This month we review a book that focuses on the REAL STORY about the effects of dairy products on human health, animal welfare, and the planet.
The Disturbing Truth about Cow's Milk and Your Health
By Joseph Keon
New Society Publishers, 2010
The verdict is in. The jury had decided the dairy industry is guilty. Leading the prosecution is researcher Joseph Keon who has gathered the damning evidence showing that a glass of milk has repercussions affecting the health of humans, animals and the planet. He presents that evidence in a volume aptly titled Whitewash.
Keon accuses the dairy industry of promoting "the most destructive nutritional myth of all--the one that says that humans need the milk of a cow to be healthy." In a chapter titled "Cow's Milk and Human Disease" he provides evidence to show humans don't need dairy product to maintain a healthy lifestyle. His statements are backed by numerous research findings to support his conclusions.
Lactose intolerance is one of those dairy-related conditions that occur in large numbers within certain ethnic groups. While only 25% of American whites are lactose adverse, 100% of Vietnamese, 85% of Greeks, and 70% of African Americans have this intolerance.
But lactose intolerance is not the only ailment that may be linked to human use of dairy products. Keon cites research that reveals links between dairy consumption and heart disease, obesity, Crohn's disease, cataracts, breast and ovarian cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, tuberculosis, and even mad cow disease.
The author also discusses the role cow's milk plays in allergic response. "Cow's milk contains at least thirty proteins that can elicit an allergic response; the most common include casein, B-lactaglobulin (BLG), a-lactalbumin (ALA), bovine y-globulin (BGG), and bovine serum albumin (BSA)," he writes.
Contamination of milk and the effect on human health is another case where the public is not adequately informed. Most people would be surprised and shocked to find that a glass of milk likely contains rocket fuel. Tests conducted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture showed perchlorate (rocket fuel) in 31 of 32 samples. A similar FDA test found perchlorate in 217 of 232 milk samples from supermarkets in 15 states.
Perchlorate is just one contaminant found in milk. Others are flame-retardants, pesticides, industrial chemicals, aluminum, dioxin, and dry cleaning solvent. Bacterial contamination includes salmonella, listeria, and pus. Keon also dwells on hormones and antibiotics injected into cows to make them grow faster and larger and produce more milk. These hormones and antibiotics have had negative health effects on children and adults.
In a chapter titled "Cow's Milk and Children's Health," Keon demolishes health claims for milk while citing links between dairy products and a number of childhood ailments and diseases. Readers may be surprised to read the results of a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Researchers reviewed more than 12,000 children nationwide ages 9 to 14 and found "the more milk the children drank, the fatter they became. Children who drank low-fat milk were also at higher risk for weight gain, which suggests that the hormones in milk may be playing a bigger role than the fat itself."
Children's milk consumption signals other concerns for their health. Keon writes of links to autism, ear infections, eczema, asthma, colic, intestinal bleeding, constipation, colitis, and Type 1 diabetes.
According to the dairy industry, drinking milk is essential to provide sufficient calcium for bone health. Yet the author points out that osteoporosis is highest in countries that consume the most dairy products. "It appears our excessive calcium consumption, whether by way of foods or supplements, isn't helping our bones stay strong and healthy," he writes.
Keon's recipe for combating osteoporosis is less animal protein whose acidity robs the body of calcium. Instead he advocates more fruits and vegetables with their alkalinity to buffer the body against the acidity of the dairy products consumed. He also recommends weight-bearing exercise for their bone-building ability.
In Whitewash, Joseph Keon has successfully prosecuted the dairy industry and found them guilty of perpetrating crimes against humans, animals, and the environment. His opponent, a giant industry, has managed to convince health professionals, the media, and the public that dairy products are essential to human health. In his conclusion, Keon states, "The idea that the milk of another species is required for human bone health is not only a silly notion but one the scientific literature has shown to be false." The Whitewash message, supported by 50 pages of research citations, needs to reach the wide audience it deserves. The public needs to learn that it has been duped by a dairy industry that has not honestly presented its wares.