By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

Harlem asthma survey said:

One Out of Four Harlem Kids Has Asthma

"Many cases of asthma and sinus infections are reported to
be relieved and even eliminated by cutting out dairy."

Frank Oski, M.D., Chief of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins
Medical School Natural Health, July, 1994

Saturday's Page One New York Times story (4/19/03) confirmed
everything I've been writing since 1995. One out of four
children in Harlem tests positive for asthma.

Scientists were shocked by the latest data. According to the
New York Times, that frequency of asthma is more than double
the incidence rate which researchers expected to find.
America's national average asthma rate runs about six
percent, or nearly one out of seventeen.

Scientists tested 2000 children under the age of 13 living
in one 24-block New York City Harlem neighborhood and found
that 25.5% of the kids had asthma. The researchers are
clueless as to the cause, but have observed that the asthma
rate has doubled since 1980.

Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children's Zone,
the study's sponsor, said:

"This is a very poor community where a lot of the families
have very troubled lives, with lots of stresses..."

For many children, living in Harlem means living below the
poverty level. USDA runs an anti-nutrition program called
WIC (Women/Infants/Children). The foundation of WIC's food
giveaway program is subsidized milk and dairy products,
purchased at retail to bail out failing dairy farmers who
have no other outlet for their surplus product.

Our government also feeds 28 million school kids each day
with their National School Lunch Program and School
Breakfast Program (SBP). Those milk meal giveaways cost over
6 billion dollars per year, which does not include the cost
of medical treatment for asthma attacks and asthma medicine.

In attempting to explain exploding asthma rates, the New
York Times article reports:

"Some of the worst triggers, studies have found, are most
prevalent in poor communities, including the feces of
cockroaches and dust mites, cigarette smoke and mold and
mildew. Harlem, East Harlem and the South Bronx also have a
heavy concentration of diesel bus and truck traffic, and the
tiny particles in diesel exhaust are thought to be another
serious asthma trigger."

Environmental considerations are all very important, of
course, and everybody wants more than one breath of fresh
air each day, but not one of the factors cited by the Times
has doubled since 1980. One factor, though, not considered
by researchers, has more than tripled. In 1980, the average
American was eating just ten pounds of cheese per year.
Today, the average American consumes thirty-one pounds of

Eighty percent of milk and cheese protein is casein. When
casein is isolated from milk, it becomes the glue to adhere
a label to a bottle of beer. Casein is the glue used to hold
together wood in furniture. When a child living in Harlem
eats cheese or ice cream, this allergy-causing milk protein
triggers the production of histamines, which in turn create
mucus. Sometimes, the reaction takes as long as 12 hours.
Tonight's slice of pizza may trigger tomorrow's asthma

Asthma is not the only result. Milk hormones interfere with
a child's ability to learn. It is a wonder that only one out
of four kids living in poverty have asthma. Perhaps the
other three are fortunate enough to be severely lactose
intolerant, and avoid complimentary bovine secretions like
the plague.

Ninety-five percent of African-Americans cannot tolerate
lactose. Pizza and ice cream taste delicious on the way into
their bodies. Lactose is a sugar and most people need the
enzyme lactase to break down lactose into glucose and
galactose. Intact, this sugar is broken down in the
intestines by bacteria and the results are gas, bloating,
and intestinal distress.

Milk contains powerful hormones. Rates of sexual maturity in
children are astounding endocrinologists and behavioral
psychologists. A recent study revealed that eighty percent
of nine-year-old African-American girls have developing

Children are becoming overweight at an early age. By eating
high caloric food with growth hormones and saturated animal
fat, the body has a way of listening to the signals of those
chemical messengers: Grow!

One out of five children has Attention Deficit Disorder

A recent study in the Journal of Autism linked ADD with a
milk protein, casomorphin.

Herman Mitchell, an asthma researcher and epidemiologist,
has this comment regarding the shocking Harlem asthma data:

"This is certainly one of the highest rates attributed in
the United States, if not the highest."

With that inspiring comment, I decided to take advantage of
a lull in New York City's perpetual traffic jam. Easter
Sunday afforded such an opportunity. It would not be
practical for me to enter the schools and follow 2000 kids,
but I could perform my own completely unbiased observation
of Harlem. I drove from my New Jersey home to the 125th exit
off of the West Side Highway, and soon found myself in "the

Our New Jersey neighborhood has one pizzeria, and we once
had an ice cream store, but it closed for lack of business
in January of this year. We have cigarette smokers, mice,
and insects, but there is no WIC service in our school
systems. Little or no poverty can be found in Oradell, New
Jersey. No subsidized daily dairy overdoses for our

Dairy is a major part of Harlem's in-school food culture.
That same bad habit has become an addiction of the streets.

The study area was bounded by 116th Street, 123rd Street,
Fifth Avenue and Eighth Avenue. There were just too many
dairy outlets to count. I took notes as I drove, and gave up
on 116th Street. I found Domino's Pizza, and Baskin Robbins
Ice Cream. Krispy Kreme Donuts and fast food franchises
serving shakes and cheeseburgers. As I drove through the
streets, I observed hundreds upon hundreds of quick-fix
dairy foods providing after school treats.

The poorest children in America begin their day at schools
with milk and cereal for breakfast. Snack time provides
chocolate milk  and cookies. Lunch means macaroni and cheese
or pizza. The casein within the mozzarella cheese and
cheddar insures poor digestion, and sets into motion a
reaction by which the bronchioles of a child's lungs clog
with mucus.

Here is what happened to one very famous American who lived
and died by the milk mustache. Flo Jo choked on her body
fluids, dying from an asthma attack. Her autopsy:

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

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