Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, November 13, 1993, Image 20

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    A2O-Lancastsr Farmlno. Saturday, Novsmber 13,1993
(CondniMd from Pago At)
teria is safe for use in stimulating
additional milk production in de
lating cows.
Although Monsanto was not the
only business to develop and
research is the first to get its
brand, being marketed as “POSI
LAC,” approved for commercial
For several yean, milk and meat
derived from dairy cattle involved
in research trials of iqjectable BST
has been approved as fully safe for
human consumption.
Because BST is a protein and is
destroyed by digestive acids, it
cannot negatively affect the health
of a human if directly injested.
Even if it were to be accidentally
injected into a human, it would
have no effect, because it is specif
ic for “lower animals. By lower
animals, it is meant that the chemi
cal receptors in humans for a
somatotropin are more compli
cated and not designed to accept
Human somatotropin works in
humans, but bovine somatotropin
does not.
Bovine somatotropin is a mes
senger protein hormone which
directs the cow to send nutrients to
the milk-producing part of the
udder and thereby stimulate addi
tional milk production. The quality
of the milk is virtually identical.
There is no means currently avail
able by which anyone can differen
tiate between milk produced by
treated or untreated cows.
Researchers, affiliated and
unaffiliated with companies deve
loping BST for market, have said
that in order to use BST properly
requires excellent herd
It will work immediately in a opjw.ituy to the use of BST
cow, but feeding and nutrition because of possible competitive
must be carefully watched, similar disadvantages to those who opcr
to the care and feeding of currently a tc “family farms.”
high producing cows, whose pro- Dr Robert Yonkers, PSU
duction is attributed to genetic Extension agricultural economist
selection for high production. based State college, said Mon-
An information package sent t j a y j[ j s (qo early to predict
out to media by Monsanto this what Wnd of effect bST might
week included a pamphlet that qo the competitiveness of
obstensibly is designed to be distri- operations,
buted to dairymen. He said that it could possibly
The 12-page (counting both hasten an ineversable trend toward
sides of each page) pamphlet pre- f ewcr> but larger dairy operations,
sents an overview of dtehmefite, f urt hcr loss of the one-family
the use and handling of POSIL AC,
projected financial gains, and the -phat trend has been continuing
selection of cows for treatment sincc advent of the industrial
Specifically, the brochure states
that for selection of cows, dairy- year> die USDA ceased its
men should: “Select healthy cows, annual survey of family farms in
Select cows that arc nine weeks in United States not just dairy
milk. Practice good nutritional options because the number
management” of farm families has dwindled to
Further it states that “Availabil- represent less than 1.8 percent of
ity of balanced feed is the most thc totl | u.S. estimated
important factor in determining
response to POSILAC. Cows Yonkers did say that most stu
should be fed a balanced ration which project dairy industry
based on their production level fol- costs and milk prices out to five
lowing guidelines established by ycars that the Harrogate milk
the NRC.Ffced should be available price will be lower with or without
to cows at all times. Feed bunks B g T He diat with BST, some
should be managed to assure that —»Hirt drat the price should be
feed is always fiesh and of a high lower by 25 cents to 50 cents per
quality.” hundredweight of milk.
The financial advantage to usmg «B u t then you get into all those
BST treatments can not be objec- assumptions,” Yonkers said about
lively determined because Lisa the studies he’s read. He said that
Watson, manager of health and his opinion is that it is too early to
consumer affairs for the Public any kind of supportable
Affairs Office of the Animal Sci- prognostication,
ences Division of Monsanto, said He said there are too many vari-
Wednesday that a price per dose a bles to determine BSTs impact to
has not been released. die dairy industry.
Monsanto apparently is geared However, Yonkers said that
up to take orders for the Aug. other studies show that the use of
In the brochure, there is printed B $ T well lower the cost of
several times a 24-hour, toll-free production from 50 cents to $1 per
number for dairymen to call to hundredweight of milk,
order POSILAC. A delivery of Monsanto and others propping
FDA Approves Use Of Monsanto’s
POSILAC is to come to the dairy
man’s door within 48 hours by
express mail, except for first
orders, which may take longer.
