The great Dr.Mel Siff and his opinion on milk.
Milk Myths and Facts by Dr. Mel Siff
Milk advertisements have so long proclaimed that milk is a healthy food, that it is a “complete food”, that it provides an excellent source of calcium, and that one should drink it for preventing osteoporosis that most people believe all of this to be true. On one side, we have been exposed to endless TV commercials with healthy-looking people displaying parts of their faces smothered with milk, and parents have come to believe the dairy industry marketing claims to such as extent that most children are forced to drink milk or have it on their morning cereals. Bodybuilders and many athletes have been convinced that various milk derivatives such as whey serve as an unrivaled source of highly concentrated protein.
On the other side, from the anti-milk lobby, we have heard that milk consumption is associated with a great increase in the incidence of allergy, stomach disorders, heart disease, cancer and various other diseases.
Who is correct? Can we really accept the biased proof of the healthful aspects of milk from the huge dairy industry with its vested interests everywhere? Equally well, can we trust that the anti-milk activists have not grossly exaggerated the dangers of milk? Haven’t many of us, especially in the strength and sporting world consumed huge quantities of milk since our earliest years, without any obvious ill-effects? Isn’t the greater incidence of heart disease and allergy among those who drink milk not due to other possible factors?
As a dedicated and passionate milk product lover, I was convinced for much of my life that the anti-milk lobbyists were way off track and were probably a bunch of skinny runts who never drank large quantities of milk to help in their quest for size and strength. However, more recently I began to discover that both factions may be correct. Yes, milk may be both good and bad for you, whether you are “lactose intolerant” or not!
My first clues came when I noticed how differently I responded to drinking raw milk and pasteurized milk back in South Africa, then later when I drank milk in the USA. I always found that certified raw milk tasted better, was very easily digested even in large volume, and never putrefied when left unrefrigerated, but simply became pleasantly sour, like a good yogurt.
I simply could not understand why I consistently could not tolerate milk in amounts greater than a cupful in the USA, until I noticed that the milk that I drank in South Africa separated into a thick creamy layer at the top, unlike the far less palatable milk in the USA. Then I noticed that all the milk that I bought in the USA was “homogenized” and also found out that the pasteurization process here may not be carried out under the same heating conditions as my sources in South Africa.
I also noted that the milk here does not and cannot go sour, but putrefies and becomes impossible to drink after a few days out of the refrigerator, suggesting that it contains none of the natural bacteria which allow it to become sour and palatable. My faint suspicions grew far stronger that milk of itself may not be the problem. Instead, the way in which it is prepared may be the real problem, as is the case with all other foods.
That would explain quite simply why others have responded so differently to raw milk, pasteurized milk and pasteurized and homogenized milk – clearly the processing involved must be playing a central role in the whole affair. That should be not at all surprising, since we all know that other foods can be overcooked, dried out when reheating after storage in the refrigerator, become tough by poor preparation or marinating, taste very different when microwaved compared with roasted, and so forth.
Often the digestibility can also be profoundly affected by the manner of preparation. Why should milk be any different?
Before I go any further, here are some technical details about pasteurization and homogenization:
When I buy milk at the store the label says “homogenized pasteurized milk”. What is homogenization and pasteurization?
Pasteurization and homogenization are two different processes. Pasteurization has been around since Louis Pasteur discovered it in the mid-1800s. Here is what Encyclopedia Britannica has to say about it:
"Pasteurization of milk, widely practiced in several countries, notably the United States, requires temperatures of about 63 C (145 F) maintained for 30 minutes or, alternatively, heating to a higher temperature, 72 C (162 F), and holding for 15 seconds (and yet higher temperatures for shorter periods of time). The times and temperatures are those determined to be necessary to destroy the Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other more heat-resistant of the non-spore-forming, disease-causing microorganisms found in milk.
The treatment also destroys most of the microorganisms that cause spoilage and so prolongs the storage time of food. Ultra-high-temperature (UHT) pasteurization involves heating milk or cream to 138to 150 C for one or two seconds. Packaged in sterile, hermetically sealed containers, UHT milk may be stored without refrigeration for months."
