Thursday, March 27, 2008

Milk hits puberty

Missouri, Kansas want dairies to shut up about not having hormones in milk, because it makes milk WITH hormones look bad

Apparently, larger dairies are (bad pun alert) mad that family farms are tagging their milk as "hormone-free." In doing so, the big guys claim, they suggest that there's somehow something wrong with hormone-enriched milk, which of course there isn't. After all, farmers employ hormones only to affect the cow's metabolism so that it turns into a tough, taut efficient udder machine. Kind of like bovine bodybuilders. And come on, it's not like traces of steroids ever show up in their bodily fluids, right?

Reality being what it is, however, Missouri and Kansas are leading the way in legislation to respectively ban any mention of hormones (or lack thereof) on bottles, or to accompany such labeling with a caveat from the FDtrimspA saying that ah, you've got nothing to worry about.

I'm reminded of the furor Republicans felt when "The Reagans" miniseries was to run on CBS in 2003. Some called for the show to run a disclaimer at each commercial break: "This is a work of fiction, blah blah blah." Of course, Les Moonves was going to have none of that, so he bravely stood his ground and relegated the series to Showtime.

Amazing how conservatives chant "Free market!" when they want to terminate federal assistance programs, undermine public schools or strike down limits in campaign finance, but then flip-flop completely when the issue is alerting the public that some mass-produced, steroid-induced corporate product might be unhealthy.

It's not the government's job to foster ignorance in consumers. Not typically, anyway.

Would such an absurd notion even be possible outside of the Bush era?

1957: "Thalidomide has been proven to cause massive birth defects in babies, making them look like dolphins with half the intelligence. But isn't curing morning sickness worth it, Mom?"

1964: "Warning: The surgeon general has determined that smoking is bad for your health. But we at Philip Morris USA think it's gear!"

1973: "Hey, you can't advertise unleaded gasoline! That seems to imply there's something unhealthy about leaded gasoline."

1975: "Look for the Union Label? Why, sweatshop sweaters are every bit as good!"

1983: "Hey, don't say your soda has no saccharin! There's no proof it causes cancer in laboratory humans."

1999: "Metabolife is yummy! Buy it at the mall! If you don't, you'll die!"

2006: "What's up with promoting your chips as having no trans fats? That implies this delicious man-made crack fat has some expansive effect on American waistlines."

How about a Seinfeldian compromise? "Cultivated without hormones...not that there's anything wrong with that."

Or you could start drinking soy, like I do.


pudding-monkey said...

"Delicious man-made crack fat" is my new favourite description.

Michael said...

Wouldn't it be great if those same Republicans were forced to put that same disclaimer on whenever George W. (or anybody from the Republican Party) made a speech? Wouldn't be stretching the truth all that far.

And sorry, but I can't stomach soy milk. May have something to do with the really crappy soy formula I had to make do with as a baby for a while, due to some nutritional disorder.