Soil Association Responds to Claims that Organic Milk isnt Healthier
Sunday Times Scotland reported on a study by scientists at Glasgow University's veterinary school which suggests parents who buy organic milk for their children, believing it to be healthier, are wasting their money. They claim to have shown that organic milk is no healthier than that produced by conventional farming methods but rather "contains fewer essential vitamins. Levels of vitamins A and E, which help fight cancer and boost the immune system, were up to 15% lower in organic milk".
Peter Cripps, the co-author of the study published in the Journal of Dairy Research, said he was surprised to discover the higher vitamin content in conventional milk as the team had set out to prove that organic milk was healthier.
Dr Kathryn Ellis, who was involved in the study, said the higher vitamin content was probably because of the vitamin-enriched concentrate feeds given to non-organic cattle.
Hugh Raven, Soil Association Scotland director, is quoted saying that the difference was due to "synthetic additives, which could not be given to organic cows."
Sunday Times Scotland (14 Oct) and a news in brief in the Sunday Times(p.2)
Soil Association comment:
The Sunday Times wrongly claims the research found organic milk contains 'fewer levels of vitamin E'. In fact the research found there was 'no significant differences in the vitamin E and beta-carotene contents between organic and non-organic milk'.
It is widely accepted that organic milk is healthier. In total, six studies have found that organic milk has more fat-soluble nutrients - omega-3 fatty acid, Vitamin E and beta-carotene - than non-organic milk, as well as a healthier omega 3:6 ratio. Studies by Glasgow and Liverpool Universities (2006) found that UK whole organic milk has, on average, 68% higher levels of the essential fatty acid omega-3 and a healthier omega-3:6 profile than non-organic milk.
Soil Association milk webpage:
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