By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

Dioxins in milk and meat causes a panic in Belgium. America
takes minimal precautions.


It might have been a scene from a pre-nuclear war screenplay
or the worst case scenario from somebody's Y2K nightmare.
What actually happened in Belgium?  There was a panic.
Supermarket shelves were emptied and curfews were declared.
Citizens of Belgium discovered last month that milk, dairy
products, and meat were not safe to eat.


Contaminated fats used to supplement animal feeds were
implicated (but not proven) as being the cause of June's
European catastrophe.  A few months earlier, the World
Health Organization announced that 90% of dioxins that
humans take into their bodies come from milk, dairy
products, and meat.  Last week, a story out of Britain
revealed that mothers who nurse their infants have up to 50
times the safe level of dioxins in their breast milk.

Blaming high dioxin levels on one tainted batch of animal
feed is the easy solution to a potentially explosive
problem.  What would happen if the world's supply of milk
and meat were declared to be carcinogenic, severely tainted
by industrial wastes such as dioxins and PCBs
(polychlorinated biphenyls)?  Finding a scapegoat for the
dioxin scare is merely a simple Band-Aid for what might be a
growing systemic cancer.


The Food and Drug Administration ordered that all milk
products from Belgium be detained at American ports of
entry.  FDA's announcement placed the responsibility of
testing on importers of food.


Why doesn't FDA test the food?  Why must food importers
conduct the testing?  Is any agency in the United States
routinely testing American food for dioxins?  Is the
potential bad news answer something we'd rather not know?


The higher up an animal is on the food chain, the higher the
concentration of dioxins in its flesh and body fluids.

Rabbits eat plants after dioxins from the air find their way
onto leaves and roots.  If a hunter traps and eats a rabbit,
that animal flesh will contain the concentration of many
meals worth of dioxins.  If the hunter becomes a vegetarian,
his intake of dioxins will not be as high as the dioxin
intake of his fellow meat eaters.

The average American eats 6 ounces of meat every day and
29.2 ounces of milk and dairy products.

You are what you eat.  One pound of steak might contain a
thousand times more dioxins than one pound of salad greens.
This should be food for thought, particularly for nursing

Robert Cohen author of:   MILK - The Deadly Poison
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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