In Ohio a federal court has ruled that you do not have the right to know if the milk you buy was taken from cattle pumped full of synthetic hormones (rBST and rBGH) designed to increase the output of milk and force the cows to lactate year-round. Also known as “crack for cows,” the hormones frequently sicken the animals due to the unnatural stresses they place on their bodies, and necessitate enormous usage of antibiotics — which then filter into the milk along with the excess hormones, and are consumed by humans.
The ability of milk producers to label their milk as “hormone-free” was seen to have the potential to inform the consumer, and thus possibly affect the profitability of milk that contains synthetic hormones in a negative fashion. This was viewed by the court as more important than your right to know what you are eating, drinking, and giving to your families to eat and drink.
Japan, Canada, Australia, new Zealand, and all 27 nations of the European Union do not allow the use of synthetic hormones in cattle, period.
If you want to avoid synthetic hormones in your dairy products, I would suggest avoiding those made in the United States that do not carry the USDA Organic seal. (No synthetic hormones, genetically engineered organisms, antibiotics or toxic, persistent, pesticides.) Dairy from the countries where the hormones are banned are also good. Remember, it’s not unpatriotic to ask another American not to kill you.