Technology: A Furious Battle over Milk

Farmers fear a biotech protein that could produce a dairy glut

To its manufacturers the hormone represents the dawn of a dazzling new era in agriculture. To its critics, however, it poses a dangerous threat to the prosperity of dairy farmers and the wholesome image of "nature's perfect food." The product is bovine somatotropin, a natural protein found in cattle that has been artificially mass-produced in the labs of several pharmaceutical firms. When injected into dairy cows, BST can increase their milk production up to 25%. But would the use of BST create a milk glut that could drive down dairy prices? And would consumers view milk from BST-treated cows as artificial...

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