Resurrecting The Dairy Industry Rickets Lie
In 2001, the National Fluid Milk Processors promoted
a phony scare-story regarding rickets, and America's
media fell for it by reporting a new rickets epidemic
when there really was no scientific basis for such a
On Tuesday, the dairy industry revisited their cemetary
of ghouls and goblins and unearthed this same deception,
hoping that we forgot their deceit the first time around.
After intense marketing effort, the Associated Press
reported on November 27, 2007:
"Too Little Milk, Exercise Hurting Kids
WEAK BONES: Bone specialists say possibly millions of
seemingly healthy children aren't building as much
strong bone as they should.
THE CULPRITS: Too little milk, sunshine and exercise.
DISORDERS: This is putting children at risk of developing
bone-softening rickets now and bone-cracking osteoporosis
later in life."
In 2001, the dairy industy began their rickets lie by
"The childhood ailment rickets - in which vitamin D and calcium
deficiency leads to soft bones and poor growth - is making a
surprise comeback...because young toddlers are not consuming
adequate amounts of milk - the primary dietary source of calcium
and vitamin D."
The press release referred to a report that was filed by Norman
Carvalho, MD, a pediatrician at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
How soon we forget! Children are taught in first grade that
Vitamin D is the "sunshine vitamin." Vitamin D is a steroid
hormone and is synthesized in one's body after skin is exposed
to sunlight. Once the body has made enough, it will produce no
more. Too much Vitamin D can be toxic and lead to bone loss.
Here is how the Centers for Disease Control responded to
the dairy industry's phony study:
Shanna Nesby-O'Dell DVM,MPH
Epidemiology Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer wrote:
"Currently in the U.S., there is no national surveillance for
nutritional rickets due to vitamin D deficiency. Therefore,
data are not available onthe current prevalence of
vitamin D-deficient rickets among U.S. children.
However, studies indicated that between January of 1997
and June of 1999 there were six Georgia children hospitalized
with rickets. That represents 5 kids per million with rickets."
LYING WITH STATISTICS
In 2001 there were 416,474 people living in the city of
Atlanta. That's where Dr. Carvalho did his research.
(Carvalho---isn't that frozen pus with sugar added?)
If one-quarter of those residents are children between the ages
of 1 and 10, then less than one child in Atlanta would have
One-half of one kid does not make for a rickets epidemic.
(Was he a heads or tails, it's anybody's guess!)
The real numbers were not reported by the news media,
just the headlines. Who sponsors these news items anyway?
They dairy industry claims:
"The rise of rickets in the U.S. is a major concern.
We're trying to educate parents and alert pediatricians to the
problem. If toddlers are not drinking enough milk, it is highly
unlikely that they will receive enough calcium and vitamin D
in their diets."
Vitamin D comes from the sun. Humans synthesize Vitamin D in
their skin. Atlanta is a pretty sunny place. Unless kids are
kept chained in the closet, they will manufacture all the
Vitamin D-3 that is necessary for their bodies.
One additionl child in Atlanta with rickets. That is the
science behind the dairy industry's claim. One kid
represents the so-called rickets epidemic.
Next thing you know, they'll be promoting milk for
its estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, and melatonin.
THE REAL SCIENTIFIC FACTS REGARDING VITAMIN D
"Exposure to sunlight provides most humans with their
vitamin D requirement."
(Journal of Nutrition 1996;126,4 Suppl)
"Adults need 10-15 minutes of sunlight, two or three
times a week to ensure proper Vitamin D levels."
(Journal of Pediatrics, 1985; 107, 3)
"Consuming as little as 45 micrograms of Vitamin D-3
in young children has resulted in signs of overdose."
(Pediatrics, 1963; 31)
"Testing of 42 milk samples found only 12% within the
expected range of Vitamin D content. Testing of 10
samples of infant formula revealed seven with more that
twice the Vitamin D content reported on the label, one of
which had more than four times the label amount. Vitamin
D is toxic in overdose."
(New England Journal of Medicine, 1992, 326)
"Vitamin D increases aluminum absorption, and high aluminum
levels in the body may cause an Alzheimer's-like disease."
(Canadian Medical Association Journal 1992 147, 9)
"Eighteen breast milk and 17 formula-fed infants, ages 2 to 5
months, were studied. The serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (Vitamin D)
level was significantly lower in breast milk than formula-fed
infants but bone mineral content was not different. This
demonstrates adequate mineral absorption occurs from a
predominantly vitamin D-free transport mechanism."
(Journal of Pediatrics, 1998 Apr, 132:4)
"To investigate whether greater intakes of calcium, vitamin D,
or milk products may protect against ischemic heart disease
mortality, data from a prospective cohort study of 34,486
postmenopausal Iowa women were analyzed...results suggest
that a higher intake of calcium, but not of vitamin D or milk
products, is associated with reduced ischemic heart disease
mortality in postmenopausal women."
(Am J Epidemiol, 1999 Jan, 149:2)
"It has since been discovered that the Vitamin D necessary to
absorb the calcium moving down the intestine must already
have been in the bloodstream for a while; what is present
with that calcium (in milk) is useless at that stage. Vitamin
D is part of the mechanism to break bone down so that it can
then stretch and grow. Thus an overdose of D can eventually
lead to osteoporosis."
(Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition, by George Eisman,
M.A., M.Sc., R.D.)