Animal products & health issues

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Animal products & health issues. For more general information on animal products, see also main SourceWatch article meat & dairy industry.

The China Study

Milk: The Deadly Poison with Robert Cohen - Hard Copy - 1998

'The China Study' culminated a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. The survey of diseases and lifestyle factors in rural China and Taiwan is widely thought to be the most comprehensive study on nutrition and related diseases to date. The project produced over 8,000 statistically significant associations between diet and disease. The findings indicated that the consumers of the most animal-based foods suffered the most chronic diseases while those with the most plant based diets avoided these diseases and were the healthiest. Chronic diseases included heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Also studied were the effects of diet in reducing or reversing the risks of chronic disease. The study also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities and irresponsible scientists. [1] According to Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell, "we're basically a vegetarian species, should be eating a wide variety of plant foods and minimizing animal foods." [2], [3]

Dairy products

On the question of osteoporosis, Dr. Campbell replied: "The Chinese study found an average daily calcium intake of 544 mg. (almost none from animal products) and there was basically no osteoporosis in China." In the US there is an average calcium intake of 1,143 mg per day (mostly from dairy) and osteoporosis is a major health issue. Calves have fours stomachs and double their body weight in 47 days as opposed to the 180 days it takes for a human baby to double it's weight. Cows' milk is also 15% protein (as opposed to the 5% protein content of mother's breast milk). Much of the rationale for the belief in milk as an ideal food was based on turn of the 20th century research done on rats. However, the mother's milk of rats is 49% protein and baby rats double their weight in four days. Yet, another example of erroneous data derived from animal testing.[4]

The focus of published reports on dairy consumption are infections, colic, intestinal bleeding, anemia, allergies and more serious issues of diabetes and viral infections of bovine leukemia, an AIDS like virus. Common childrens issues include ear infections, tonsil infections, bed wetting and asthma. Adult issues include heart disease, arthritis, respiratory distress, osteoporosis, leukemia, lymphoma and cancer. Overall health issues include milk contamination by pus cells and chemicals such as pesticides. [5] Most cows' milk contains toxins such as herbicides, pesticides and dioxins and up to 52 powerful antibiotics; blood, pus, feces, bacteria and viruses. Both organic and non-organic milk contain fat, cholesteral and various allergens as well as 59 active hormones. This includes the powerful Growth Factor One (IGF-1) which has been identified in the rapid growth cancer. [6] It has been positively documented and affirmed that dairy consumption leads to clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes and exposure to contaminants. [7], [8] Research has demonstrated a calcium wash or a loss of calcium and other critical minerals like potassium, magnesium and iron from the blood stream as a direct result of dairy consumption starting at 24 ounces per day. [9] Low animal protein diets create a positive calcium balance, whereas high animal protein diets create a negative balance resulting in bone density loss. While many have turned to low fat dairy products, these products contain higher concentrations of protein. Low fat and particularly non-fat dairy products have actually been shown to increase osteoporosis, kidney problems and some cancers. [10]

Vegetarian diets & prevention/treatment of chronic diseases

Do You Drink Milk? 28 Things You Should Know. - October 2006

Many people have begun adopting a vegetarian diet as one of the simplest ways to increase life expectancy and protect against stroke, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Expensive treatment of these conditions puts enormous pressure on personal budgets as well as a struggling national health care system."[11]

Recently, there has been a renewed interest in vegetarian diets. There are currently countless books, cookbooks, and magazine articles which promote and provide information and guidance on plant based diets. Appropriately planned vegetarian diets are now recognized by many, including the American Dietetic Association (ADA), as being nutritionally adequate as well as providing health benefits in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. [12] In fact, the choice of a non-vegetarian lifestyle has a significant health and medical cost. The total direct medical costs in the United States attributable to meat consumption is estimated to be approximately $30-60 billion a year, based on the higher prevalence of hypertension, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, gallstones, obesity and food borne illness among omnivores as compared to vegetarians.[13]

