Let's table for the moment the question of cow's milk as an environmentally defensible product, or of whether cow's milk is something schoolchildren need to be drinking. One thing almost everybody in the sustainable sector can agree on is that schoolchildren don't need to be drinking milk with extra growth hormones added to it.
The sole purpose of adding rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) to milk is to increase total milk output - yet even now Pennsylvania farms are prematurely sending dairy cows to slaughter because there's too much supply for the milk demand. And one of the places extra milk winds up (some use the phrase "is dumped") is in our schools.
Susan Hildebrand, a Field Organizer with Food and Water Watch, spoke yesterday at the meeting of the School Reform Commission, urging them to pass a resolution taking a more wide-ranging stance against rBGH in the milk that goes to our region's schools. Currently the District serves rBGH-free milk, and Hildebrand asks them to extend that leadership on a statewide level. You can read her comments after the jump.
This is tied in with a national campaign to raise awareness of the issue and influence legislators to do something about it. And now is the time to do it - more specifically, about an hour from when this post appears. Food and Water Watch and its coalition partners, concerned parents and community members are having a demonstration, including leaflets and people in cow costumes, at Mariposa Co-op, 4726 Baltimore Ave, and urging Philadelphia residents to call Senator Bob Casey between noon and 2:00 p.m. to ask him to take a stand against rBGH in milk going to school districts across Pennsylvania. Even if you're nowhere near West Philly you can call. The number is (202) 224-6324, or you can get more info at the Food and Water Watch Web site.
Comments to SRC, March 11, 2009: