Bovine Somatotropin and Porcine Somatotropin
Prepared for the American Council on Science and Health
Terry D. Etherton, Ph.D.
Professor of Animal Nutrition and Physiology
in the Department of Dairy and Animal Science
at The Pennsylvania State University
ACSH Publications Editor: Andrea Golaine Case, M.S.
Please Note: For the web site version of this report, tables are provided but diagrams are not.
As the world’s population grows, the National Research Counc1il estimates that the supply of food required to adequately meet human nutritional needs over the next 40 years will be equal to the amount of food previously produced throughout the entire history of humankind. To meet this demand, animal scientists must develop new technologies to increase productive efficiency (that is, the yield of milk or meat per unit of feed), produce leaner animals and provide increased economic return on investment to producers. During the past decade, scientists have developed many new agricultural biotechnologies that meet these goals. Their adoption will have many positive effects on food production, processing and availability. On November 5, 1993, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first biotechnological product for animal production, bovine somatotropin (bST) for commercial use. This action ushered in a remarkable new era for animal agriculture and the dairy industry. BST use results in a substantial increase in milk yield (4 to 6 kg/day or 10 to 15%) accompanied by an approximate 12% increase in productive efficiency. Milk yield increases in a dose-dependent manner and the composition of milk is unaltered.
Scientists in academia, government and industry have conducted more than 2,000 scientific studies of bST throughout the world. These studies have clearly shown the efficacy, safety and benefits realized by integrating bST into dairy production. BST does not adversely affect the health of...