UK - Dairy experts leapt to the defence of regular milk last week, accusing a newspaper article of misrepresenting a recent study comparing two different types of milk proteins.
The health implications of drinking A1 and A2 beta-casein protein milk were explored in the Daily Express article ‘The Milk that Won’t Churn Your Stomach’, which trade association DairyUK said failed on two major issues.
In a letter to the editor, DairyUK pointed out that the Australian experiment, conducted at the University of Curtin, compared exclusively A1 milk with A2 milk.
DairyUK stated that, in Europe, most milk consumed contains a mix of both A1 and A2 proteins, meaning the study was ‘not representative’ of UK drinking milk.
Findings of the study would therefore not be relevant for British consumers, explained DairyUK.
Secondly, the Australian study, carried out at the University of Curtin, emphasised stool consistency between the groups.
Stool consistency was irrelevant, DairyUK said: “Both groups remained between 3 and 4 on the Bristol Stool Scale – a scale going from 1 to 7 with ratings between 3 and 4 being perfectly normal.
“Although the difference between both groups may have been significant from a statistical point view, it bore no clinical relevance, a fact blatantly overlooked by both articles.”
Founded in New Zealand in 1997, A2 milk was developed and marketed for a section of consumers unable to drink A1 proteins without suffering discomfort.
Dr Connor McLachlan’s business has since spread to the UK where 3,000 cows producing only A2 protein milk are farmed in North Wales and the West Midlands.
Dairy concerns were raised further on last Wednesday (3 September) when a Northern Ireland radio show discussed the study findings with the author in which the journalist referred to lactose intolerance as ‘dairy intolerance’ and ‘milk intolerance’.
DairyUK described the expert’s failings in addressing the misconception as ‘disheartening’.
DairyUK added: “At a time when the sector is working hard to highlight how dairy makes a difference to public health, it is regrettable that confusion has been added to the public debate and it is important to remind consumers that milk is a nutritious product.”
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