Medicine And The Media

Milk scare hits New Zealand

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 15 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:836
  1. Sarah Catherall, journalist
  1. Auckland, New Zealand Sarah Catherall

    The New Zealand dairy industry was already poised for action when news broke that a New Zealand medical researcher had discovered a link between milk and insulin dependent diabetes. Within hours of the first wave of media reports, the Dairy Board, which promotes the dairy industry in New Zealand and overseas, had set up a free 0800 telephone information line. Over about six hours 200 callers rang the hotline.

    Surprisingly, it was the Dairy Board, which funded the research, that gave Professor Bob Elliott, of the Auckland Medical School, permission to break the story in the first place. Two years ago it agreed to back the professor's research after he observed that a protein, ß casein A1, produced by about 20% of New Zealand's dairy herd, could trigger insulin dependent diabetes in those prone to the condition. The story …

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