A large body of scientific literature suggests that a diet of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, nuts, and fruits and the avoidance of meat and high-fat animal products, along with a regular exercise program is consistently associated with lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, less obesity and consequently, lower rates of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and mortality. [14], [15], [16] In African-Americans, the frequent consumption of nuts, fruits and green salads was associated with 35-44 percent lower risk of overall mortality. [17], [18]

Position of American Dietetic Association

According to the American Dietetic Association, the world's largest organization of health and nutrition professionals:

"Appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods. This article reviews the current data related to key nutrients for vegetarians including protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B-12. A vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, supplements or fortified foods can provide useful amounts of important nutrients. An evidence-based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes. The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals. The variability of dietary practices among vegetarians makes individual assessment of dietary adequacy essential. In addition to assessing dietary adequacy, food and nutrition professionals can also play key roles in educating vegetarians about sources of specific nutrients, food purchase and preparation, and dietary modifications to meet their needs." [19]

Nutrition & orthodox medicine in the U.S.

Of the 125 medical schools in the U.S., only 30 require their students to take a course in nutrition. The average amount of hours spent on nutrition education for the average U.S. physician during four years of school is 2.5 hours. Physicians are therefore ill equipped to give nutritional advice and/or implement programs; even though most modern illnesses are life style related. Heart attacks are the most common cause of death in the U.S and arguably, the most preventable. The male consumer of meat in the U.S. has a 50% risk of a heart attack in his life time as opposed to 15% for the male non-meat eater. Reducing intake of animal products greatly reduces this risk and eliminating animal products reduces this risk by 90%. [20]

Articles & sources

SourceWatch articles


  1. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell II About, The China Study, 2005
  2. Jane Brody, Grand Prix of Epidemiology, New York Times, May 1990
  3. T. Colin Campbell, PhD Correcting Nutritional Fictions from the New York Times,, 2003
  4. Gene Franks Milk Sucks, or Bossie's Revenge, Pure Water Gazette, Sept 1991
  5. Robert M. Kradjian, MD The Milk Letter: A Message to My Patients, American Fitness Professionals Association, accessed September 2009
  6. Dave Rietz Dangers of Milk and Dairy Products: The Facts,, July 2002
  7. E. Koop Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health, National Library of Medicine, 88-50210, 1988
  8. Melvyn R. Werbach Nutritional Influences on Illness: A Source book of Clinical Research, December 1990, ISBN 0879835311
  9. Report of the Task Force on the Assessment of the Scientific Evidence Relating to Infant-Feeding Practices and Infant Health. Pediatrics, 74:579; 1984.
  10. Mark J. Occhipinti, MS, PhD Does Milk Really Do The Body Good? Calcium and Protein: A Mixture For Disaster, American Fitness Professionals & Associates, accessed January 2009
  11. For Your Health,, accessed December 2010
  12. Messina V, Burke K. Position of The American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets. J Am Diet Assoc 1997; 97: 1317-21
  13. Barnard ND, Nicholson A, and Howard JL. The medical costs attributable to meat consumption. Prev Med 1995;24:646-55
  14. Messina V, Burke K. Position of The American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets. J Am Diet Assoc 1997; 97: 1317-21
  15. Snowdon DA, Phillips RL. Does a vegetarian diet reduce the occurrence of diabetes? Am J Publ Health 1985;75: 507-512
  16. Dwyer JT. Health aspects of vegetarian diets. Am J Clin Nutr 1988;48: 712-38
  17. Fraser GE, Sumbureru D, Pribis S, et al. Association among health habits, risk factors, and all-cause mortality in a black California population. Epidemiology 1997;8:168-74
  18. Winston Craig, MPH, PhD, RD Health Benefits of Vegetarian Diets,, 2003-2010
  19. Vegetarian Diets, American Dietetic Association, Volume 109, Issue 7, Pages 1266-1282, July 2009
  20. The Meat Free Life: How to Win an Argument With a Meat-Eater, Hinduism Today, Essay #2, July 1993

External articles

External resources