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.