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FDA APPROVES SUPPLEMENTAL BST; DAIRY MANAGEMENT TOOL ENHANCES PRODUCTIVITY

 ST. LOUIS, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Monsanto Company's (NYSE: MTC) supplemental bovine somatotropin (BST), a new dairy production tool that helps cows produce milk more efficiently, was approved today by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company said.
 "Those dairy farmers who use supplemental BST in their herds will be producing the same high-quality, wholesome milk they always have -- but they will be doing it more efficiently than ever before," said Walter P. Hobgood, vice president of Monsanto's Animal Sciences Division.
 "American farmers have traditionally sought innovative ways to improve production efficiency," Hobgood said. "That's why we enjoy the safest, least expensive and highest-quality food supply in the world."
 "This has been one of the most extensively studied animal drug products to be reviewed by the agency," FDA Commissioner David A. Kessler, M.D., said in a statement today.
 FDA convened two advisory panel meetings, in March and May of this year, to consider the possibility of antibiotic residues in milk from BST-supplemented cows and the need for product labeling. Today, the agency concluded that labeling will not be required and that, in the words of Kessler, "the public can be confident that milk and meat from BST-treated cows is safe to consume."
 The product has also been examined in numerous scientific journals, such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Science, and by independent authorities including the National Institutes of Health, the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization.
 Studies have shown that dairymen with herds of all sizes can readily include supplemental BST as part of their overall program to increase profitability.
 Monsanto's supplemental BST product will be sold under the trade name POSILAC(R). Because of a provision in the budget bill passed by Congress in August, there will be a 90-day delay in the initiation of commercial sales of POSILAC.
 Milk from BST-supplemented cows is unchanged. Small amounts of BST, a protein hormone, are found naturally in all milk. Supplemental BST use does not alter the amount of BST already present in the milk.
 WHAT CONSUMERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SUPPLEMENTAL BST
 1) The milk is the same. Milk from BST-supplemented cows is the same in every way -- including safety, composition, taste and nutrition -- as milk from other cows.
 2) BST occurs naturally in all milk. BST has been a part of every drop of milk -- in very small amounts -- ever produced by cows. The use of supplemental BST does not change the level of BST found in milk.
 3) BST is a protein. BST is a protein -- not a steroid -- hormone. It is digested like any other protein.
 4) Independent panels confirm safety. The National Institutes of Health, World Health Organization, American Medical Association and American Dietetic Association are among the organizations, in addition to the Food and Drug Administration, that have confirmed the safety of milk and meat from BST-supplemented cows.
 5) The safety of supplemental BST is recognized by other milk- producing nations. Over 30 nations, including France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Spain, have determined that meat and milk from supplemented cows is safe. Currently, supplemental BST is sold commercially in Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and other nations.
 -0- 11/5/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: POSILAC(R) is a registered trademark of Monsanto Company./
 /CONTACT: Tom McDermott, 314-694-3605 or 202-783-2460, or Lisa Watson, 314-694-6383, both of Monsanto/
 (MTC)


CO: Monsanto Company; Food and Drug Administration ST: District of Columbia, Missouri IN: AGR CHM SU:

DT-DC -- DC030 -- 1428 11/05/93 18:09 EST
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Date:Nov 5, 1993
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