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Academic hopes US book release will reignite debate on A2 milk

Kiwi academic and author Professor Keith Woodford hopes the release of his book “The Devil in the Milk” in the United States will lead to further research and debate on the benefits of A2 milk.

Professor Woodford said yesterday that further research exploring the benefits of A2 milk over the more common A1 is likely to be led by overseas interests where the markets are bigger and there is more pressure from consumers to provide the best and healthiest products.

The recent release of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which essentially discounted links between the consumption of A1 milk and a range of diseases including diabetes, heard disease, autism and schizophrenia has done little to stymie proponents of A2 milk. The New Zealand government has accepted the report and said no further research is required.

The A1/A2 milk issue stemmed from research that seemed to prove causality between a protein in A1 milk, which comes predominantly from Friesian cows, and links to diabetes, heart disease, autism and schizophrenia in people with immune deficiencies.

Professor Woodford said the writers of the EFSA report, were not health professionals and were not attempting to ask and answer the right questions in the A1/A2 debate.

A2 milk is readily available across the Tasman in Coles and Woolworths supermarkets commanding a premium price of around double the price of standard milk.

“The tragedy for New Zealand is that we have the ability to provide a natural value-add to get a higher price and we’re not doing it. In fact we’ve gone away from it,” Professor Woodford said.

Large scale human testing is required to proof the debate either way. Professor Woodford said double blind testing on humans would take 20 to 30 years because the slow acting nature of the diseases that A1 milk is linked with.

More by Liam Baldwin

Comments and questions

Per your report... "Professor Woodford said the writers of the EFSA report, were not health professionals ...". Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!!! As I understand Woodford's expertise he is qualified in Farm Management and Agricultural Economics, not the sort of qualification I would want for someone advising me on my health or my diet!