October 30, 2008

Autism, Cow’s Milk, and PETA?

Sounds like a bad recipe.

Like me, you are probably wondering what autism, cow’s milk, and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have in common?

In a press release earlier today, PETA announced the message of its new billboard.

In light of two scientific studies that link milk consumption to autism in children, PETA will be displaying a new billboard parodying a ubiquitous milk ad.  The ad shows a bowl of milk and cereal next to the tagline, “Has Your Child Got Autism?”

“Milk may do a body good”, but I haven’t drank it since I was a kid, and my son is allergic to dairy.  And my “no milk” decision was not based on any scientific study.

The release goes on to say,

The bad news is that data from a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that metropolitan St. Louis’ rate of 7.3 cases of autism per 1,000 8-year-old children is one of the highest among the 14 areas studied. The good news is that a study conducted in Norway found a major reduction in autistic behavior in children who were put on a diet free of casein– a component of cow’s milk.  Another study conducted by researchers at the University of Rome found a “marked improvement” in the behavior of autistic children who were taken off dairy products.  Both studies present compelling evidence that should give parents pause the next time that they’re inclined to say to their kids, “Drink your milk.”

“We already know the link between dairy products and ear infections, diabetes, certain types of cancer, and obesity, and now it looks like we can add autism to the list,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman.  “Cow’s milk might be the perfect food for baby cows, but it might also be making kids sick and could seriously damage their health when they get older.”

Most kids on the spectrum are sensitive to dairy and eliminating it from their diets has solved many digestive issues.  Hence, the reason why some parents put their children on the GFCF (gluten-free, casein-free) diet.

I’m not sure what the relation between autism, cow’s milk and PETA is, and I’m also not sure why PETA chose to use a sad face for their ad.

Autism isn’t a death sentence, and an ad like this one only feeds the paranoia of those parents looking to blame anything.

I just wish they had chosen someone else to pick on for publicity’s sake.

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