By John McDougall, MD
The Dairy Industry is really big business, with sales of over $11
billion for milk and $16 billion for cheese annually in the USA alone,
so you might expect hard line marketing from them, but would you expect
them to aggressively sell their products if they were known to be
harmful to people, especially to women and children?
The Dairy Management Inc., whose purpose is to build demand for dairy
products on behalf of America's 80,000-plus dairy producers, has just
released the Dairy Checkoff 2003 Unified Marketing Plan (UMP) with a
budget of $165.7 million. (1)
The United Marketing Plan explains, "This ongoing program area
(referring to the section Dairy Image/Confidence) aims to protect and
enhance consumer confidence in dairy products and the dairy industry. A
major component involves conducting and communicating the results of
dairy nutrition research showing the healthfulness of dairy products, as
well as issues and crisis management." (1)(Most likely, I fall under the
heading of "issues and crisis management.")
A significant portion of the money from the 2003 Unified Marketing
Plan is specifically targeted to children ages 6 to 12 and their
mothers. The goal is "to guide school-age children to become life-long
consumers of dairy products, 2003 activities will target students,
parents, educators and school foodservice professionals." (1) (Similar
words and intentions have been attributed to the tobacco industry.) All
this marketing is working, too: annual fluid milk consumption among kids
6 to 12 increased to 28 gallons per capita, the highest level in 10
years. Children under 18 drink 46% of the milk consumed in the USA.
Realize that when I say milk in this article, I'm also implicating
all dairy products that are made from milk: non-fat milk, low-fat milk,
buttermilk, cheeses, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream, whey, kefir, and
butter. All of them share a similar nutritional profile (plus or minus
the fat, protein, and sugar), and as a result, all of them contribute to
a wide range of health problems.
Will the UMP Inform You of the Contamination? E. Coli, AIDS and
Last month I left you with some very disturbing facts about the
contamination of milk with loads of bacteria and millions of white blood
cells (pus cells) which are there to help fight off the infections found
in cows and milk (see the April 2003 Newsletter found at
Will the 2003 Unified Marketing Plan specify money to inform you of
this upsetting information? You will never see an advertisement with a
famous movie star proudly wearing a white mustache, properly labeled as
containing 300,000 white blood cells and 25,000 bacteria.
Dairy products were the foods most often recalled by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) from the period October 1, 1993 through
September 30, 1998 because of contamination with infectious agents,
mostly bacteria. (2)
They are commonly tainted with disease-causing bacteria, such as
salmonella, staphylococci, listeria, deadly E. coli O1573 and
Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (4) (possibly one of the agents causing
Crohn's disease; a form of life-threatening chronic colitis), as well as
viruses known to cause lymphoma and leukemia-like diseases, and immune
deficiency in cattle.
AIDS and Leukemia Viruses Dairy cattle are infected with bovine
immunodeficiency viruses (BIV) and bovine leukemia viruses (BLV),
worldwide. (Bovine immunodeficiency viruses can also be properly
referred to as bovine AIDS viruses.)
In the United States, results show an average 40% of beef herds and
64% of dairy herds are infected with BIV. (5)
In Canada (6-7), the infection rate is 70% and in Argentina (8) the
rate is 84% for BLV.
Herds infected with the BIV are usually infected with the leukemia
virus (BLV) also. (5)
Both viruses can cross species lines thus infecting other animals,
like sheep, goats, and chimpanzees ‚*" and they develop disease. (5)
Nationwide and worldwide, leukemia is more common in the higher dairy
consuming populations. (9,10)
An increased incidence of leukemia has been found among dairy farmers
in multiple studies. (11-14)
BIV infection has been reported in a person. (15)
The bovine leukemia virus has been classified in the same group as
the Human T-cell Leukemia/Lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), which is
known to cause leukemia and lymphomas in humans (Adult T-cell
BIV is structurally and genetically closely related to human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type-1 (the virus causing human AIDS). (17)
Pasteurization kills many types of microorganisms, but it is not
foolproof. There is also concern that pasteurization may break the
viruses into fragments that may become even more dangerous. (18)
Has it been shown that the bovine AIDS and/or leukemia viruses will
infect you and cause disease? No. Nor has it been proved that they will
not. Compared to the efforts to try to convince you of the bone-building
benefits of milk, almost nothing has been spent to establish whether or
not it is safe to feed your family dairy products teeming with bovine
immunodeficiency and bovine leukemia viruses (and/or viral fragments).
