DOCTORS DENOUNCE MILK ADS
A doctors' organization has filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requesting an immediate investigation into health claims in "milk mustache" ads featuring Marc Anthony, Britney Spears, and other celebrities. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) will ask the FTC to investigate whether the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board, the Milk Industry Foundation, the International Dairy Foods Association, and Bozell Worldwide, Inc., an advertising agency, have disseminated scientifically unsubstantiated, purposefully deceptive, and harmful advertising.
The new Marc Anthony ad implies that milk can help prevent osteoporosis in Hispanic Americans. What fans "need to know," the doctors group says, is that there is little or no evidence that Hispanic Americans benefit from milk-drinking. To add insult to injury, the majority of Hispanic Americanslike Asian-, African-, and Native Americansare lactose intolerant and experience gastrointestinal problems from milk.
The Latin heartthrob is one of dozens of celebrities whose images have been exploited to sell milk. A Britney Spears ad advises girls to get four glasses a day, which add up to 33 grams of fat, including 20 grams of heart-clogging saturated fat. "Britney's ad might as well be captioned, Oops, I did it againsold out for an unhealthy product,'" says PCRM president Neal D. Barnard, M.D. Other celebrities unknowingly contributing to the milk-is-good-for-you myth include the Dixie Chicks, Larry King, Tyra Banks, and even the cartoon Simpsons.
"The dairy industry continues to whitewash the dangers of cow's milk," says Dr. Barnard. "The ubiquitous milk mustache' campaign makes misleading claims about milk preventing osteoporosis, lowering blood pressure, and enhancing sports performance. Recent studies, including the Harvard Nurses' Health Study, have shown that milk offers no protection against broken bones. And, unlike prescription drug ads, the mustache ads don't reveal the many unwanted side-effects' of milk, among them increased risk of prostate and ovarian cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease."
Written by: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
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