By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only
Consumer Union RUBBER STAMP

Consumers Union (CU) magazine's

Normally, the mother of all consumer safety organizations exists to protect the health interests of consumers.

These watchdogs of society rigorously test and analyze consumer products and report unbiased results to their readers.

The September, 2001 issue of Consumer Reports focused its usually unbiased eye upon the milk controversy. Instead of using a clear 20/20-style analysis of real science, Consumer Reports revealed that their editors and writers are astigmatic mono-chromatic deuteranopes.

In other words, they see fuzzy, their vision is clearly out- of-focus, and they're color blind.

Original CU article

In their biased milk analysis, they compromised their standards, sacrificed their integrity, and, in doing so, betrayed all consumers by ignoring the real scientific evidence.

Their review of milk consumption began with this question, aimed at critics:

Got Proof?

Such a question should have been aimed at the National Fluid Milk Producers (NFMP) who continue to make outlandish claims, not the critics.

Study after study, point after point, comment after comment, the Consumer Reports reviewers blindly accepted dairy industry propaganda published by the non-scientists at the dairy industry's public relations firm, BSMG.

They reviewed press releases and milk mustache ads and criticized the milk critics.

Consumers Reports reLIEd upon a study by Robert Heaney, M.D., to assess milk's bone-strengthening effects.

They ignored the fact that Dr. Heaney works for the dairy industry.

They cited the Harvard Nurse study, (78,000 participants), but selectively omitted a key observation of that study:

Women who drank milk and ate cheese as teenagers developed higher rates of pelvic and forearm fractures as adults.

Consumer Reports recommends that one eats 1000 milligrams per day of calcium, ignoring the fact that Eskimos eat 3500 milligrams per day and by age 40, most become crippled with osteoporosis.

Consumer Reports did not explore how animal protein creates an acid condition in the blood, which causes calcium bone loss.

The Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that dietary protein increases production of acid in the blood which can be neutralized by calcium mobilized from the skeleton. That reference and many others represent real science that the staff of biased Consumer Reports researchers neglected to review:

Consumer Reports utilized every bit of phony non-science- based marketing published by the dairy industry to reinforce milk myths.

Consumer Reports claims that milk is good for the heart, ignoring every bit of commonly held wisdom teaching that saturated animal fat and cholesterol do not do the cardiovascular system any good.

Heart researchers found that animal food groups were directly correlated to mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD), defined as sudden coronary death or fatal myocardial infarction, and vegetable food groups were inversely correlated with CHD mortality. Analysis showed significant positive correlation coefficients for butter (R = 0.887), meat (R = 0.645), pastries (R = 0.752), and milk (R = 0.600) consumption, and significant negative correlation coefficients for legumes (R = -0.822), oils (R = -0.571), and alcohol (R = -0.609) consumption.

That study and additional real science that Consumers ignores is cited:

When it comes to cancer, Consumer Reports completely ignores the advice of their own senior researcher, Michael Hansen, Ph.D. Dr. Hansen recognizes that milk contains insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), the key to cancer.

I've lectured with Hansen and respect his work.

There are hundreds of millions of different proteins in nature, and only one hormone that is identical between any two species. That powerful growth hormone is insulin-like growth factor, or IGF-I. IGF-I survives digestion and has been identified as the key factor in breast cancer's growth.

IGF-I is identical in human and cow. If you believe that breast feeding works to protect lactoferrins and immunoglobulins from digestion (and benefit the nursing infant), you must also recognize that milk is a hormonal delivery system. By drinking cow's milk, one delivers IGF-I in a bioactive form to the body's cells. When IGF-I from cow's milk alights upon an existing cancer, it's like pouring gasoline on a fire.

IGF-I plays a major role in human breast cancer cell growth. Consumer Reports contradicts their own expert by not even considering the following critically important evidence regarding breast cancer:

Scientists have found that the IGF-I system is widely involved in human carcinogenesis. A significant association between high circulating IGF-I concentrations and an increased risk of lung, colon, prostate and pre-menopausal breast cancer has recently been reported.

More science that Consumer Reports never accessed:

As for lactose intolerance, Consumer Reports promotes the antidote, lactase, while ignoring the real problems.

The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology reported that lactose malabsorption is a chronic organic pathologic condition characterized by abdominal pain and distention, flatulence, and the passage of loose, watery stools.

Researchers noted that the introduction of a lactose-free dietary regime relieves symptoms in most patients...who remain largely unaware of the relationship between food intake and symptoms.

The above study and many others regarding lactose consumption are cited here:

Consumer Reports explored whether milk is safe for kids. They ignore the advice of the most respected pediatrician in American history, Dr. Benjamin Spock, who said that no human child should ever drink cow's milk.

They ignored the advice of Dr. Frank Oski, once Chief of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins, who advised all people to not drink milk or eat dairy products. Oski wrote that at least 50% of all children in the United States are allergic to milk, many undiagnosed. Oski believed that dairy products are the leading cause of food allergy, often revealed by constipation, diarrhea, and fatigue. Dr. Oski found that many cases of asthma and sinus infections are eliminated by cutting out dairy.

More real science regarding juvenile illness that Consumer Reports ignored:

Consumer Reports has a clear agenda. They wish to preserve their subscriber base. People hearing that milk is unhealthy usually respond by attacking the messenger.

Consumer Reports could have performed a public service by fairly reviewing the milk controversy.

After all, the average American consumes 29.2 ounces of milk and dairy products per day. That's 666 pounds of milk per individual. I enjoy the significance and symbolism of that number, 666. That's the sign of something evil.

Consumer Reports gets this consumer's lowest rating for their gutless, biased, unscientific analyses of milk and dairy products. They've compromised all that they once stood for and have earned my complete distaste and lack of respect for what they now represent.

Robert Cohen author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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