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Devil in the Milk: Illness, Health and the Politics of A1 and A2 Milk Paperback – March 9, 2009
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"[A] shattering expose of the health problems caused by milk and the efforts of elements in the dairy industry and Government to cover them up."--Jacqueline Steincamp, Healthy Options
"Devil in the Milk is a monumental study, convincingly laid out, and one that demands our immediate attention. . . . If we can use this book to convert our cows to A2 cows, then use the principles of properly fed, properly prepared dairy, we will do much to reduce the disease burden in our country and find our way to the robust health that is our birthright. I encourage everyone to read this book and see for themselves."--Thomas Cowan, MD, from the Foreword
"I believe this is an important book. Critics should think carefully and avoid knee-jerk reactions."--Sir John Scott, Professor Emeritus of Medicine, University of Auckland
"Devil in the Milk is potentially as significant as Carson's Silent Spring or Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed."--Alan Robb, The New Zealand Farmers Weekly
About the Author
Keith Woodford is Professor of Farm Management and Agribusiness at Lincoln University in New Zealand. A regular commentator in the news media, he was previously at the University of Queensland (Australia) for 20 years. He lives with his family in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Thomas Cowan, MD, has studied and written about many subjects in medicine including nutrition, homeopathy, anthroposophical medicine, and herbal medicine. He is the principal author of The Fourfold Path to Healing and co-author (with Sally Fallon) of The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care. Dr. Cowan has served as vice president of the Physicians’ Association for Anthroposophic Medicine and is a founding board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation®. He also writes the “Ask the Doctor” column in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts (the Weston A. Price Foundation’s quarterly magazine) and has lectured throughout the United States and Canada. He has three grown children and currently practices medicine in San Francisco where he resides with his wife, Lynda Smith.
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Top customer reviews
A1 is the newer milk in an evolutionary sense, with the mutation responsible arising somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago, at a time when cattle were being taken north into Europe. A2 milk is the original structure. All goat milk, most sheep milk, and some cow milk is A2. In the United States, though, most of the milk produced has a very high proportion of A1 milk.
The danger from A1 milk is in its protein structure. The beta-casein in A1 milk has a structure that allows a short molecule called beta-casomorphin-7, or BCM-7, to split off during digestion. This small protein is the "devil in the milk", and it can cause various problems, ranging from juvenile diabetes, autism, schizophrenia, allergies, to auto-immune diseases such as MS and Parkinson's.
The evidence is quite compelling. The conclusion is that we should not drink A1 cow milk, or eat products made from it. While the percentage of children with immediate effects is small, the consequences are severe for affected individuals. Only 2/10ths of 1% will get juvenile diabetes, only 1 in 150 are autistic, a small percentage have Celiac or Crohn's: but if not drinking milk will prevent all of these, it is hard to see how it is worth taking the risk. (Also, though the author doesn't discuss this, there is good reason to think that many cases of ADD/ADHD are milder reactions to A1 milk than full-blown autism.)
For adults, A1 milk is correlated with much higher rates of heart attack, schizophrenia, diabetes, MS, Parkinsons. So same thing: why take a chance on being one of the affected individuals. In Western society most people have a high degree of degeneration as they age, and there is good reason to thing that A1 milk contributes to this for everyone.
My recommendation after reading this is to only use certified A2 cows milk, or stick to sheep and goat's milk.
The dairy industry doesn't want to hear this, as there is a cost for them to switch to all A2 cows. Nonetheless, it is essential for public health that this conversion be done as quickly as possible.
Since a great many in the ADD community have food sensitivities that exacerbate cognitive symptoms, and since I happen to have what I call a "cognitive allergy" to milk myself (makes it tough to drive my own brain), I read this book with great interest.
He makes his case! I will be exploring sources for A2 milk to see if that changes anything for me, and meanwhile I'll continue to avoid milk as much as possible (now more than EVER before!) The other reviewers do a great job of explaining why.
I want to add a style comment. Yes, it's clear that Woodford is an educator and his style reflects a teaching tone, but for my money that's what made the book valuable. He left no steps out as he presented fact after fact after fact, answering his detractors with who-what-when detail, encouraging the reader to decide for him or herself where the truth lies. Start at page one and read straight through, as if you were attending a class or a lecture, and his voice is easy to follow.
Without all that carefully documented detail, I fear he might be dismissed as merely a rabble-rouser, since the milk lobby can't be thrilled about this news - his reason as well, I imagine. Their marketing departments must be working overtime to put a spin on the story that allows them to stay in business while they decide when (or whether) to begin a breeding program to phase out A1 cattle in favor of the A2 cows that do not contain the troublesome allele that is clearly linked to SERIOUS health problems.
Sensitive to the problems facing the dairy industry, Woodford makes it clear that it will take about a decade to make the switch to "healthier" milk, simply the time it takes a breeding program to mature so that A1 is bred OUT. Meanwhile, how do you keep the industry alive financially -- now, and especially down the line, when some milk is A2 and some is A1?
Perhaps, in the US anyway, the government needs to step in with some financial incentives NOT to produce A1 milk. We can pay NOW to make the switch, or pay later in terms of continuously escalating health costs -- even if we don't think about the quality of the lives affected.
What's most troubling to me, however, is that every dairy farmer in the world is not attempting to figure that out WHILE they make the switch, vs. deciding *when* public outcry will demand it. It's going to be a bumpy ride, and it will be interesting to watch the shake-up in industry players as time marches on and more people become aware of this issue.
In any case, this is a fascinating - albeit troublesome - read, with NEED TO KNOW info, especially for those who are at risk or are already experiencing heart health issues (and ALL diabetics!) If the link between A1 milk and Type-I (yes, ONE) continues to pan out, this is horrifying news. ALL new parents need to read this book to help them decide how to proceed with the milk they feed to their infants.
(Madelyn Griffith-Haynie - ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
- ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder -
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