"I want to be clear. No company is too big to be prosecuted. We have zero tolerance for corporate fraud, but we also recognize the importance of avoiding collateral consequences whenever possible." - Alberto Gonzales
On Monday, June 25th, Notmilk called the dairy industry's bluff after reports of a scientist's research went viral on the Internet.
The dairy industry worked hard behind the scenes to warp that scientist's report and then get their lie on television, in newspapers, and on pro-dairy chat groups. The actual researcher responded to my Notmilk column this way:
* * * * *
"Thanks for the interest in our work! Let me quickly clarify two points..."
"I am not funded by the dairy industry, and I don't believe any of our results are due to the influence of dairy products."
(Notmilkman's comment: WHOA!) "We conducted one or two early experiments using probiotic yogurt, but have since repeated them with even stronger effect using purified probiotic bacteria alone."
(Notmilkman's comment: WE HIT A HOME RUN, AND THE DAIRY INDUSTRY HAS STRUCK OUT!)
"Based on your notmilk website, I suspect you find the final paragraph extolling the benefits of dairy among the most objectionable. I was also unhappy about this, because we don't believe the effects are related to the dairy component of yogurt, and show this directly in our scientific manuscript."
(Notmilkman's comment: AMERICA HAS AGAIN BEEN DEFRAUDED!)
"Fraud is the homage that force pays to reason." - Charles Curtis
* * * * *
By calling this man's bluff, we learned the truth about a new phony dairy industry claim. This is how the milk marketing people work. Their column headline claimed:
"Yogurt Key to Sexier, Slimmer Mice"
The dairy columnist (Angela Bowman) wrote:
"Those looking to improve their love life may find an unlikely ally in the dairy aisle � yogurt."
"The yogurt-fed mice did lose more weight than their yogurt-deprived friends."
"The yogurt-eating males mated faster and produced more offspring."
"While the connection between yogurt and sexiness may be new, the connection between dairy and healthier lifestyles isn't. Dairy has been found to prevent strokes, cut the risk of diabetes and lighten the body mass for both adults and children." Thanks to Dr. Eric Alm (firstname.lastname@example.org) for admitting the truth, which is that yogurt consumption played absolutely no role in his observations. He did so after the bluff was called, and by doing so, reclaimed a rare scientific research objective called integrity.
I have not yet reviewed Dr. Alm's actual research (which he claims might not be published until 2014), but let me add this poing regarding the probiotics which he used. Dannon Yogurt also adds probiotics to yogurt, not because they work (which they do not), but because it makes for good marketing.
The Dannon Yogurt research foundation publishes a newsletter extolling the virtues of their product. Here are excerpts from a column written by Cathy J. Saloff-Coste:
"In the mid-1980's acidophilus was first suggested to have health benefits for humans (1,2)... Acidophilus occurs naturally in the gastrointestinal tract but tends to grow slowly when added to milk (yogurt), leading to the risk of undesirable organisms. There is no direct proof and no consensus among researchers on whether or not added acidophilus in yogurt adheres to or colonizes in the intestines(3)...Few human studies have been performed. A recent study reported that yogurt did not alter immunoglobulin secretions. These results show no health benefits from yogurt consumption.(4)"
1. Jones, et al,(1985) Effect of acidophilus yogurt on serum cholesterol, triglyceride and lipoprotein levels of healthy males. J. Dairy Sci. 68 (83-84)
2. Nelson, et al, (1984) Cholesterol uptake by lactobacillus acidophilus, J. Dairy Sci. 67
3. Saavedra, et al, (1995) Microbes to fight microbes, J. Pediatric Gastroenterol. 21, 125-129
4. Marteau, et al, (1996) Effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus strain LA1 on serum concentration and jejunal secretions of immunoglobulins and serum proteins in healthy humans. In SOMED 21st Intl. Congress on microbial ecology and disease, Paris, October 28-30, 1996.
"Media corporations have a
civic responsibility not only to prevent fraud and financial abuse, but
also to not corrupt or degrade our culture."