Omega-3 milk ads dropped in health claims row


Here is an extract from a Press Release issued by Chris Mercer:

20/06/2006 – Dairy Crest has criticised Britain’s advert watchdog for telling the company to drop claims that its omega-3 milk could improve children’s ability to learn. Dairy Crest, one of Britain’s biggest dairy firms, said there was scientific evidence to back its claim that “increasing the intake of omega-3 may enhance learning and concentration in some children”.

The firm said the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) had told it to ditch the claim from two press adverts for its St Ivel Advance omega-3 milk, following complaints from the public.
The ruling, set to be published by the ASA later this week, deals a blow to the food industry as it looks to push health claims
for omega-3.

Britain’s Joint Health Claims Initiative has approved a generic health claim that foods containing omega-3 benefit heart health, but not learning ability or concentration.
Still, Dairy Crest has built St Ivel Advance around the slogan “clever milk”.
The product has done well since its launch in May 2005, reaching annual retail sales of £13m after its first year and helping the firm move further into higher margin, added value markets.

Here is an abridged extract from The Milk Imperative (

Is dairy milk good for brain development? Quite simply, dairy milk contains no DHA and no fats (saturated or unsaturated) that serve the brain. DHA is the most important oil required for healthy brain development (DHA is a kind of omega-3 fatty acid).

If, as a parent, you are concerned about brain development in your child, depriving the child of dairy milk will enhance brain development for the following reasons:

1. It will help to redress the ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats in the diet by reducing Omega-6, which is high in dairy milk. (Much ill-health is caused by too much omega-6 and too little omega-3).
2. It will help to encourage the child to consume more healthy alternatives to dairy milk, since hunger will not be sated with dairy milk.
3. It will help to improve the general health of the child, as dairy milk causes nothing but harm and ill-health.

By avoiding dairy milk and giving the child food or supplements rich in DHA, the child will have the best chance of developing a healthy brain at a critical stage in brain development.
In his world-famous book, Baby and Child Care, Dr. Benjamin Spock wrote,

‘I no longer recommend dairy products. … The essential fats that are needed for brain development are found in vegetable oils. Milk is very low in these essential fats and high in the saturated fats that encourage artery blockage and weight problems as children grow.’

Russell Eaton

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