He has also been a regular advisor to and spokesperson for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a group of some 5000 doctors and 100,000 non-physicians who promote healthy living through preventative medicine.
Dr. Vlasak and his wife Pamelyn Ferdin, a childhood actress of some renown, now reside in Southern California.
Despite a $180 million-a-year ad campaign, USDA support, and a powerful lobby, the dairy industry has been unable to stop the downward turn in milk sales and a growing concern about the risks of milk consumption. Although per capita milk consumption has fallen 25% since 1970, Americans continue to consume unhealthy amounts of dairy products as the federal government continues to promote dairy consumption.
But what are the facts about dairy?
Cow's milk contains three main nutrients: sugar or lactose; fat; and cholesterol, which are high in unhealthy calories and contribute to atherosclerosis. These nutrients are great for getting a baby cow to gain some 400 pounds in its first year of life. They are deadly for humans when consumed on a regular basis. There is absolutely no reason for humans, of any age, to drink cow's milk, just like we don't need dog's milk, or rat's milk, or giraffe's milk.
Milk for Children
As the late Benjamin Spock, M.D., wrote in his best-selling Baby and Child Care book, cow's milk is not necessary for children and, in fact, causes health problems in many, including asthma and ear infections. He also wrote, "I no longer recommend dairy products after the age of two years. Green leafy vegetables, beans, and fortified orange juice are healthful calcium sources, and plant-based diets help keep calcium in the bones and may actually reduce calcium loss via the kidneys."
The World Health Organization has consistently recommended 400-500 milligrams of calcium per day, and that is probably a reasonable amount, even though our own FDA recommends 1300 milligrams per day for kids. But the most important thing is not how much calcium kids take in. What matters is how much they keep in their bones. More on this later.
In our National School Lunch Program, milk is the only beverage that must be offered to children, each and every day. This is despite widespread knowledge that 70% of blacks, 80% of Asians and 50% of Hispanics have a genetic intolerance to lactose, while only 15% of Caucasians do. This represents racism in its most blatant form on behalf of the US Government against its own citizens, and PCRM is suing the federal government to stop this practice.
Osteoporosis is a disease that leads to a million and a half bone fractures a year, at a cost of $14 billion in health care and lost wages. Most people have been led to believe that osteoporosis comes from consuming too little calcium. In reality, exercise is far more important, as well as the amount of calcium actually retained (not consumed). Other nutrients like vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc help build bones, too. Smoking and immoderate alcohol consumption can weaken bones, and genetic predisposition can play a key role in bone health.
Proving cow's milk consumption is not a component in the prevention of weak bones, Harvard's large and continuing Nurses' Health Study has observed about 78,000 nurses over 12 years, asking them about their lifelong milk consumption, monitoring their diets and keeping track of their bone fractures. Contrary to expectations, this study confirmed that women who drank two or more glasses of milk a day had a "modest but significantly increased risk of hip and forearm fracture compared with those who drank less milk.
If one looks at intakes of calcium around the world, one will find the higher the intakes, the higher the osteoporosis rates.Dairy products don't protect against osteoporosis.
Cancer and Other Diseases
What Else is in Milk?
As you can see, humans have no need to consume cow's milk or dairy products, and these can be and are harmful to our health. In addition, dairy cows suffer horribly in confinement, are continuously impregnated to keep their milk production high, and their babies are taken away and raised as veal. Do yourself and the animals a favor, and stop drinking milk!