MIV defends milk

The latest debate in Germany is about milk and cancer. According to a Harvard University study, there may be a link between pasteurised cow milk from industrial dairies and hormone-related cancers. The Nobel Laureate Harald zur Hausen from Heidelberg University has also waded in, claiming there are dangers from a previously unobserved class of pathogens in beef and cow’s milk.

According to the studies, the so-called bovine meat and milk factors could cause chronic inflammation, which may mean a higher risk especially for colon and possibly also for breast and prostate cancer.

The German Dairy Industry Association (MIV) has reacted by pointing out that the Max Rubner Institute and the Competence Centre for Nutrition (KErn) have said, “Milk and dairy products do not increase the risk of colorectal cancer and breast cancer in the context of consumption recommendations. Various dairy ingredients even seem to have a protective effect.”

MIV also notes that the facts are confirmed by an International Cancer Report (WCRF Report, 2018), which concludes that milk and dairy reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer. Further, using unproven hypotheses to question the safety of cow’s milk is irresponsible, says MIV about the claims made by zur Hausen. The association expects an objective scientific assessment on the basis of the current state, so “the consumer is not led astray.”

However, the MIV underlines that this does not mean that scientifically new approaches should not and must not be discussed.

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