LOS ANGELES (24 OCTOBER 2023): There’s a killer among us, hiding in plain sight, killing kids. However, for some reason, most people in the U.S. don’t know that the killer is milk. A landmark British Medical Journal (BMJ) study published in 2021 found that cow’s milk is now the leading cause of fatal anaphylaxis in school aged children yet Big Dairy may be keeping the general public from knowing the results of this study, resulting in more unnecessary deaths. Switch4Good, an evidence-based nonprofit committed to providing health, wellness and food equity education, purchased five billboards in heavily trafficked sections of Los Angeles and Atlanta to warn parents about the perils of dairy consumption.
Deaths from peanuts, shellfish and eggs receive a lot of media attention yet cow’s milk, along with products made from dairy such as cheese, ice cream and yogurt, have become the most prevalent and the most-deadly food allergen. The BMJ study determined that since 1992, there has been a decrease in the proportion of deaths due to peanuts or tree nuts yet the rate of lethal exposure to cow’s milk has increased, now making it the most common single cause of fatal anaphylaxis.
“Allergies can present in many ways with differing levels of severity, but the risk of anaphylaxis should not be overlooked. Cow’s milk is a leading offender in children and needs to be taken seriously,” said Leigh Ettinger, M.D., a pediatric specialist.
Children under age five are more likely to have a milk allergy although children of all ages are impacted at a high rate. More than 47% of children with a milk allergy have had to visit the emergency room at least once due to exposure, according to a cross-sectional study of 40,000 kids published in Pediatrics, the leading U.S. peer-reviewed journal for children’s healthcare.
“Most schools don’t allow peanuts or tree nuts, yet every kid is still served a carton of cow’s milk with their lunch. For some of those children, a glass of cow’s milk or a slice of cheese could very well be a death sentence,” said Dotsie Bausch, executive director of Switch4Good, before asking, “Why did this important BMJ study not have any reach?”
In Switch4Good’s effort to purchase billboards in a handful of U.S. cities to make parents aware of the study, they were repeatedly declined by the three largest outdoor advertising companies. The original artwork contained a child’s picture on a milk carton, missing because she was killed by milk (see the photo at the bottom of this press release). Every billboard company refused with one of the big three billboard companies saying, “No creative that promotes ‘no dairy’ will be accepted.”
Eventually Switch4Good had to accept “toning down” the billboard in order to get the message out to the public.
“There’s no doubt that the power of Big Dairy put fear in those billboard companies. Thanks to the billboard company that had the courage to accept our ad, we are finally able to tell the truth and educate parents,” said Bausch.
Consuming cow’s milk and dairy products is also dangerous for adults, who get sick from milk allergies, lactose intolerance and in extreme cases, fatal anaphylaxis. Heart disease is the most common cause of death, which is often caused by artery-clogging saturated and trans fat intake. Dairy products, mainly cheese, are the number one source of saturated fat in the American diet. Dairy consumption has also been shown to increase the risk of developing breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Lactose intolerance impacts approximately 67% of the human population, but up to 95% of people of color (Black, Asian, Native American, Latin and Ashkenazi Jews). Lactose intolerance is the inability to break down the lactose (milk sugar) in cow’s milk into simpler sugars for absorption into the bloodstream, resulting in undigested lactose remaining in the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms may include diarrhea, abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, flatulence, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, mouth ulcers, urinary symptoms, fatigue and loss of concentration. While the dairy industry knows that up to 95% of the BIPOC population is lactose intolerant, Big Dairy continues to market their products to people they know get sick from consuming dairy.
For more information about Killer Milk, please visit https://killermilk.com.
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Contact: Rick Scott 310.714.0248