Some countries take this matter very seriously. For example, in many
European countries, health officials have conducted programs to
eradicate infected herds; Finland' program has successfully eradicated
BLV from its cattle. (19)
If you live in a region with a high incidence of herd infection with
these viruses you can be pretty sure you will be consuming dairy
products containing whole viruses or fragments of these viruses, since
the milk from many dairy farms is mixed in large vats at the dairy
factory before processing and packaging. Since the industry will not act
responsibly in many countries, consumers are left with one choice:
eliminate all dairy products from their diet. If eliminating dairy
products would prevent even a small risk of human disease, it would be
well worthwhile, especially since, as you learned in the April 2003
McDougall Newsletter, they are completely unnecessary for excellent
Will the UMP Market the Pain and Suffering Caused Children?
The Dairy Management Inc. has specifically targeted children in their
campaign. (1) This will raise no public concern, because most people
consider cow's milk the healthiest of all food choices, especially when
it comes to children. Over 25% of children are overweight in Western
countries and cow's milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, and sour
cream, with all their fat and calories, contribute greatly to this
deadly epidemic. Many of these overweight children are now developing
type-2 diabetes. However, the most common variety of diabetes found in
children is still type-1 or insulin dependent diabetes (IDDM).
Type-1 Diabetes The evidence incriminating cow's milk consumption in
the cause of type-1 diabetes is sufficient to cause the American Academy
of Pediatrics to issue these warnings, "Early exposure of infants to
cow's milk protein may be an important factor in the initiation of the
beta cell (insulin-producing cells of the pancreas) destructive process
in some individuals." (20) "The avoidance of cow's milk protein for the
first several months of life may reduce the later development of IDDM or
delay its onset in susceptible people." (20)
Exposure to cow's milk protein early in life, when the intestinal
tract is immature, sometimes results in the milk protein entering the
blood stream where antibodies to this foreign substance, cow's milk, are
made by the immune system. Unfortunately, these same antibodies also
attack the insulin- producing cells of the pancreas. By glassful of milk
after spoonful of ice cream, over a period of about 5 to 7 years, the
child destroys his or her own pancreas ‚*" and is left with a lifelong,
life-threatening, handicap: diabetes. The pancreas is forever destroyed
and the child will have to take insulin shots daily. Complications, such
as blindness, kidney failure, and heart disease will be a real threat
during his or her shortened lifespan.(See my July 2002 McDougall
Newsletter for a discussion of type-1 diabetes).
Constipation Not as life-threatening as diabetes, but for some as
mentally and physically distressing, is chronic constipation. As a
doctor who has cared for hundreds of children, I can tell you they
suffer with pain, bleeding, hemorrhoids, and embarrassment. The causal
effects of cow‚*s milk were clearly demonstrated in a study of 65
severely constipated children published in the New England Journal of
These boys and girls complained of only one bowel movement every 3 to
15 days and many didn't even respond to strong laxatives (lactulose and
mineral oil). Forty-four of the 65 (68%) found relief of their
constipation when taken off the cow's milk. Evidence of inflammation of
the bowel was found on biopsy, and anal fissures and pain were commonly
associated with the constipation "elimination of the cow's milk solved
When cow's milk was reintroduced into their diet 8 to 12 months
later, all of the children developed constipation within 5 to 10 days.
