Monsanto has asked a federal court to stop Oakhurst Dairy of Maine from marketing milk with a label claim related to hormone use.

"Our Farmers' Pledge: No Artificial Growth Hormones," is the claim Oakhurst is using. Monsanto says it constitutes a "deceptive" business practice in that it attempts to convince consumers that milk without bovine growth hormone is better. The St. Louis-based chemical corporation launched BGH in 1994, and has filed similar lawsuits in the past.

Oakhurst Dairy, one of the largest processors in New England, boosted sales by banning BGH and paying dairy farmers a bonus not to use it. Supporters of BGH claim farmers' pledges are meaningless because there is no way to test for the substance.