Bovine hormone cuts down methane gas

09-07-2008 | |
Bovine hormone cuts down methane gas

The genetically engineered hormone: recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) may have hidden environmental benefits, according to new research in the US.

The hormone is sometimes used to boost milk production. However, giving animals the hormone cuts their emissions
of the potent greenhouse gas methane by 7% per litre of milk, says author
Judith Capper of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and her colleagues, two
of whom have financial links with the drug’s manufacturer, Monsanto. Switching a
million cows onto somatotropin would be equivalent to taking 400,000 family cars
off the road.

However, the use of the recombinant supplement has been
controversial. While it is used in the United States, it is banned in Canada,
parts of the European Union, Australia and New Zealand. So if this is the
solution to cut greenhouse gases remains to be seen.

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