However, a pre-recorded mes
sage is currently the response to
the toll-free call (1-800-233-2999)
to Monsanto. The message states
that the FDA has approved POSI
LAC and that the customer service
department will be available Nov.
In the brochure, under instruc
tions for its use, it states that the
material should be wanned from
refrigerator temperature to room
temperature (59- to 86-degrecs)
before injecting into the taiUiead,
or neck area of the cow.
The doses, injected once every
14 days, are to come in prefilled
syringes. Also, with each order is
to be included a syringe disposal
container and a warning not to
reuse any of the syringes.
The brochure indicates that the
syringe disposal container, once
frill, is to be mailed through the
federal postal system to a subcon
tracted disposal company at no
additional cost to the dairyman.
Dairy producers cannot yet use
Monsanto’s product, however, for
at least 90 days because of a mora
torium imposed by die U.S. Con
gress, which reflects a similar mor
atorium in the European
Some opposition to the use of
the product is expected, but to date,
the tactics of opposition groups
have been to sensationlize the
issue without the benefit of sound
fact or science.
Some newspapers have quit
reporting the “news releases” of
such organizations.
There are also other groups and
individuals that have claimed
to sell BST have promoted this
“We are very pleased with the
FDA’s thorough review and subse
quent approval of POSILAC,” said
Walter Hobgood, vice president of
Monsanto’s Animal Sciences
Division, in a prepared statement.
“This new product will enable
all U.S. dairy fanners, regardless
of the size of their operation, to
improve their herds’ productivity.
“Supplemental BST is the fust
of many agricultural biotechnolo
gy products that American framers
will be able to depend upon to help
them maintain their position as
dependable, efficient suppliers of
the world’s food,” Hobgood said.
According to the statement,
“Since 1982, approximately
10,000 dairy cows have received
supplemental BST in Monsanto
sponsored research studies, con
ducted at mote than 100 universi
ties and commercial dairy farms in
the U.S. and abroad.”
Export Demand Fuels Increase
In Poultry Production
Lancaster Farming Staff
MANHEIM (Lancaster Co.)
Strong rises in poultry export
levels are fueling demand for
chicken parts, and provide some
good news for domestic producers,
according to a USDA economist
Dr. Milt Madison, USDA Eco
nomic Research Service (HRS),
poultry analysis division, told a
group of about 32 poultry industry
representatives at a seminar, on
Monday that “one of the things
that has been driving the broiler
industry is the U.S. consumer lik
ing breast meat and a lotof the rest
of the world willing to buy dark
meat as long as it’s at cheap
prices.” Exports, mostly to Mex
ico, will continue to increase in the
coming year.
Madison was on hand to discuss
the 1994 outlook for poultry pro
ducers. The information was
gathered from the Economic
Research Service’s “Livestock
and Poultry Outlook Report,"
which is changing from a six
times-a-year publication to month
ly, and will have a format much
like the monthly supplement,
“Livestock and Poultry Update.”
“One of the things we see with
the record exports this year is a
little bit of change in the pattern of
the parts prices for broilers,” he
said. While breast prices have
dropped IS percent from August
through October this year, leg
quarter prices have increased 10
percent. Whole bird prices
rcmainded constant.
In 1993, demand for broiler pro
duct jumped about 20 percent over
a year ago. In 1994, USDA-ERS
predicts about a 4-5 percent
increase in exports, according to
Madison, which makes up about 8
percent of total broiler products
being produced. That will mean
about 2.3 billion pounds of pro
ducts being produced overall.
Net returns are up slightly from
a year ago, but 1994 should see a
downturn because of slightly high
er feed costs. Com prices will be
about 30 cents per bushel higher,
while soybean prices will experi
ence a $l2 per ton decline.
