Animal Writes
3 May 2000 Issue
Robert Cohen Testimony to USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee

The following is testimony given by Robert Cohen on 3/10/2000

(Under-secretary Eileen Kennedy had instructed each speaker to state his/her name, organization, and source of funding -- Robert had three minutes to speak, and had no prepared statement):

Our next presenter is Mr. Robert Cohen.

MR. COHEN: Thank you. I'm Robert Cohen. I'm with the Dairy Education Board.

We have a shoestring budget, and I pay for the shoestrings.

I'd like to ask you, since this is the first time I've ever been asked who funds me, who funds you, Dr. Kennedy? Who funds you, Dr. Watkins and Lurie and Huberto Garza who's listening on the telephone?

Dr. Kennedy, you said that this is an open and transparent process. Americans know how transparent it is.

Ms. Lurie, you said there's a history of collaboration.

Dr. Watkins, you travel America speaking to trade organizations. It's on the internet. Native American, you go to South Dakota and North Dakota to Indian Reservations and tell them how they need more milk and cheese and you're going to give it to them.

This is a transparent process.

We know, Dr. Kennedy, that you're on the Board of Directors of a research organization funded by Dannon Yogurt.

We know Huberto Garza, that you get $500,000 a year from USDA as a line item. At Cornell University you work for the Dairy Council. And Joanna Dwyer who worked on this food dietary guideline committee worked for the dairy industry as did Rachel Johnson and Roland Weinster and Richard Deckelbaum and it goes on and on, Scott Grundy. All connections to the dairy industry. What's going on here?

The first part, I want to tell you that we're not pleased about these conflicts of interest. I sat with the Vice President of the United States yesterday and with Senator Barbara Boxer, and we're all not pleased about these conflicts of interest.

Can't you come up with a committee that doesn't have these conflicts?

Milk. Eighty percent of milk protein is a substance called casein, C-A-S-E-I-N. That's the glue they use to hold together the wood in this podium. You eat casein you produce histamines you make mucous. We've got soaring rates of asthma and diabetes, breast cancer.

The New York Times last week had a full page article in their science section that breast cancer rates in women are soaring. Thousands of things cause breast cancer. The key factor in its growth, the only hormone in nature exactly alike between two species, IgF-1 human and cow, has been identified as the key factor in breast cancer.

We've got our children in the schools. You talk about cholesterol and animal fats. You know they're dangerous. You take the combined intake of dietary cholesterol from cheese, milk, butter, ice cream, for the average American its equal to the same amount of cholesterol contained in 53 slices of bacon. That's today's intake. That's, 19,345 slices a year. By age 52 the same cholesterol in a million slices of bacon.

You've got to examine, you've got a hearing, an obesity hearing coming up in America and you've got to examine the 29.2 ounces a day or 666 pounds per American of milk and dairy products that we're eating and how intolerant that is, especially to African Americans.

Robert Cade, University of Florida, attributed one natural hormone in milk - casomorphine as the reason for attention deficit disorder and autism. One out of three kids in our Washington schools are on ritalin.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.


And the one question you directed to us, I will answer. We are funded by the American taxpayer. 

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