Did you know? All milk produced in Oregon & Washington is guaranteed rBST free

by Angela Davis on June 21, 2010

I received this email from a reader who is a dairy farmer on the issue of rBST in milk:

I thought you might find it interesting to know that ALL milk products produced in Oregon and Washington will be guaranteed rBST free. The stores still market BST free milk for a much higher price, but it is illegal for dairies in OR and WA to administer the rBST hormone to their cows. (It’s been illegal over a year now).

To be sure your milk is from Oregon or Washington, check the back of your gallon. Under the expiration date there will be a tracking number. A dairy from Oregon will start with the number 41, a dairy from Washington will start with the number 53. I believe butter can be tracked the same way.

If I understand this correctly, not all milk sold in Oregon and Washington is rBST necessarily free, just the ones produced in the two states. This is also an easy way to know if you’re supporting a local farmer and your local community.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula J March 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Total crock of crap. There is alot of milk produced in WA and Or that has RbST, just ask many milk truck drivers. Milky Way facilitys, foir example,,, where milk is taken from the farm to the plant for processing have tanks especially marked for RbST milk.

Where that milk goes or what is done with it is vast and varied. Much of it is actually synthesized down to it’s various protein chain molecules and used in many different industries including carriers for different medication, food additives, colorings, etc.

But the point of this article is trying to convince people that RbST milk is not made in Wa. or Or… which is simply not true.
If you do want RbST milk off the shelf try California or Arizona, where the cows live their entire short lives on concrete, and are bought and sold with out so much of a thought about the fact that they are just slightly more than a commodity like electricity or potatos… They are a living creature that does actually form herd/ friend bonds and they do express charector, fear, affection or familiarity at least.

RbSt is also bad for cows. It burns them out very quickly…. virtually all body functions are sped up, and they pre-maturely age… faster than most people realize.

I am totally Pro-Dairy. I grew up farming. But people need to look beyond their own health in this to see what it is also doing to these poor gracious and kind (although goofy and dumber than a box of rocks some times) creatures…

I will now conceid my place on the soap box.



Amanda Meredith November 4, 2010 at 1:51 pm

I’d like to know where you sourced this information from. Thank you.


Ryan October 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Can anyone tell me what the RCW is for this law? I think all questions will be answered there. I am very curious. I was buying organic milk for my one year old to avoid extra hormones and then someone who works for a state run organization told me that mild produced in Washington was required by law to be “hormone free.” Anyway, this is one of the only pages on the web I found mentioning it and I’d like some more complete info.


Owen October 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Why is the picture of Connecticut milk?


Bethany August 10, 2010 at 10:53 pm

What about other dairy products? Is rsbt banned for milk used to produce cheese and butter, or just for fluid milk?


Summer September 25, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Bethany- In my quest to affordably go organic, I am starting with milk and will branch out to other dairy and then produce later.

For now, here is what I do know:
rBST stands for recombinant bovine somatotropin. The bovine part means it is used on cows. Also known as: bST, BST, BGH, rBGH (BGH is for “bovine growth hormone”)



Summer September 25, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Hmm I’m tired right now. Guess I didn’t answer your question since I was focusing on the first sentence about other dairy and thinking of chicken eggs.


Laura June 23, 2010 at 1:29 am

So, I just checked my gallon of milk from Safeway. The number under the expiration date starts with 41, which should mean that it is from Oregon, however, the label says “Distributed by Lucerne Foods, Inc. PO Box 99, Pleasanton, CA 94566-0009” So does this mean that it is from California???

PS – it is “Dairy Glen” brand, but like I mentioned above, it says Distributed by Lucerne Foods, which does mean that it is the same as the more expensive Lucerne milk.


Jen June 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

That is so great to know! I will make more of an effort to buy local dairy products.


Kelly June 21, 2010 at 10:18 am

Excellent info Angela, thank you


Heidi June 21, 2010 at 9:57 am

Also good to note. Our dairy guy at the local Safeway said that the Lucerne and the Dairy Glen are all the same milk from the same source. Don’t pay more for Lucerne!
I also called a local dairy and they confirmed the same information about rBST. Buy local and you’re OK.


dawn June 21, 2010 at 9:48 am

What a great thing to know. However, all the Smart Balance milk I have been buying lately is not Oregon or Washington. darn.


Kim June 21, 2010 at 9:16 am

Wow, great information. Thanks!


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