Are there antibiotics and growth hormones in Canadian milk?

No. 100% No. Canadian milk does not contain artificial growth hormones or antibiotics.

Maybe you’re hedging your bets and substituting alternative beverages on occasion. Well, you might be relieved to know that

  • They always ensure their milk is free of antibiotics.

While the administration of growth hormones (known as rBST or rBGH) is allowed in US dairy livestock, it is illegal in Canada and therefore not permitted for use with any dairy cows.


As for antibiotics, BC has some of the highest standards for milk production in the world with zero tolerance for antibiotic residue in both organic and conventionally produced milk. Farmers continually monitor their cows’ health in order to ensure their well-being. Cows need to be healthy and content in order to produce optimal amounts of high quality milk. When cows are sick and require antibiotic treatment, the milk they produce is discarded for a regulated period of time to ensure the milk collected at the farm is free of antibiotic residue.

Antibiotic Testing

Every, and we mean every, truckload of milk is tested before being unloaded at the processing plant. Milk samples are taken at every farm. If the sample contains antibiotics (because let’s face it no one is 100% perfect all the time), then the entire load is discarded and the farmer who contaminated the load is heavily penalized.

So, what kind of growth hormones and antibiotics are in milk?

NONE. Canadian milk has no artificial growth hormones and antibiotics. It is also nutritious—and chock-full of vitamins and minerals.

Extensive quality checks and testing ensure that BC—and Canadian—consumers purchase high quality, safe and nutritious dairy products.  For more details about milk production standards, check out the brochure “The Importance of Quality Milk”.

In Short, Canadian Milk is Pure. Have more questions about milk? Click on the links below for more info.

Top 5 Facts about Canada’s Dairy Industry

Does Pasteurization Destroy Nutrients in Milk

Where Can I Buy Raw Milk?

Why is Raw Milk Unsafe?

About BC Dairy

BC Dairy is a not-for-profit organization representing BC’s dairy farmers.