For constipation alone, cow's milk should be banned from the School Milk
Rhinitis and Otitis Media The multitude of snotty-nosed kids
frequently visiting the pediatrician's office for ear infections is much
more obvious than the constipated crowd, and these problems less
devastating than type-1 diabetes, but these complaints also can be due
to consuming the foreign proteins intended for calves. (22-25) In
addition, these same children are likely to suffer from gastroesophageal
reflux, asthma and/or eczema from their unnatural habit of drinking
Diseases of Foreign Protein Many conditions can be traced back to
reactions to cow's milk. Milk contains more than 25 different proteins
that can induce adverse reactions in humans. (26) Our immune system
perceives these foreign proteins as alien invaders, like a virus or
bacteria, and launches an attack in response, as in the case of type-1
diabetes discussed above and many other allergic and autoimmune
DISEASES CAUSED BY, OR LINKED TO, DAIRY PROTEINS General: Loss of
appetite, growth retardation. Upper Gastrointestinal: Canker sores
(aphthous stomatitis), irritation of tongue, lips and mouth, tonsil
enlargement, vomiting, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), Sandifer's
syndrome, peptic ulcer disease, colic, stomach cramps, abdominal
distention, intestinal obstruction, type-1 diabetes. Lower
Gastrointestinal: Bloody stools, colitis, malabsorption, diarrhea,
painful defecation, fecal soiling, infantile colic, chronic
constipation, infantile food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome
(FPIES), Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis. Respiratory: Nasal
stuffiness, runny nose, otitis media (inner ear trouble), sinusitis,
wheezing, asthma, and pulmonary infiltrates. Bone and joint: Rheumatoid
arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Beheta's disease,
(possibly psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis). Skin: Rashes,
atopic dermatitis, eczema, seborrhea, hives (urticaria) Nervous System
(Behavioral): Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, autism,
schizophrenia, irritability, restlessness, hyperactivity, headache,
lethargy, fatigue, "allergic-tension fatigue syndrome," muscle pain,
mental depression, enuresis (bed-wetting). Blood: Abnormal blood
clotting, iron deficiency anemia, low serum proteins, thrombocytopenia,
and eosinophilia. Other: Nephrotic syndrome, glomerulonephritis,
anaphylactic shock and death, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS or crib
or cot death), injury to the arteries causing arteritis, and eventually,
atherosclerosis. References are available through the National Library
of Medicine, http://www.nlm.nih.gov - Search cow's milk and any of the
diseases listed above.
All dairy products contain milk proteins, including skim milk,
yogurt, cheese, and butter, and many butter substitutes. Milk proteins
are listed in packaged food products with a variety of names, such as
milk solids, skim milk powder, casein, caseinates, whey, and albumin.
Milk is also often put into packaged foods and not declared on the label
- this is illegal and punishable by FDA action.
Even with all of this disease in children the American School Food
Service Association and the dairy industry have developed a School Milk
Pilot Test to demonstrate that kids will drink more milk in school if
certain product enhancements are made. (27)
The result was milk sales increased by an average of 18 percent and
consumption increased by 35 percent when schools provided flavored milks
and other package enhancements. (28)
The UMP Will Try to Deceive You about the Fattening Nature of Dairy
"Independent research confirming dairy's role in weight reduction is
mounting," said Dr. Greg Miller, senior vice president of nutrition and
scientific affairs for the Dairy Checkoff. (29) "This helps to position
dairy foods as part of the solution to America's growing obesity
epidemic." And Miller added, "Informing the public about dairy's role in
the fight against obesity will help increase consumption of milk, cheese
and yogurt, among other dairy products."
Shouldn't the idea of milk acting as an "antiobesity" food strike you
as fundamentally contradictory? After all, the biologic purpose of cow's
milk is to provide large amounts of energy and nutrients to grow the
young animal from 60 to 600 pounds. So how does milk become a weight
loss product in the 21st century? This idea began with the observation
that underprivileged people, who have poor diets in general, are often
obese, and also consume few dairy products. (30) Some experiments that
followed showed people and animals on calorie- restricted diets lost a
small amount of extra weight when calcium or dairy foods were part of
The "antiobesity" effects of dairy are difficult to explain, but may
be due to calcium binding fat in the intestine, preventing its
A thorough search of the literature for properly designed studies
shows only one of 17 randomized studies found weight loss in people
taking calcium pills, and of the nine randomized studies where fluid
milk was added, two showed significant weight gain, and none showed
significant loss. (31)
In one study funded by a grant from the International Dairy Foods
Association, 204 healthy men and women were asked to increase their
intake of skim or 1% milk by three cups a day for 12 weeks; those
consuming the extra milk gained an average of 1.32 pounds (0.6 Kg). (32)
Can you imagine what their weight gain would have been if they had been
asked to add whole milk, cheese, butter, and ice cream to their diet,
instead of skim and low-fat 1% milk?
