5 September 2001
Anti-milk campaign to continue
By Alistair Driver
ANIMAL rights campaigners have pledged to continue targeting children with anti-milk propaganda despite being reprimanded by an advertising watchdog.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld three complaints against the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) campaign.
The ASA ordered the welfare group to stop distributing cards warning against drinking milk to young children in a judgement on Wednesday (5 September).
The cards, each headlined Milk Suckers, feature four cartoon characters, Spotty Sue, Chubby Charlie, Windy Wendy and Phlegmy Phil.
Each character is meant to illustrate an affliction caused by drinking milk.
Despite the ruling, PETA said it would relaunch its anti-milk campaign in mid-September, just weeks after children return to school after the summer.
A PETA spokesman stood by the claims on the cards.
He said: The scientific evidence is clear there is a link between milk and spots, obesity, flatulence and phlegm.
But Tim Bennett, deputy president of the National Farmers Union, accused PETA of violating the ASA ruling and showing a callous disregard for children.
Their campaign is not based on sound science and ignores the wholesome qualities of milk and the vital role it plays in the diet of children.
The NFU, along with the Dairy Council, the Royal Agricultural Society of England and NFU Scotland complained to the ASA earlier this summer.
The ASA agreed there was no evidence to support PETAs claims that milk causes acne, obesity, flatulence and excess phlegm.
It also agreed that PETA irresponsibly encouraged children to stop drinking dairy milk and was likely to cause some children undue fear and distress.
Mr Bennett said that the ruling had exposed how PETA was trying to undermine the British dairy industry.
Its campaign was based on lies and misinformation that falsely attacked milks vital role in the healthy development of bones, teeth and skin, he said.
- Advertising Standards Authority ruling against PETA
- Milk Suckers PETA anti-milk campaign website
- Ex-Beatle supports anti-milk group, FWi, 3 September 2001
- Union takes anti-milk group to ASA, FWi, 29 May 2001
- Kids targeted in anti-milk campaign, FWi, 15 May 2001
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