Science

Anti-Milk Men

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If that white stain on Jennifer Aniston's upper lip doesn't give you the urge to down a tall, cold glass of milk, the hectoring of the anti-dairy crowd just might.

"Milk products, like tobacco products, are an enormous threat to the health of both children and adults," says Robert Cohen, author of Milk: The Deadly Poison and executive director of the AntiDairy Coalition, which "believes that the secret to optimum health is giving up milk and dairy products." Similarly, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine calls milk "the number one health hazard facing young children and adults."

"Much Ado About Milk," a recently updated report from the American Council on Science and Health (available at www.acsh.org/publications/reports/milk99. html), carefully and calmly debunks such claims. While cows' milk is not recommended for infants, says ACSH Director of Nutrition Ruth Kava, it's an important, hard-to-replace source of calcium and other nutrients for children and adults.

Kava shows that the risks posed by milk have been exaggerated and that legitimate concerns such as lactose intolerance and fat intake do not require the wholesale rejection of dairy products. She concludes that "calls for the exclusion or near exclusion of cows' milk and dairy products from the American diet are not justified."