Prior to pasteurization, many diseases were transmitted through raw milk to children and adults alike. That problem has been completely eliminated.
Homogenization is more recent. If you take a gallon of fresh milk straight from a cow and allow it to sit in the refrigerator, all of the cream will completely separate, leaving you with skim milk and a layer of cream. To make “2% milk”, you need for the cream to stay dissolved in the milk. Homogenization is the process of breaking up the fat globules in cream to such a small size that they remain suspended evenly in the milk rather than separating out and floating to the surface.
(Editor’s Note: The material in the above link which is quite extensive is not printed here but it is suggested that you take the time to read it. Up until the 1950’s, homogenized milk cost a penny or two extra and one had a choice between homogenized (“high quality”) and “just pasteurized” (the milk that the poor resigned itself to). Now almost all mike is homogenized “for our health.”)
The major rationale behind pasteurization is that it eliminates the risk of contracting TB (tuberculosis), but the statistics have never shown that pasteurized milk is any safer than certified raw milk. On the contrary, studies have shown that pasteurized milk often contains a percentage of pus from the cow’s udders (at least it is pasteurized!).
If one wishes to use certified raw milk in many states in the USA, you just do not have that freedom of choice, because it is often legislated against on the grounds of health risk. I cannot begin to understand or accept this reasoning at all, because if the milk is certified, then it is TESTED for any harmful bacteria. On the other hand, every single batch of pasteurized milk is not tested, but merely ASSUMED to be bacteria-free after its heat treatment. In the light of this, legislation against the sale of certified, tested raw milk is illogical and suspect.
To help you understand more about the pros and cons of milk consumption, here
is a random collection of resources presenting myths and facts about milk in
its various forms:
Review of book Cohen “Milk the Deadly Poison”
Enter Robert Cohen, with rich experience in biological research and a risk taker–one of his pursuits is mountain climbing. … Cohen divulged his suspicions that the FDA’s approval of the bovine growth hormone represented not only collusion between Monsanto and the FDA, but a cover-up of epic proportions by the scientific establishment. His three-year fact-finding journey proved him chillingly right.
Reading this book, you will learn that milk contributes to heart disease and
increases your risk of breast cancer. You will learn that milk is a poor
source of calcium and why, and that milk is a prime cause of allergies and
much more. You will learn that milk can even kill your infant.
Cohen doesn’t expect you to accept these shocking findings on faith. He
takes you by the hand as he uncovers layers of scientific fraud perpetuated
by the FDA, with assistance from JAMA, Science News, and even the Cadillac of scientific publications, Science.
In digging for scientific facts, Cohen found that the web of deception concerning the bovine growth hormone involved not only key players-- FDA and Monsanto --but reached members of Congress as well as a respected medical authority turned Monsanto lobbyist. At times this book reads like a detective story…
To order book $16.95 + $3 s/h Call 1-888-NOT-MILK (1-888-668-6455)
The Effect of Processed Milk on Calves
I am a retired Veterinarian; I doctored horses and cattle for 25 years and
then I did only the Small Animals. The article I read in Discover Magazine
on milk brought back many memories. When the farmers kept a milk cow on the farm to feed the weaner calves, there were few digestive problems. But when no dairy cows were available they went to the local store and got “Store Bought” milk for the calves to drink. Soon the calves died with diarrhea. I thought milk was milk but I soon found out that the Pasteurized and Homogenized milk could not be digested by these calves.
Homogenization broke the fat globule into such a small bit that it wouldn’t curd in the stomach and passed directly into the small intestine where it created severe inflammation. I called it toxic enteritis. I learned to treat these cases with Goats milk which has the largest fat globule of any milk found on the farm. The calves made a quick recovery if the patient hadn’t gotten too debilitated.
I too drank a lot of milk when we milked cows on the farm. I never Had any
adverse effects from drinking a quart or more at one time. When I went on to college and I was using “store bought milk” I got so I drank very little milk
and what I did drink reacted in my system like a poison. I was told I was
allergic to milk. Now 50 years later, a friend, who has a milk cow out in
the country, asked me if I could use some milk. I accepted and for three
years now I can drink milk like I did when I lived on the farm. I have no
adverse side effects.
