Blog: Milking it for all it's worth
Dean Best | 30 September 2008
Animal rights group PETA has hit the headlines after sending a letter to Ben & Jerry’s suggesting that they substitute the cows’ milk currently used to make their much-loved ice cream with – you got it – human breast milk.
According to The Independent, PETA EVP Tracy Reiman wrote: "Using cows' milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customers' health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer.
"Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months."
Fortunately, it seems unlikely that “nipple ripple” will be joining the likes of phish food, cookie dough and cherry garcia in Ben & Jerry’s unconventional line-up of flavours.
Aside from the yuck-factor, which should certainly not be underestimated, there is the laughable impracticality of the whole idea. Perhaps the folks at PETA were picturing dairy farms filled with lactating women when they concocted this scheme. More likely they were thinking of the media attention such a controversial suggestion would generate.
While mothers’ milk ice cream might not represent much of a threat to the industry, dairy farmers facing rising costs and falling prices remained unimpressed.
"Dairy foods have been in the diet for thousands of years. The reality of chronic diseases is that they are an interaction between genes, the environment and the diet, and these negative stories about dairy are a misrepresentation of science," Dr Judith Bryans, director of the Dairy Council, told The Independent.
With this graphic image, PETA has done little to undermine the dairy sector or, in my opinion, open a constructive dialogue on our treatment of cattle. But it does make you shudder to imagine how the publicity-hungry animal crusaders will use spokeswoman Pamela Anderson in this promotion.
Katy Humphries, deputy editor
Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...
Premier Foods plc revealed today (28 March) it has secured a deal with its pension scheme trustees that will see the UK food maker reduce its pension burden....
Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....
FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....
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