Recombinant bovine and porcine somatotropin: Safety and benefits of these biotechnologies

T. D. Etherton, P. M. Kris-Etherton, E. W. Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This article reviews the literature about the safety and benefits of two recombinantly derived proteins, bovine somatotropin (bST) and porcine somatotropin (pST), that likely will be used in animal agriculture in the future. When administered to dairy cows, bST increase milk production per cow approximately 15% to 20% and improves productive efficiency approximately 10%. Administration of pST to growing pigs reduces carcass fat content by as much as 70% to 80% and improves productive efficiency 15% to 35%. Because meat is a major source of total fat and saturated fatty acids in the diets of human beings, pST will allow consumers to include leaner, more nutrient-dense pork in their diets and still meet current dietary guidelines. Although these biotechnologies have not yet received regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial use, information published by the FDA, the National Institutes of Health, the US Congress Office of Technology Assessment, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as an extensive body of scientific evidence, indicate that these products are safe for the consumer. Nonetheless, it is important that consumers understand the benefits and safety of these biotechnologies. Dietitians can play an important role in providing information to consumers about the safety and benefits of bST and pST.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-180
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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