M and S “super healthy’ milk – a health con, say campaigners

| Post published on December 10, 2011
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FOOD giant Marks and Spencer have been blasted by health experts for attempting to mislead consumers over the health benefits of a new “super healthy’ milk, which goes on sale this week. The High Street store chain say the product, which will be sold at the same price as standard milk (49p) a pint, promises to slash the amount of saturated fat in people’s diets, which can cause serious illnesses including heart disease and obesity. It will come from cows fed only a “natural diet’ of what the company term “natural seed oils’, instead of palm oil, which is higher in saturated fat. But leading health charity, Viva!, accuses M&;S of cashing in on people’s health concerns by selling a product which is little of difference to regular milk and will not contribute to preventing heart disease. Juliet Gellatley, Viva! founder &; director and nutritional therapist, says: “This so-called “super milk’ is a profit-driven marketing exercise. With fat levels reduced by a mere six per cent, it will still be high in saturated fat which will have little beneficial effect. “Humans have absolutely no need for saturated fats in their diet – which is why they cause our bodies such serious damage. Selling milk which contains a bit less of it does not solve the problem, will not save the NHS money and will prevent no one from dying of heart disease.” According to the Viva!, milk is also the most common food allergen and has been linked to many health conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome and asthma. Ms Gellatley adds: “If M&;S are serious about improving people’s health and saving lives, they would do more to promote milk alternatives such as soya milk, which naturally contains very low levels of saturated fat. Claiming that cows will be fed a natural diet of seed oils is also misleading as in nature they would not eat oils at all – seed, palm or otherwise. “No matter what cows are fed, their milk will still contain a wide variety of natural hormones and growth factors which can promote cancer growth.” For more information about the Viva!’s work into the effect of cow’s milk on health, visit www.scarydairy.org.uk or call 0117 944 1000 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm). 

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

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