This milk is raw milk, also not Homogenized. The only
other question I have to answer has to do with the effect pasteurization has
on the natural enzymes. The destruction of these during the pasteurization
process could effect the digestibility of milk.
Research and Other Articles on Raw Milk:
The Crime against Raw Milk
The Dangers of Processed Milk:
Milk - The Perfect Food?
MILK DECREASES HEART ATTACKS? (original source not available at this time)
<England-- Some data just released by the Medical Research Council (MRC)
should create some interesting controversy among medical circles during the
next several months. Peter Elwood, director of the Epidemiology Unit at
Landough Hospital in Penarth, South Glamorgan, dropped a bombshell. His
ongoing life-style study of 5000 men produced some startling and very
unpopular findings. He discovered that men who drank the most full-fat milk
and ate butter (rather than margarine) had a lower risk of suffering from
heart attacks! (New Scientist 1991; 129(1759):17) …
In 1929, Dr. J.E. Crewe with the Mayo Foundation reported “uniformly
excellent” success using raw milk in treatment programs for high blood
pressure, heart failure, diabetes, kidney disease, prostate problems and
tuberculosis. He later stated that the only problem with using raw milk to
treat these ailments was that it was too simple. As such, it didn’t appeal to
the medical profession. Only raw milk seemed to be of benefit. Pasteurized
forms seemed to make most conditions worse…
Top Ten Reasons why Milk is not the Perfect food:
It’s a great source of unwanted antibiotics.
Ditto for recombinant bovine growth hormone.
Eighty percent or more of the world’s people are lactose-sensitive or
The homogenization process (which allows the fat to stay in suspension, so that the cream, for example, doesn’t rise to the top) makes the fat and the
cholesterol more subject to oxidation (and therefore free-radical
The nations that consume the most milk also, incidentally, have the
highest rates of osteoporosis.
The top 10 reasons why you should drink it have been brought to you by the
dairy industry, not by independent assessors.
It is very high in phosphorus, which is a calcium antagonist, so the
calcium in it is not particularly well absorbed.
The calcium-magnesium ratio is not particularly good.
It is one of the top allergens, probably the number one allergen for
children, and it is filled with (milk) sugar.
Calcium is not as well absorbed in the absence of some fat; hence skim
milk is an even worse choice…
FDA & MONSANTO:
The Cover-up about certain aspects of Milk Industry
by Robert Cohen
Laboratory animals got cancer from a new additive that is now in our milk, cheese and ice cream. FDA knew the truth but they hid it. MONSANTO knew the truth but they also did everything in their power to pull a veil over FDA’s regulatory review process for POSILAC, the trade name for the genetically engineered version of a cow’s natural growth hormone. That genetically engineered hormone is commonly referred to as either BST or BGH (bovine somatotropin or bovine growth hormone).
The study in question was performed in 1989 by three scientists, Richard, Odaglia and Deslex. I obtained portions of that study and learned that FDA never reviewed it, despite the fact that it was the KEY to the entire controversy.
On August 24, 1990, FDA published a review of the BST research. That study was authored by Judy Jeskevich and Greg Guyer and published in SCIENCE magazine. …
After learning that laboratory animals got cancer from this hormone, I filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the raw data. I wished to review the weights of spleens and kidneys and ovaries and thirty-one different tissues and organs from the 360 animals in this study. I lost that request to have the study released.
I then filed a suit in Federal Court. During my suit, our government passed a law which would have had me imprisoned had I released the study.
Today’s column lists 12 “coincidences” that others might call conspiracy. I leave you first with a timeline of my suit to release the animal data.
Please keep in mind that the Canadian government has also been reviewing this study because MONSANTO seeks approval for their drug in Canada. A few weeks ago Canadian scientists announced what our government has been denying and I have been saying for four years:
This POISON caused cancer in laboratory animals.
