or harmful about milk from cows that have been treated with artificial hormones.

The dairy's Portland attorney, John Ciraldo of Perkins Thompson, said Judge Reginald C. Lindsay denied Oakhurst's motion for the change of venue late Friday based "on the strong presumption that favors the plaintiff [Monsanto] as to the site of the forum."

The trial now is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 5, 2004, in federal court in Boston and is expected to last up to two weeks.

Ciraldo maintained Monday that Oakhurst's label "is factually correct."

The dispute centers on consumers' perception of Posilac, or recombinant bovine growth hormone, that is injected into cows every two weeks to increase their milk production. Monsanto is the only producer of Posilac. About one-third of the United States' 9 million dairy cows are given the hormone.

The Food and Drug Administration says milk produced by rBGH- injected cows is indistinguishable from milk from cows that are not treated, and poses no health risks to humans or cows.

Opponents of rBGH say there is no consensus in the international scientific community over its safety, and point out that it is banned in Canada and Europe. They also say it is harmful to cows, and that the use of rBGH poses a threat to family farms.

Monsanto is not asking Oakhurst to change the label, but rather to modify it to contain wording that informs the consumer that the FDA has found no difference in the milk from treated and untreated cows. The FDA recommends the additional wording, but does not require it.

Stanley Bennett II, president of Oakhurst, said he's in the business of selling milk, "not marketing Monsanto's drugs," and has no intention of changing the label.


Mark A. Kastel

M.A.Kastel and Associates, Inc.

P.O. Box 2

La Farge, Wisconsin 54639

608-625-2042 voice

608-625-2043 fax

kastel@mwt.net

“How we eat determines to a considerable extent how the world is used.”

Wendell Berry


 

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