The result of all this research was well summed up by one of the
dairy industry's frequent spokespersons at the Dairy Management Inc.
sponsored Symposium: Dairy Product Components and Weight Regulation,
held April 21, 2002 in New Orleans, with this statement, "In conclusion,
the data available from randomized trials of dairy product or calcium
supplementation provide little support for an effect in reducing body
weight or fat mass." (31)
Yet the consumer will hear from Dr. Miller and the rest of the
industry, eat more dairy products and you will lose weight.
Dairy products are loaded with fats that are easily stored under your
skin as "body fat." The fats in the cold glass of milk, the little bite
of cheese, and that small bowl of ice cream will move from your lips to
your hips effortlessly. In fact, it moves with so little effort that the
chemical structure of the fat isn't even changed. Cow's milk contains a
unique kind of fat with double bonds located at the C-15 and C-17
position on the fat's carbon chain. Examination of a person's fatty
(adipose) tissues following a biopsy will show the amount of this kind
of fat present, which will be in direct proportion to the amount of
dairy products the person consumes. (33)
All that fat the dairy industry asks us to eat is associated with
higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and breast,
prostate, uterine and colon cancer. Yet, as a marketing scheme, the
dairy industry has teamed up with the National Medical Association to
write articles about "the role of dairy in helping reduce the risk of
heart disease, hypertension, and other serious health issues." (34)
The National Medical Association promotes the collective interests of
physicians and patients of African descent. Please explain to me how
this association came about when the vast majority of people of African
descent (80% to 90%) cannot drink milk because of lactose intolerance;
causing them diarrhea, stomach cramps and gas. (35)
Not only is this dairy fat unattractively worn and a health hazard,
but it is also a source of large quantities of environmental chemicals,
like dioxins and DDT, that affect your health and the health of a
mother's offspring during pregnancy and nursing. (36) One reason a young
girl needs to start thinking about a healthier diet early is because the
accumulation of these chemicals in her own body fat occurs over her
The UMP Will Try to Confuse You about Bone Health and Animal Protein
Osteoporosis is caused by several factors; however, the most
important one is diet; especially the amount of animal protein and acid
in the foods we eat. (37-39 0 The high acid foods are meat, poultry,
fish, seafood, and hard cheeses, parmesan cheese is the most acidic of
all foods commonly consumed." (40)
Once consumed, this food-derived acid must be neutralized in the
body. Fruits and vegetables can do this neutralizing (these foods are
alkaline in nature). However, because the diet of the average Westerner
is so deficient in fruits and vegetables and so high in acid foods, the
primary neutralizer of dietary acid becomes their bones. The bones
dissolve to release alkaline materials.
Worldwide, the highest rates of hip fractures are among populations
that consume the most animal food (including dairy products) like people
from the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
(41,42) The lowest rates are among people who eat little or no dairy
foods (these people are on lower calcium diets) like people from rural
Asia and rural Africa. (41,42)
The basic experiments published in the 1980s clearly show protein
causes bone loss, and calcium offers little or no protection. (43) Even
the foremost scientists hired by the dairy industry know protein is
harmful to the bones. (44) In my April 2003 Newsletter I explained there
was only one properly designed study testing the effects of fluid milk
on the bone health of postmenopausal women, and the results were: those
who received the extra milk for a year lost more bone than those who
didn't drink the milk. (44) The authors, funded by the National Dairy
Council, explained in their paper, "The protein content of the milk
supplement may have a negative effect on calcium balance, possibly
through an increase in kidney losses of calcium or through a direct
effect on bone resorption." Trying to explain why those receiving the
milk were in worse calcium balance, they said, "this may have been due
to the average 30 percent increase in protein intake during milk
Unfortunately, all this damning information does not sit well with
the powerful dairy industry, so they have started the "3-A-Day of Dairy"
program to battle the calcium crisis in America by promoting milk,
cheese and yogurt for "stronger bones" and they have been busy doing
their own research to prove protein is good for the bones. (45-48)
Regrettably for them, their designing means were just revealed in the
May 2003 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (49) The
article in this journal exposed the way they made the results show
protein is good for the bones. To devise research that appears to
contradict hundreds of articles published over the past 35 years, you
only have to provide sufficient alkaline material in the diet of the
people being studied to neutralize the acid from the animal foods. This
was accomplished by studying populations that have diets high in
neutralizing fruits and vegetables; the other approach employed was to
add a strong alkali source to the experiment, such as an antacid pill
(wafer), calcium citrate (like Citracal).
