The National Dairy Council® and the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board denounces the new ad launched today in New York by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), an animal rights/vegan organization that attempts to generate news coverage by posing as a reputable "doctors' group." PCRM's ad misleads viewers on the current science regarding any possible connection between milk and prostate cancer. Reputable researchers and health organizations -- including the very researchers who conducted the research PCRM refers to -- disagree with PCRM's position on this issue.

In fact, PCRM's views have been repeatedly denounced by the American Medical Association (AMA), the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), and the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), among others.

PCRM's anti-dairy television ad that began running in New York today demonstrates how closely this group is affiliated with the controversial activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). PETA made headlines two weeks ago with its billboard ads on the same subject.

As the national media has reported several times since last April, the Physicians Health Study referred to by PCRM in the ad is a preliminary, observational study that does not show a cause-and-effect link between dairy products and prostate cancer. The Harvard researchers warn against using the study to encourage changes in eating habits, and wrote in their April press release, "It's far too early to recommend any extreme change in eating habits." In fact, the authors clearly state that more research is needed, and they acknowledge limitations in their study.

In a conference two weeks ago sponsored by the American Institute for Cancer Research, nutrition experts said messages suggesting that milk causes prostate cancer are not supported by solid scientific evidence. "The claim that milk and milk products increase the risk of prostate cancer is a serious abuse of the scientific data to date," John D. Potter of Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center told the Washington Post (Sept. 1, 2000, page A09). In this same article, one of the researchers from the Physicians Health Study was quoted as saying, "Nobody that I know who worked on that particular project is willing to...say we should restrict dairy intake to prevent prostate cancer."

The National Cancer Institute also stepped forward last month to denounce PETA's use of some of the same information that PCRM is recycling into its current campaign. PCRM and PETA's strategy is clearly to generate as much media coverage on an animal rights agenda based on little fact and no actual news.

Moreover, other recent studies have shown that the nutrients in milk and dairy products are effective in reducing the risk of certain types of cancers. Dairy's role in preventing osteoporosis, in strengthening bones and providing calcium, vitamin D and seven other essential nutrients has long been established and lauded by the nutrition and science community, including the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and many other reputable health organizations, from whom people should get their nutrition and health information and not animal rights activists.

More information on the latest scientific research regarding dairy products is available on-line at www.nationaldairycouncil.org.

CONTACT: Sue Markgraf, NDC, 847-803-2000, ext. 229, or pager, 888-902-4028, or Susan Ruland of MilkPEP, 202-220-3549.