Following discussions with the authorities, Woolworths is in the process of changing its packaging.

We have agreed in the interim to remove the rBST statements from our packaging with stickers and amended our labels. Woolworths eliminated the use of rBST from Ayrshire dairy cows in 2000 in response to customer concerns.

BST is a naturally occurring protein hormone produced by dairy cows to regulate their milk production. BST is present in all milk. BST can be artificially manufactured and used to treat dairy cows to increase their milk production. This is known as rBST.

We independently audit our suppliers to ensure that they do not administer the artificial hormone (rBST) to dairy cows. As a result, a large proportion of Woolworths dairy products were initially labelled as ‘rBST free’.

We include rBST statements on our labels to inform our customers, but only where the production process is strictly audited to ensure the factual accuracy of the statement. We pride ourselves in providing customers with information they require to make informed buying choices.

We have placed a sticker over the rBST information as an interim measure while the statement is being removed. The sticker will start appearing on labels from Friday 21 February 2014.

Zyda Rylands, MD of Foods at Woolworths said, “Customers are assured that we’re changing the label for now and not the milk. We look forward to working with the authorities to update the packaging with alternative wording.”