The milk controversy

The milk controversy

By Harlan Brown
May 17, 2010
Edited May 18, 2010

A recent blog article titled "The Chocolate Milk Diet" promoted the drinking of chocolate milk. It ignited a storm of hundreds of comments, many criticizing not only chocolate milk but cow's milk in general.

I am writing this essay not to provide a definitive guide as to whether you should or should not drink cow's milk but to share some ideas that I hope will be helpful. In the end, if you are unsure what to do, you may wish to consult a health care professional who is knowledgeable of nutrition.

Much of the cow's milk sold in the United States comes from cows that have been injected with a synthetic hormone called recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), also known as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). It's an example of the science of genetic engineering. For an overview of the hazards of milk and other foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients, see "Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods and Crops: Why We Need A Global Moratorium" by Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association.

One of the potential hazards is an increase in food allergies. For an article specifically on the allergy issue, see Genetically Engineered Foods May Cause Rising Food Allergies by the Institute for Responsible Technology.

One of the causes of problems from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is that the underlying hereditary mechanisms are more complex than originally envisioned, and thus genetic engineering by human beings often has unintended side effects. For recent news stories on the underlying complexities, see "Complicated Cells Leave No Room for Evolution" by the Institute for Creation Research and "Nature Reports Discovery of 'Second Genetic Code' But Misses Intelligent Design Implications" by the Discovery Institute.

For a clear explanation of milk pasteurization and homogenization, see "The Truth about Raw Milk with Mark McAfee from Organic Pastures."

For an eye-opening expose of the lengths to which those who profit from genetic engineering will go to prevent the public from knowing about what is in the milk they are drinking, see "Fox News kills Monsanto milk story." For information about what is happening in Europe, see "Monsanto's toxic milk—banned in Europe."

Dr. Walter Veith has produced an informative series on milk. However, I think that he goes overboard when he recommends avoiding all dairy products. Links to the series are as follows:

Although I think Veith makes a good case against drinking milk tainted by synethetic hormones and antibiotics, I am not convinced of the value of totally avoiding dairy products. For one thing, he talks about the adult human body not producing rennet to digest dairy products. However, rennet is often used in the production of cheese.

Furthermore, Veith is a former evolutionist who became a creationist. If I'm not mistaken, he is a Christian who believes the Bible. According to the Bible, God at times manifested Himself in a form tangible to the human senses. This is called a theophany. One of the Old Testament theophanies is recorded in Genesis 18: One day, Abraham had some visitors: two angels and God Himself. Abraham invited them to come to his home. Sarah prepared some food, and Abraham served it to the guests. Among the food was butter (some translations say "curds") and milk. Since God created the heavens and the earth and milk-giving cattle, he would know whether butter and milk were toxic or edible. The account treats the butter and milk as perfectly acceptable, edible foods.

I realize that one can eat too much dairy products, and some people in this fallen world have health issues that prevent them from eating dairy. It may be that Abraham and Sarah were serving butter, milk, and a calf for a special event, not as an everyday custom. However, to contend that no one should eat dairy products strikes me as extreme.

Nevertheless serious issues have been raised about the dangers of milk tainted by generically engineered ingredients. The milk that Abraham and Sarah drank was not tainted by synthetic hormones, cow pus, antibiotics, and a sludge of dead bacteria, nor was it homogenized (damaging it nutritionally) or pasteurized (killing the good bacteria along with the bad). Do you really want to drink that kind of milk?

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