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Back To Vidyya Crying Over Spilled Milk

Physicians' Group Complains About "Got Milk?" Ads

The Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine has filed a petition with the US Federal Trade Commission complaining that the "milk moustache" advertisements produced by the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board are the equivalent of false advertising. This is the second time the physicians' group has filed such a complaint.

The group has expressed concerns that the well-known and widely publicized ads foster a false impression to minorities and women that cow's milk is healthful. It has sent the FTC an 11-count petition questioning the validity of scientific research that links milk consumption to a lowered risk of osteoporosis. The complaint also asks for a ruling on whether the advertisements ignore the possible dangers of milk's high fat content.

The group filed a similar petition last year, but was ignored.

Of particular concern this year, according to the group, is the "Got Milk?" milk moustache ad featuring Latin singing star Mark Anthony. The ad could send a message to the Latin American community that drinking milk is good. There is little or no evidence that there are benefits from drinking milk.

In reply from the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board, the physicians' group is painted as "absolutely vegan". The Federal Trade Commission did nothing with the groups last claim and may not act on this second complaint.

At least one independent organization appears to support the physicians' group's position on the accuracy of the ads. "Nutrition Navigator," Tufts University's online rating guide to nutrition Web sites, rates the Web site of the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board as "not recommended--unacceptable accuracy."

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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