The Last Milk Column
This past April I began what was to be a series of three articles on the negative aspects of cow’s milk consumption. I never thought that the articles would generate the volume of response that I’ve received. Only my columns on medical marijuana generated a greater number of e-mails. This is perfectly illustrative of the sacred place that cow’s milk holds in our nutritional consciousness. As I pointed out in my first article, milk’s lofty perch is supported by an annual budget of tens of millions of advertising dollars spent by the dairy industry,
In the May column on cow’s milk I discussed the difficulty that the nutritional components of cow’s milk pose to human digestion and assimilation and covered a myriad of serious illnesses associated with milk consumption. Now for “the rest of the story.”
Cow's Milk and Contamination
Bacteria -- Independent studies by Consumers Union have confirmed that even when pasteurized, milk is not free of bacterial contamination. The studies also point out that the amount of bacteria in milk varies from batch to batch. Surprisingly, the FDA does not require milk to be free of contamination.
Pesticides -- The Consumers Union studies found that 84% of the cow's milk samples tested contained pesticides, including chlorinated hydrocarbons, which are known to be toxic and produce cancer and birth defects. Again, the FDA allows a certain level of pesticide contamination to be present in milk, believing that small amounts are harmless.
Antibiotics -- Penicillin, given to cows to treat udder infections, has also been found in milk, posing a hazard to milk drinkers who are allergic to penicillin.
Hormones -- A great majority of milk cows are pregnant and the hormone progesterone is found in their milk. Progesterone, one of the sex hormones, breaks down into molecules called androgens, which has been implicated in causing acne. It is unknown what effect these bovine hormones have in the human female reproductive system. Again, to some women these hormones may be benign, while to others they may have more serious ramifications.