in World News

Canadian Dairy no Steroids or Hormones

dairy breeds in canada

I was recently told that all milk from Canada, regardless if it’s organic or regular, does not contain any steroids, growth hormones, or antibiotics. Is this true?

Asked by: Corinna

Canadian milk, regardless of whether it is organic or conventional milk, undergoes strict milk quality production procedures and rigorous testing and to assure that you have the highest quality milk to enjoy.

Antibiotics, Growth Hormone and Steroids

If a dairy cow is being treated for an illness and is taking antibiotics, she is temporarily removed from the milk producing herd and her milk is discarded. Once she has recovered and the antibiotics have cleared her system, her milk is again suitable for human consumption. All milk is rigorously tested for antibiotics prior to it being accepted at the milk processing plant. If milk contains traces of antibiotics, the milk is dumped and the producer is penalized.

As we answered in Bea’s Question, growth hormones to stimulate milk production in dairy cows are not permitted for use in Canada. This means that no milk, cheese or yogurt produced in Canada contains these added hormones. As we explained in our answer to Nick’s question, rBST, short for recombinant bovine somatotropin, is a type of artificial growth hormone that increases milk production. It is illegal for use in our Canadian dairy cows, but legal in the USA. If you want to be certain that the dairy product you would like to enjoy does not contain rBST, just look for the 100% Canadian Milk logo with the blue cow.

Milk Logo

Steroids can be used for medicinal purposes in dairy cattle health. They are issued as an aid in the treatment of dairy cow illnesses, such as milk fever and bovine ketosis, as well as an anti-inflammatory agent (like when you use Advil® to bring a fever down.) When administered, steroids are only given to cattle under veterinary direction, strictly for animal health purposes. The prescription’s label explains the proper dosages and milk withdrawal times that the cow needs to adhere to before she is brought back to the herd as a productive member once again.

Organic vs. Conventional Milk

The only difference between organic and conventional milk is the way in which the milk is produced, as we explained in our answer to Trina’s question. The term “organic” refers to production and processing practices.

Regardless of whether a dairy farmer uses conventional or organic milk production practices, all milk is tested in the same manner and to the same criteria. All dairy farmers in Alberta, and most of Canada, mandatorily participate in the Canadian Quality Milk program:

Canadian Quality Milk

The Canadian Quality Milk program (CQM), which is mandatory in most Canadian provinces, including Alberta, is a food safety program to help producers prevent and reduce food safety hazards and risks on their farms. The CQM program uses the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) approach. HACCP is a science-based, preventative approach to food safety that focuses on preventing and minimizing the risk of food safety hazards.

– See more at:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,