By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

Good Housekeeping Magazine's online health headline:

Men Need Milk Too

June 13, 2003

(Page Source) (if gone click here)

Good Housekeeping (GH) reports:

"The Dairy Council of California says recent studies have
linked the consumption of dairy foods by men with decreased
risk for...colon cancer. In 2003, 72,800 new cases of colon
and rectal cancers will be diagnosed in men. The American
Cancer Society estimates that over 28,000 men will die this
year from these cancers."

How does one earn the famous GH "Seal of Approval"? By
purchasing full page advertisements in their magazine,
that's how. A full page ad in GH will set you back $200,000,
and if that's not in your personal 2003 budget, take note
that America's milk producers have averaged one full-page
milkstache ad per issue through June of 2003. That's
$1,200,000 investested for their cause.

Let's examine the dairy industry's claim that milk
consumption lowers colon cancer risk as reported by Good
Housekeeping. The "recent" study referred to in the GH
article actually was published by the Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA) five years ago.

JAMA is America's most quoted medical authority. "According
to an article published in JAMA..." is a phrase that appears
in bundreds or more newspapers each month, heralding
blockbuster news. Every two weeks this journal is sent to
350,000 subscribers in the United States.

In 1998, three months before the study was actually
published (September 23/30, 1998 issue), the dairy industry
held a press conference in New York announcing this earth
shattering news:

"Drinking low fat milk prevents colon cancer!"

The senior author of the JAMA study, Peter Holt, MD,
gratefully acknowledged the support of the National Dairy
Council, which was kind enough to foot the bill for his
phony research.


This year, one out of 48 Americans will develop polyps in
his/her colon. Of those who develop polyps, the additional
risk of having that polyp develop into a colon cancer is
about 2 1/2 percent, or one out of 40. Therefore, this year
it is expected that one out of every 1,920 Americans will be
diagnosed with cancer of the colon. Holt's article was
titled: Modulation of Abnormal Colonic Epithelial Cell
Proliferation and Differentiation by Low-Fat Dairy Foods.
Publication of the study enabled the dairy industry to make
fraudulent claims about their product.

A review of the JAMA paper found that only seventy-three
people with polyps were studied, and not even one person was
diagnosed with colon cancer before or during the study. Less
than half of these "subjects" were given low-fat dairy
products containing calcium. Each of the human "laboratory
animals" went home and kept a journal regarding his/her
dairy consumption. Only one of these people was expected
(based upon cancer statistics) to get colon cancer, yet the
author and sponsor of the study placed great faith upon the
incorrect assumptions and conclusions. So great was this
fraud that that the dairy industry called a press conference
and then wined, dined, and milked the nation's media into
reporting their enormous lie.

JAMA was aware that they were participating in a fraud, and
tried to cover up evidence of milk mustache stains under
their noses. The title page of the "clinical investigation"
contains this news: "For Editorial comment see P. 1095."

I reviewed the actual study and was outraged. Reporters
rarely read scientific studies. That was clearly evidenced
by the conclusions reached by those reporting this story.
The editorial writer expressed both a sense of outrage and a
sense of humor. This scientific journal could not run as
coarse a headline as:

"Sh*t happens."  Instead, their classy satiric headline
read: "Proliferation Happens."

The author of the editorial, Dennis Ahnen, MD, in
criticizing the experimental methodology and conclusions of
Holt, wrote:

"The fundamental relationship of proliferation (growth) to
carcinogenesis (cancer) remains unclear...the value of
proliferative (growth) measurements for identifying high
risk subjects appears to be low...the reliability of
proliferative (growth) measurement in the colon is

This medical editorial writer and fellow physician also
criticized the experimental design and lack of professional
technique and ethics of the researchers by writing:

"The proliferative (growth) parameters measured were not
stable over time...many of the statistically significant
differences between the two groups (test subjects and
placebo) were due as much (to other factors than those
claimed by the researcher) to changes in proliferative
parameters in the control group as they were to changes in
the treatment group."

Dr. Ahnen's outrage clearly can be read between the lines:

"The timing of the proliferative changes also were not
consistent during the study by Holt et. al.  These types of
variability suggest that if there is a treatment effect from
low-fat dairy food, it is either too small or too variable
to be consistently detected..."

Dr. Ahnen, the JAMA critic, concludes that there is no way
to accurately measure what Holt and the dairy industry claim
to have measured.

Good Housekeeping should not place their "Seal of Approval"
on outrageous health claims because of advertising revenue.
They compromise more than just their own integrity when
doing so. Such lies and deceit for payment compromise the
health of Good Housekeeping's readers.

So what is the difference between Good Housekeeping and bad
housekeeping? In the case of bad housekeeping, one
occasionally sweeps dirt and dust and truth under the rug.
Good Housekeeping's rug may appear to be fresh and clean on
the outside, but that which they hide is gross filth.

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

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