A new Cornell University study, published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says using BST on one million cows saves 824 million kilograms of carbon dioxide, 41 million kilograms of methane and 96,000 kilograms of nitrous oxide.
In more understandable terms, use of BST on one million cows reduces the carbon footprint equivalent to removing some 400,000 family cars from the road or by planting 300 million trees. "Supplementing cows with BST on an industry-wide scale would improve sustainability and reduce the dairy industry's contribution to water acidification, algal growth and global warming,” says Judith Capper, lead author.
The authors also report that 8% fewer cows would be needed in the United States in an rBST population, while switching to totally organic production would require a 25% increase in cow numbers. The study was funded by Cornell University.