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It Was Forty Years Ago

June 22, 2012

It Was Forty Years Ago

"I don't really wanna stop the show,
But I thought you might like to know,
That the singers gonna sing a song,
And he'd like you all to sing along..."
- The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's, 1967

Some people collect stamps or coins. Others
work on doll houses. Me? I read past issues
of Hoard's Dairyman, the national dairy farm
magazine. I recently found an incredible
editorial in the February 25, 1972 edition.

The Hoard's editor attacked those who judge
animal fats guilty without conclusive evidence:

"For a long time, (the) American Heart
Association has been urging the public
to avoid animal fats and cholesterol and
switch to vegetable products...Common rules
of justice require that conclusive evidence
be presented before anyone is convicted guilty
of a crime. But dairymen and livestock growers
and poultrymen are 'convicted' of producing
products which are causing a national epidemic
of heart disease."

Hoard's demanded "Truth in Nutrition." The
editorial writer suggested that an agency be
created to:

"Serve as a watchdog over the many misleading
and downright erroneous statements which are
being made about milk and dairy products."

Here are some examples of what dairy farmers
believe to be misleading statements:

Nine years after that editorial appeared, a survey
of mortality rates and food consumption statistics
of 24 countries appeared in Medical Hypothesis
(7:907-918, 1981). The scientists concluded:

"Milk and milk products gave the highest correlation
coefficient to heart disease, while sugar, animal
proteins and animal fats came in second, third,
and fourth, respectively."

Midway through 2012, heart disease remains America's
number one killer. Most Americans and scientific agencies
are in agreement: Saturated animal fat and cholesterol do
not do the heart any good. According to USDA figures, each
day, the average American eats just 5 ounces of meat and
chicken containing saturated fat and cholesterol, and 29.2
ounces of milk and dairy products (666 pounds per
American per year) containing the same dangerous factors.

Eight years after the Hoard's editorial demanded more
evidence, a leading British medical journal (The Lancet,
II: 205-207) reported:

"More patients who had suffered a myocardial infarction
had elevated levels of antibodies against milk proteins
than was found in a comparable group of patients without
coronary heart disease."

In 1994, the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
(48:305-325, 1994) revealed:

"Milk consumption correlates positively with cholesterol
levels in blood as well as coronary mortality. In comparisons
between 17 countries, there is a good correlation between
national cholesterol levels and mortality from ischaemic
heart disease."

In 1979, The Lancet (I, 1017-1020, 1979) reported that "Finland
ranks highest of all in milk consumption and mortality from
heart disease." Coincidence?

Not according to the European Journal of Epidemiology
(15:6, 507-15), which reported in July of 1999:

"Animal food-groups were directly correlated to mortality
from coronary heart disease, defined as sudden coronary
death or fatal myocardial infarction, and vegetable
food-groups (except potatoes) as well as fish and
alcohol were inversely correlated with CHD mortality.
Univariate analysis showed significant positive correlation
coefficients for butter (R = 0.887), meat (R = 0.645),
pastries (R = 0.752), and milk (R = 0.600) consumption,
and significant negative correlation coefficients for
legumes (R = -0.822), oils (R = -0.571), and alcohol
(R = -0.609) consumption. Combined vegetable foods
(excluding alcohol) were inversely correlated (R = -0.519),
whereas combined animal foods (excluding fish) were directly
correlated (R = 0.798) with coronary heart disease death rates."

Hoard's asked for evidence. Of course, this will
not satisfy them. If it did, they would have to shut down
their presses and that would be the final heartbeat for the
dairy industry. Pehaps they'll thank me in their final
issue. Ten years ago, a Hoard's editorial (September 10,
1998) mentioned me:

"If we required any reminder of the need to defend dairy
products, we have received it in the person of Robert Cohen...
Cohen has demonstrated an ability to take his allegations
and spread them to the public through the Internet and
through appearances on local radio and television programs.
The dairy industry needs to coordinate its response. More
than 40 trained dairy communications professionals in the
Dairy Resource Network work behind the scenes with influential
consumer media to ensure that media have access to
credentialed professionals and understand the difference
between sound science and 'junk science' being pedaled by
dairy detractors."

Robert Cohen

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