Court Restores Right to Know in Ohio and Throughout the U.S.

Statement of Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Executive Director Carol Goland, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter, and Ohio Environmental Council Director of Agriculture Joe Logan

September 30, 2010

“Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit struck down a significant part of a pending rule in Ohio that would restrict the information consumers get about whether milk was produced with the artificial growth hormone rBGH. Today’s decision, the result of a lawsuit filed by the International Dairy Foods Association and the Organic Trade Association, threw out a part of the rule created by the Ohio Department of Agriculture that essentially prohibited labeling dairy products as ‘rBGH-free.’ The court also rejected a portion of the rule that had placed severe restrictions on other types of labeling that referred to the use of rBGH.

“This means that farmers in Ohio will be able to label their milk as produced from cows that were not treated with rBGH, and that consumers will still be able to use this information when they purchase dairy products.

“Today’s ruling will hopefully encourage dairy producers that have already gone rBGH-free to label their products accordingly. We also hope that the state of Ohio has learned that attempts to restrict milk labeling are a waste of time and money.

“Because much of the milk produced in Ohio is sold across state lines, this ruling is a victory for consumers in Ohio and throughout the U.S.”