ST. LOUIS - One of the nation's largest retail grocery chains has announced plans to switch to milk free of synthetic [genetically engineered] hormones.
The announcement Wednesday from Kroger Co. is another blow to Monsanto Co., which already had been reducing inventory of its milk production-boosting hormone as Starbucks Coffee Co. and other retailers rejected it.
Monsanto markets the hormone rBST, or recombinant bovine somatotropin, under the brand name Posilac. The Food and Drug Administration and the company insist the hormone is safe.
Kroger said consumer preference prompted its decision. The retailer began moving toward rBST-free milk this year in Louisiana and Texas stores. By February, Kroger plans to sell only milk certified as free of synthetic hormones at the 2,458 stores it operates in 31 states