Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

New Milk Development Council Campaign Endangers Women's Health

Release date: 
Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A new campaign launched today by the Milk Development Council (MDC), and funded by British taxpayers, which aims to increase dairy consumption amongst young women has been labelled irresponsible and dangerous by the vegan campaign group Viva!

Regular intake of dairy products is increasingly being linked to serious diseases such as: breast, prostate and ovarian cancers; coronary heart disease; diabetes; Crohn's disease; arthritis; gallstones and even osteoporosis " the precise disease we are told drinking milk will prevent! Sensitivity to dairy products is also responsible for many common ailments such as asthma, eczema, ear infections, migraines, gastro-intestinal problems (including flatulence, constipation and diarrhoea) and acne.

The "3 million MDC campaign will try to persuade teenage girls that consuming more dairy products will lead to "Natural Beauty', but recent research has found that regular milk intake " especially skimmed milk " is associated with teenage acne. The hormonal content of milk, which includes oestrogen, progesterone and androgen precursors, is believed to have a biologic effect in girls which causes acne " but may also increase the risk of other hormonally sensitive diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer. Claims that dairy products are essential for healthy bones have also been brought into question by new research which found that dairy products do not promote bone health in children and adolescents (Pediatrics, March 2005). Instead, activity during adolescence was shown to have a much greater influence on bone health than calcium intake.

Viva! campaigner, Toni Vernelli says: "The Milk Development Council is wholly irresponsible for jeopardising the health of young women by encouraging them to consume milk and other dairy products. Research continually shows that dairy products are not essential for human health and are in fact linked to many of our most serious diseases, particularly breast and prostate cancer. The fact that this mis-education campaign is funded by taxpayers simply adds insult to the injury that it will cause'.

For more information contact:
Toni Vernelli, Senior Campaigner, Viva! or
Juliet Gellatley, Director, Viva!on 0117 944 1000 .

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