Dear Citizen Activist,
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and you may have already seen the ads touting Yoplait's campaign against breast cancer, called Save Lids to Save Lives .
The company plans to donate 10 cents to the fight against breast cancer for every cup of yogurt with with a pink foil lid that consumers purchase.
Yoplait touts its yogurt as being healthy for women, but what's inside is anything but.
The reality is that Yoplait yogurt is made with milk from cows that have been injected with a synthetic hormone called recombinant bovine growth hormone (called rBGH or rBST). Research indicates that there are numerous health concerns linked to the consumption of dairy from cows injected with rBGH - and breast cancer is one of them.
The bottom line is that rBGH is unsafe - and unnecessary. In fact, the use of rBGH has already been banned in Australia, Canada, Japan, and all 27 countries in the European Union. In addition to the many companies that offer rBGH-free products, big-box stores and food and beverage chains like Wal-Mart, Publix, Kroger, Starbucks, and Chipotle have committed to reducing or completely eliminating dairy products made with rBGH from their stores. If these companies can do it, Yoplait can too. In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in solidarity with millions of women, ask Yoplait to do the right thing and put a lid on rBGH.
Thanks for staying involved,
The Citizens for Health Team
So of course, I clicked on the button so that my "voice would be heard," and got this response from Yoplait:
Thank you for contacting General Mills concerning BST.
BST (bovine somatotropin) is a hormone naturally found in cows. The synthetic version of this hormone (not to be confused with a steroid hormone) has been subjected to extensive testing. The Food & Drug Administration, American Medical Association, National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture along with a number of other science-based organizations have concluded that there are no food safety issues in conjunction with milk produced by BST-supplemented cows.
Because BST is naturally found in all cows′ milk, there is no scientific way to test the milk to determine if the BST present is from synthetic sources or natural sources. The amount of BST present in milk will not be greater from a synthetic source than it would be occurring naturally.
For more information about Bovine Somatotropin (BST) or Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) you may wish to visit the United States Department of Agriculture′s website at www.usda.gov.
We hope you will continue to enjoy our products.
Sincerely,General Mills Consumer Services
In response to THEIR response, I received this in my inbox today:
Were you surprised to get a response from General Mills?
We weren't. It's just that their tidy little response was one that only a lawyer or a politician could love. As many of you pointed out to us, General Mills didn't even address the issue! If you go back and connect the dots, you'll see that our Action Alert was about rBGH, and General Mills' response was about BGH.
What's the difference between BGH and rBGH?
To reiterate, Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) is a natural protein hormone produced in a cow's pituitary gland. Recombinant BGH (a/k/a rBGH) is a synthetic, unnatural hormone injected into the cow so she'll produce more milk - unnaturally!
Why did General Mills only mention BGH and not rBGH?
Because if General Mills dealt with rBGH straight up, they would have to acknowledge that it's banned in Canada, Australia, Japan and all 27 countries in the European Union. And Starbucks and Safeway stores in the northwest (among others) have voluntarily banned it in their products.
Why should you care?
So there it is in a nutshell. Don't buy into the Yoplait bullpoop. For years I've run from anything "pink" so this is no different for me. As a matter of fact, we only buy organic yogurt anyway, and raw yogurt 99% of the time. But I have not been pinkwashed, and every October I try to reach more converts. For more information, visit Think Before You Pink.