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4 Health Reasons For Why American Milk Is Banned In Europe

4 Health Reasons For Why American Milk Is Banned In Europe

You may be surprised to learn that American milk is banned in Europe. Why? Because there are so many health issues surrounding the production of American milk that European authorities — along with those in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada — have blocked these dairy imports.

Here are the 4 main health concerns with American milk.

1. American cows are injected with a growth hormone

American milk is genetically modified. Farmers inject the cows with a genetically engineered growth hormone called rBGH (or rBST) for the simple reason that they can produce up to 20 per cent more milk.

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It should be noted that BST also occurs naturally in milk. This particular rBGH hormone increases the IGF-1 (insulin–like Growth Factor-1) levels in the milk. This IGF-1 is great for healthy growth in children, but studies at Harvard Medical School have found that there are serious health risks for adults. After studying over 30,000 nurses for a six-year period, they found some rather disturbing patterns. The nurses who had the higher levels of IGF-1 had a much greater risk of developing colorectal cancer. They also found that men with high levels of IGF-1 hormone were four times more likely to develop prostate cancer than those with lower levels. The most common source of this hormone is milk, fish, and poultry.

2.  Pasteurization of milk is no guarantee of safety

The alarming fact is that these hormones are not destroyed in the milk pasteurization process. Even more worrying is the fact that injected cows can produce up to 10 times the levels of IGF-1 than they would if they were not treated.

Pasteurization does not get rid of these hormones and certain studies claim it may even increase the IGF-1 levels. Other studies show that pasteurizing removes most of the rBGH and BST hormones.

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In 1994, the FDA said that there were no health risks associated with these hormones. However, there have been at least 8 national and international reviews on the health risks associated with them, as reported by The American Cancer Society. The public health debate rages on.

The rBGH hormone is produced by Monsanto under the name of Posilac. If this hormone were banned in the USA, then Monsanto’s profits and business would be severely affected — we are talking about billions of dollars here.

3. The rBGH hormone makes cows sick

Milk production in the US has changed drastically over the years. Cows no longer graze on pleasant meadows. Most of the milk we drink comes from intensive production systems which may have over 15,000 cows. Another alarming statistic shows that 50 per cent of milk produced in North America comes from 4 per cent of the farms. As you can imagine, these are owned by very large corporations. Naturally, the cows are stressed out and the injections of the rBGH makes them prone to illness. They are liable to suffer from mastitis, which is a painful bacterial infection in the udder. This results in the secretion of pus and blood which gets into the milk. Nobody knows how many cows are treated — or if they are ever treated at all.

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4. Antibiotic treatments have problems in themselves

The sick cows, when spotted, are treated with antibiotics. This means that anyone consuming milk is likely to build up antibiotic resistance. The US figures are alarming. About 2 million US citizens get antibiotic-resistant infections every year and 23,000 people die from these infections. There is much concern, but it still needs to be fully proven that veterinary health is a major factor in antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Meanwhile, the European Commission is well aware of AMR concerns and has issued several directives to safeguard human health. You can read here about how the Netherlands drastically reduced the use of antibiotics in animal health care and quickly saw a reduction in AMR infections in humans!

“Bacteria are like this river flooding over man.” —  Lance Price, microbiologist at George Washington University

Are the American authorities being overly casual, or are the Europeans being too fussy? Despite the reasons given above, this is still a hot topic to debate.

If you are not sure who to believe and want to be more careful about the milk and dairy products that you are consuming, why not look out for the “NO rBGH” label?

Featured photo credit: I hope you have a milk and cookies kind of day (CC)/Purple Sherbet Photography via flickr.com

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More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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