Articles

Does Milk Contain Growth Hormones and Antibiotics?

Canadian dairy farmers do not use growth hormones such as BST or rBGH and ensure their milk is free of antibiotics.

While the administration of growth hormones known as BST or rBGH to dairy cows is allowed in the US, 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 antibiotics in milk. Farmers never stop monitoring their cows’ health in order to ensure their optimal 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 antibiotic-free.

Every truckload of milk is tested before being unloaded at the processing plant. If antibiotics are found, the entire load is discarded and the farmer who contaminated the load is heavily penalized. 

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 the brochure “The Importance of Quality Milk”.

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About BC Dairy

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