Nutrition Experts Tell Top U.S. Official to Wipe Off Milk Mustache
PCRM, CSPI, and Others Call for KeepingCommercial Promotions at Arm's Length
WASHINGTON—Federal officials should "just say no" to participating in commercial food promotions, say nutrition experts with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and Cornell University. The coalition of health experts is criticizing Duane Alexander, M.D., the director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, for appearing in the $180-million milk-mustache ad campaign this past January. In a letter to Dr. Alexander, the nutrition experts today call for the director and his agency "to keep all commercial interests at arm's length."
"Dr. Alexander's involvement in the heavily commercial milk-mustache campaign is completely inappropriate given his agency is supposed to conduct unbiased studies into childhood diseases, some of which may be caused by milk consumption," says PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D.
Milk is the single biggest source of fat in a child's diet, and a mounting body of evidence shows that dairy product consumption contributes to a wide range of health problems from Type 1 diabetes, obesity, and prostate cancer to anemia, constipation, and asthma. Moreover, the vast majority of the world's population is unable to digest milk lactose and suffers intestinal problems as a result.
In January, PCRM unveiled a new educational campaign (www.StrongBones.org) to dispel dairy industry myths about how much calcium children need as well as milk's ability to build bones. An ad featuring a crumbling plaster milk carton with the headline, "Milk. It's not all it's cracked up to be," debuted in January on USAToday.com and is slated to run elsewhere later this summer.
PCRM's campaign teaches parents that the real threats to children's bone health are not too little milk—as the dairy industry claims—but too much salt and animal protein coupled with a lack of exercise and sunlight.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.