Once the acid from the food is neutralized, then any bone building
factors that might be present in meat and dairy can exert their effects.
High protein foods, and especially dairy foods, raise the levels of a
powerful growth-stimulating hormone in the body, called insulin-like
growth factor-1 or IGF-1. Stimulation of bone growth by this hormone is
now being offered as the reason dairy products build strong bones. It
has long been necessary for them to find a more scientifically
supportable explanation, because the bulk of the research shows the
calcium in dairy foods has little or no benefit for bone health. (50-52)
The UMP Will Not Promote the Fact that IGF-1 is a Powerful Cancer
Consumption of animal products increases the levels of insulin-like
growth factor-1 in your body. However, modern dairy technology has made
dairy products an even more potent source of this growth stimulant.
Since 1985, U.S. dairy farmers have been allowed to inject cows with
recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH), a genetically engineered
bovine growth hormone that increases milk production. RbGH treatment
produces an increase in IGF-1 in cow's milk, by as much as 10-fold.
(53,54) IGF-1 is not destroyed by pasteurization. (53) The overall
effect is that milk seems to raise IGF-1 levels in people more than any
other component of our diet. (55)
The direct evidence of the effects of cow's milk on IGF-1 levels in
people has been provided by the dairy industry's own efforts. Two recent
studies, one on adolescent girls and the other on post-menopausal women,
showed increasing milk consumption actually raises plasma levels of
IGF-1 in the person's body by an average of 10%. (56,57)
Their take on this is, "this is a beneficial effecT" because IGF-1
stimulates bone growth. But, the actual lasting consequences should
deliver the final deathblow to dairy products: IGF-1 promotes the growth
of cancer. This growth promoter has been strongly linked to the
development of cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, and colon. (58)
Excess IGF-1 stimulates cell proliferation and inhibits cell death - two
activities you definitely don't want when cancer cells are involved.
There is more to cancer promotion by dairy foods than IGF-1. Most
dairy products are high in saturated fat - and fat is the number one
suspect when it comes to the cause of most common cancers in Western
societies (for example, breast, prostate, colon, kidney, pancreas).
Recent studies have linked the sugar (lactose) and fat in milk with
ovarian cancer, (59,60) and the calcium in milk lowers concentrations of
a specific form of vitamin D that protects against prostate cancer,
raising men's overall risk. (61,62) (See my February 2003 Newsletter for
more information on diet and prostate cancer.) Hormones (estrogens) are
also involved in cancers of reproductive organs, like breast and uterine
cancer. There are several reasons dairy products raise a woman's hormone
levels causing a variety of hormone-dependent problems from early onset
of menstruation (menarche) to PMS and uterine fibroids - but one is
unique to cow's milk. Cows are milked even while they are pregnant. As a
result of the pregnancy, cows secrete high levels of estrogen into their
Will the UMP Advertise that Dairy Is Simply Liquid Meat?
Red meat has become a "dirty word" when it comes to health. At the
opposite end of the spectrum of opinions on food is cow's milk - one of
the world'S most trusted foods. Do you remember the "Basic Four Food
Groups?" Dairy was usually placed first in this chart which was hung in
every schoolroom (and by no coincidence the dairy industry also provided
Dairy products are deficient in iron and beef is deficient in
calcium; both contain too little dietary fiber, essential fat (linoleic
acid), and vitamin C and B3 (niacin) to meet human nutritional
requirements. (64) Heavy consumption of either of these food groups -
loaded with fat and cholesterol - will result in the diseases common to
affluent societies, such as obesity, heart disease, strokes, type-2
diabetes and cancer, to name just a few serious problems. (65)
If a patient bargained with me, "I'll give up only one of the first
two food groups "meat or milk" - hopes of getting well," my
recommendation for almost all common health problems in Western society
would be, "You're likely to get the most benefits if you give up the
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From Robert Cohen
Each year, just as white strawberry blossoms transform into
tiny green berries, and as spring days grow longer and warmer,
the milk industry declares June to be "National Dairy Month."
This year, one of America's most respected physicians, Dr.
John McDougall, honors the milk marketers with his own
very special tribute. I enjoy receiving Dr. John McDougall's
Internet newsletter. You can too. To subscribe, go to:
Thank you, Dr. McDougall!
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