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Featured Clinical Reviews

March 20, 1991

Bovine Somatotropin

Author Affiliations

Virginia Tech Blacksburg

Virginia Tech Blacksburg

JAMA. 1991;265(11):1389. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460110055014

To the Editor.—  The editorial1 and Special Communication2 about bovine somatotropin (bST) were partial and neglected genuine concerns about public health. The central threat of bST is depressed consumption of milk and dairy foods, for these are sources of calcium, riboflavin, lysine, and methionine, which are deficient in cereal grains. Diminished availability of dairy products through disruption of the dairy industry is likely to result from consumer reactions and from inability of farmers and veterinarians to cope with poor milk responses, infectious disease, and infertility,3 rather than from a milk glut.1Contrary to assertions in the editorial and Special Communication, administration of bST does significantly change milk composition, mainly reflecting tissue utilization to make extra milk, such as an increase in long-chain fatty acids. One important exception is the increase in insulinlike growth factor I (IGF-I) to levels found usually in the first 2 weeks of

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