OCTOBER 3, 1994 Cohen files a FOIA request for the rat study data
DECEMBER 24, 1994 FOIA request denied by FDA
DECEMBER 24, 1994 Appeal filed with Department of Health (HHS)
APRIL 4, 1995 Appeal Denied
DECEMBER 5, 1995 Suit filed in Federal Court
APRIL 12, 1996 MONSANTO joins suit, represented by KING & SPALDING
JULY 29, 1996 My final brief, arguing TRADE SECRETS invalid
SEPTEMBER 9, 1996 JUDGE’S decision due
OCTOBER 11, 1996 PUBLIC LAW # 104-294 signed by William Clinton
DECEMBER 6, 1996 JUDGE rules in favor of MONSANTO
Public Law # 104-294 was the ECONOMIC ESPIONAGE act. That law was delivered in the middle of my trial and sent a clear message to me. If I revealed a TRADE SECRET I would have been subject to a $10 million dollar fine and 15 years incarceration in a federal prison.
In his denial, the Honorable Judge Wells wrote to me:
“Disclosure of the rat’s study raw data would allow competitors to develop or refine their products… and would reveal a TRADE SECRET… defendants have adequately demonstrated the likelihood of competitive substantial harm if the study is released.”
CONSPIRACY? TO BE, OR NOT TO BE?
When Monsanto first started doing research on rbST/rbGH (Posilac), they realized its potential to change all of the foods in our supermarket. They would one day control the seeds for all of our fruits and veggies through genetic engineering and biotechnology. They needed a friend on the Supreme Court. It was then that they began to groom their attorney (from the firm of KING & SPALDING), a young African American with a future. Should these issues ever reach the SUPREME COURT, MONSANTO will have a friend in Clarence Thomas.
Congress passed a law in 1958 called the Delaney Amendment to the Food and Drug Act which said that if a food additive caused cancer it was not to be approved. When MONSANTO realized that their rbST caused cancer they had their new attorney (from KING & SPALDING), Michael Taylor, write a paper: “A Deminimus Interpretation of the Delaney Amendment”. Lawyers usually get published in law review journals. This paper was published in the Journal of the American College of Toxicology.
Michael Taylor, Esq. left his high paying job at KING & SPALDING and was hired by…are you ready for this? The FDA! He became the second most powerful man at FDA and wrote the food labeling laws that governed rbST and all genetically engineered products to come.
At the same time that Taylor left Monsanto for FDA the scientists left MONSANTO too. MONSANTO’s top dairy scientist, Margaret Miller, left the pharmaceutical giant and went to work for…are you ready for this? FDA! Her job was to review her own research. I filed a Freedom of Information Act request for her actual job application and found out that she developed a test for detecting rbST, even though FDA later relieved MONSANTO of that responsibility.
Congress had a committee that studied the labeling issues. There were four members of the DAIRY, LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY Committee. These men had a bill that would have required that dairy products containing rbST be labeled as such. These 12 men stalled the bill for six months and NEVER voted upon it. The bill did not make it to the floor of Congress for a vote.
When the 1994 session of Congress expired, the bill DIED. I investigated these men and learned that they accepted donations (PAC $$$) from companies with agriculture interests titling $711,000. Four of the Congressmen accepted money directly from Monsanto while they stalled that bill. They included Volkmer ($2,000), Dooley ($1,000), Gunderson ($1,000) and Pombo ($500).
Somebody had to have gotten Monsanto’s scientist and attorney hired by FDA. I interviewed ex-FDA commissioners and ex-bosses of these employees and all deny doing the actual hiring. I can only imagine a phone call, calling in a favor here and there. I have no proof who did the hiring, only proof that the DECK was stacked in the review process. I include enormous documentation in my book which would take me a week of EMAILS to document. I will not do that on EMAIL but my book is available, for those so interested.
MONSANTO hired the very respected C. EVERETT KOOP to attack critics of rbST. KOOP said the BST-treated milk was indistinguishable from wholesome untreated milk. This was not true. LEVELS OF IGF-I ALWAYS INCREASE IN bst-TREATED MILK.
MONSANTO hired the outgoing FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes. He went to work for their public relations firm. There was a revolving door policy at FDA. In addition, Michael Taylor left FDA and became an UNDERSECRETARY at UDSA when Espy resigned. He was there to see that genetic engineering reached its potential without regulatory interference. He became the author of the regulations. Taylor is now back at KING & SPALDING representing his CLIENT.
