Food Law News - EU - 1999

18 March 1999: MILK - Doubts Cast on Milk Hormone

The Week in Europe, 18 March 1999

Doubts Cast on Milk Hormone

Growth hormone BST should not be used on dairy cows, according to the EU's Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Welfare. The use of BST (bovine somatotrophin) substantially increases foot problems, mastitis and injection site reactions in dairy cows, the committee of 18 independent scientists reported on 10 March. BST is a synthetic, genetically engineered drug that is based on a naturally occurring growth hormone. It is injected into dairy cows usually every two weeks to increase milk production. The EU banned the marketing and use of BST in 1990. The Council asked the Commission to arrange for scientific committees to draw up reports on BST as part of a review of the current moratorium, which is due to expire at the end of 1999. An opinion on the effects of BST use on human health is expected to be adopted soon by the Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures Related to Public Health. The report of the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Welfare will be available at

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