The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) group has vowed to continue its anti-milk campaign despite being ordered to stop by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ASA criticised Peta’s MilkSucks campaign for telling children that milk is harmful to health. It judged that the playing cards handed out by Peta to schoolchildren across the country were unlikely to cause distress but that they could play on childhood anxieties by exaggerating the possible link between milk and the likelihood of developing acne, flatulence and obesity.

The cards show pictures of children called Spotty Sue, Windy Wendy, Phlegmy Phil and Chubby Charlie, all suffering with their respective conditions, which are attributed to drinking milk.

Peta was ordered to stop distributing the cards immediately, but Bruce Freidrich, senior campaign co-ordinator for Peta, told BBC News Online that distribution would continue as the cards had been revamped to bring them in line with ASA’s recommendations: “We have changed the cards to comply with the ASA judgement and think they are even better than before.

“We are very pleased with the additional publicity,” he commented: “A hundred thousand cards have already been distributed and a further 100,000 are planned.”

“Kids have a right to know the truth about the dairy process. If they saw how dairy cows suffer they would never consent to drink this stuff,” he added.

The ASA launched its investigation into the campaign after receiving complaints from the National Farmers’ Unions in England and Wales and Scotland, the Dairy Council, the Royal Agricultural Society of England and the public.

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