In a case of the murmuring masses shifting the strides of giants, Starbucks is poised to embrace milk free of the bovine growth hormone rBGH. Only when you consider the number of lattes that America’s 5,668 Starbucks must run through on an average Monday morning do you begin to grasp the scope of the decision’s impact.

Starbucks has dropped rBGH-laden products in the West and New England, and stores in the rest of the country may follow shortly.

Poised to capitalize on this pivot: another corporate giant, Dean Foods. The company’s Alta Dena division sells non-rBGH milk in 47 states.

But is rBGH actually harmful to consumers? That’s no longer the issue. Although the health effects of the hormone are under contention, enough latte-slurpers have weighed in with an opinion that the slippery details are more or less irrelevant at this point.

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