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New Food Scandal: 100 farmers accused of using illegal BST hormone in dairy farms

Spain
Farmers were using Bovine somatotropin (BST), an artificial growth hormone to increase the production of milk on dairy farms. BST has been banned by the EU since January 2000, after an in-depth report was published in 1999 analysing in detail the various human health risks associated with BST.

According to reports today from La Voz de Galicia, a hundred people have been indicted by the Court No. 2 of Lugo, for crimes against public health and animal abuse.

Farmers were using Bovine somatotropin (BST), an artificial growth hormone to increase the production of milk on dairy farms. BST has been banned by the EU since January 2000, after an in-depth report was published in 1999 analysing in detail the various human health risks associated with BST.

BST increases the risk of health problems in cows, including clinical mastitis, reduced fertility, and reduced body condition.

According to the authorities thousands of cows in Galicia and other regions in Spain were being injected BST. "This is a highly dangerous and illegal hormone, their intention was to doubling their milk production."

The farms investigated were injecting cows BST as a common practice, given its low price and high generating profits. The hormone supposedly came from Mexico and was introduced illegally by a Spanish citizen.

It came in small packages and arrived to Barcelona airport - El Prat -, where apparently several authorities at Customs Control turned a blind eye. These people have also being indicted.

Animal Equality's spokesperson in Spain Sharon Nuñez said "We have yet again come across another food scandal, and this won't be the last one because these industries treat animals like milk-producing machines as a way of increasing their profits. These farmers have not only put consumers' health at risk, but have also committed acts of cruelty to animals."

Out of the hundred farmers accused, 60 belong to the province of Lugo (Galicia). The rest belong to A Coruña, Santander, Asturias, Lleida and other Spanish provinces which have a significant livestock industry.