The deputy chief of the Russian food safety authority has backtracked on claims that women who consume US milk from cows treated with bovine somatotropin (bST) are at risk of growing a moustache – admitting to DairyReporter.com that it “was a joke.”
Last week, Russian news outlet Rossiiskaya Gazeta published an interview with Dr Nikolai Vlasov, the deputy head of the Russian Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service (Rosselkhoznadzor).
In the article, Vlasov claimed that women who drink milk produced using bST “develop male sexual characteristics.”
“In the United States, dairy cows are treated with somatotropic hormones. As a result, the yield increases by 20%. And it makes women develop male sexual characteristics – whiskers grow,” Vlasov was quoted as saying.
Speaking with DairyReporter.com earlier today, Vlasov confirmed that women who drink US milk produced using bST are NOT at risk of developing unwanted facial hair.
He claimed that his comments were taken out of context.
“It was not a good joke, but it was a joke”
“I made a joke about a moustache,” Vlasov admitted. “What I said was that somatotropic hormones were still used to increase milk production in the US.”
bST is a drug based on a growth hormone naturally produced in cattle. It was approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to increase milk production in dairy cows in 1993 following extensive tests to determine whether its use would be safe and effective
“I then said that the use of somatotropic hormones was prohibited in Russia,” said Vlasov.
“The interviewer asked what effect this hormone would have on humans. For me, it was a funny question.”
“I said that hormones were used by bodybuilders, and that if a woman took them she would become like a man. I said that a woman who took hormones would grow a moustache,” said Vlasov.
“It was not a good joke, but it was a joke,” he added.
bST “not bioactive” in humans
Speaking with DairyReporter.com last week, the US National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) slammed Vlasov’s comments.
“First of all, he’s wrong,” said NMPF senior vice president of communications, Chris Galen. “Bovine somatotropin is not bioactive in humans.”
Speaking earlier today, Vlasov confirmed that bST is not bioactive in the human body.
“Somatotopic hormones are not bioactive in humans. Bovine somatotropin does not work in humans. I know that. All I said was that it was prohibited for use in Russia,” Vlasov said.