Margaret Miller, MONSANTO’S scientist-turned-FDA regulator, was aware that cows were getting mastitis in clinical trials. She ARBITRARILY changed the antibiotic protocol and increased the amounts of permissible antibiotic residues in milk. Before she got to FDA, the standard allowed one part per hundred million. After Miller’s change, it was increased by 100 times to one part per million. CONSUMERS UNION tested milk in the New York area and found the presence of 52 different antibiotics in milk sample. The Wall Street Journal did their own tests and confirmed CONSUMERS results.
When Bob Dole ran for president his Chief of Staff was Donald Rumsfeld, ex-president of SEARLE, a company acquired by MONSANTO. To place things in perspective…the 1989 smoking gun study was performed by SEARLE scientists for MONSANTO. For all practical purposes, those firms were and are one and the same.
When Clinton praised MONSANTO in his State-of-the-Union address two years ago how many people noticed? I sure did. Michale Taylor, the MONSANTO attorney turned FDA and USDA employee is a first cousin to Al Gore’s wife, Tipper. Look for President Gore’s cabinet to include Mr. Taylor…just a prediction on my part. (Editor: This has not occurred.)
I have saved the best for last. My favorite. In order to prove rbST safe MONSANTO did a study in Guelph, Canada that led to approval. FDA cited the study in their SCIENCE paper but incorrectly cited the reference. They gave credit to Jerome Moore. When I pulled Moore’s paper there was no mention of this reference. I pulled dozens of other papers and found the SMOKING GUN. Had I written a paper like this for high school biology I would have failed.
Here was a paper in the most important journal in the world on the most controversial study in FDA history and they made this mistake (and many other errors documented in Chapter 3 of my book).
HERE IS WHAT HAPPENED:
The Canadian scientist (still an undergrad working with three MONSANTO scientists) pasteurized milk at the normal temperature and time to prove that it destroyed the BST. It did not. He then pasteurized milk for thirty minutes at 72 degrees Celsius (162 degrees Fahrenheit), a temp. reserved for 15 seconds. That only destroyed nineteen percent of the BST. WHEN THAT DID NOT WORK, he sprinkled powdered BST into the milk and pasteurized that.
This time the EXPERIMENT worked. They destroyed 90 percent of the “SPIKED MILK.” That was THEIR word, SPIKED! Read the study and you will be astounded.
FDA concluded that milk was safe to drink because pasteurization destroyed the BST. When FDA wrote the SCIENCE paper they included 75 references. Number 75 was Suzanne Sechen, another Monsanto scientist who was hired by FDA to review her own research. Number one reference is usually reserved as an honorary place for a key scientist. Reference number one was given to DALE BAUMAN who is a Cornell researcher and professor. Dale Bauman’s papers continue to repeat the MYTH that pasteurization destroyed the BST. Bauman refuses to debate me but he continues to teach this MYTH to his students.
As a result of the MYTH, the FDA did three things:
I. MONSANTO was relieved of doing any further toxicology studies
II. MONSANTO was relieved of the responsibility of developing a TEST to detect the presence of BST in milk.
III. A “ZERO DAY WITHDRAWAL” was determined which was an FDA designation meaning that a substance was perfectly safe for human consumption.
Lots of coincidences, huh? I call this a conspiracy of ignorance. Put all of these things together and, at the very least, it calls for a review of the RICHARD, ODAGLIA and DESLEX paper, don’t you think?
Results of Personal Research
These and many other sources have convinced me that the effects of milk on the body are very significantly altered by pasteurization and homogenization, and that the understanding of and consumption of milk simply on the basis of its macronutrient and micronutrient analysis can be seriously misleading.
It is high time that the public were educated about the difference between safe certified raw milk and the highly processed product that they buy from the average supermarket. It would appear that many of the adverse side-effects of milk consumption, even with a full fat content, have far more to do with the aggressive processing of the product than any inherent ‘unhealthiness’.
Dr Mel C Siff