This year, according to the ag
economist, broiler companies "at
die wholesale whole bird level are
earning about 7 cents a pound on
broiler production,” he said. Next
year, however, the net returns will
In its statement, Monsanto said
that during the 90-day moratorium
on the useof BST, it“willbeactive
in educational efforts targeted to
dairy producers, veterinarians and
nutritionists.” '
The FDA approval was also
supported by die American Diete
tic Association, in Chicago, m, by
the Animal Health Institute, based
in Alexandria, Va., and by die U.S.
Department of Health and Human
Furthermore, according to the
U.S. DHH, Monsanto has agreed
to conduct a post-approval moni
toring program that includes a two
year, before-and-after BST
followup of milk production and
drug residues in the top 21 dairy
states: a 12-month comparison of
the proportion of milk dumped be
cause of residues between BST
herds and non-BST herds; a report
ing system to monitor all BST use
and follow up on complaints; and
monitor mastitis, animal drag use
Dr. Milt Madison, ag aconomlat with USDA-ERS, poultry
analysis division, right, SpokS about the poultry outlook (Or
1994 at ths poultry managament and haalth samlnar on
Monday. Dr. Patty Dunn, rssaareh assistant, Penn State
Dept, of Veterinary Science, presented a Marek’s Disease
Update at the seminar.
be a couple of centers per pound
lower, he said, because of the
increase in feed juices and an over
all lower price per bird.
In 1994, egg production will be
put about 1 percent over the 1993
level. The 1993 net returns are
about 9 cents per dozen at whole
sale level. Next year will remain
profitable, with a small increase in
demand for egg products during
the Thanksgiving and Christmas
holidays. Madison said the shift in
buying from an older to a younger
market means demand will show
some strength.
Egg experts make up only 3 per
cent of die total production, but
with no large impact on price. For
1994, net return should be about 5
cents per dozen, with egg prices
down about 3 cents per dozen.
Turkey producers should expect
demand to spark a 1 percent
increase in meat production.
Returns should be at the break
even level, mostly because of a
slight increase in feed costs.
The proposed NAFTA will have
little or no effect on export demand
for poultry products, according to
the ag economist
Marek’s Disease
A vaccine to control Marek’s
Disease (MD) is only as good as
what you do with it and requires a
and resultant milk* losses in 24
commercial dairy herds using
As far as the impact of BST on
Dairy Herd Improvement Associa
tion record keeping, Phil Dukas,
CEO of National DMA, said
Thursday that there has been found
no way for DHIAs to track the use
of BST, although it would be bene
ficial to the integrity of the record
keeping system reflecting the
genetic characteristics of a line of
However, in the National DHIA
rules there is a provision that tech
nicians are bound to report and
include in a permanent record any
injections they observe:
"The injection of any substance
immediately prior to, or during, a
milking on test day will require the
application of an appropriate per
manent label."
A “permsncnt tabeT means it is
reported on the cow’s test record.
“multifactorial, ’’ approach,
including proper selection of birds
for resistance to the disease and
overall bird health management,
according to Dr. Patty Dunn,
research assistant in Penn State’s
Department of Veterinary Science.
Dunn described the “cancer
like” disease which leaves many
birds with the characteristic ‘ ‘split
leg” stance and which attacts the
bird’s central nervous system,
spreading tumors throughout the
body. The disease was first identi
fied in 1907 by Jozsef Marek, but
through the years, more potent and
deadly serotypes have been
The disease, a herpes virus,
infects the lymphocytes, or white
blood cells important to the bird’s
immune system. Three serotypes
exist the oncogenic, which
causes the severe form of the dis
ease (tumors); non-oncogenic,
which produces no tumors; and the
herpes virus of turkeys, known as
MD can attack chickens at S-6
weeks of age, but mote frequendy
attacks them at 12-24 weeks of
age. The disease is prevalent
throughout the world, and when a
chicken gets the disease, it is with
the bird for life. The virus affects
chicks within one week of
(Turn to Pag* 425)