The US-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has criticised what it claims is the over-emphasis on milk's ability to build strong bones, prompting an angry response from activist group, the Center for Consumer Freedom.
The PCRM has launched a new promotional campaign to show consumers that there are foods other than milk which are good, if not better, at strengthening bones.
"It's time people realise milk is not all it's cracked up to be," said PCRM nutrition director Amy J. Lanou. "Studies show that milk - besides increasing the risk of many health problems - is unreliable for building strong bones. The most effective way to ensure bone health is through exercise and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables but low in animal protein and salt. Cow's milk is a fat-and-cholesterol-laden product that should not be recommended for a healthy diet."
However, the PCRM's campaign came under immediate fire from the CCF, which called on the PCRM to "stop portraying itself as a medical organisation and come clean about its connections to extremist animal rights organisations responsible for acts of violence and millions of dollars in destruction of property".
The CCF said it had evidence which detailed the PCRM's ties to such extreme groups. In a statement, it added that the American Medical Association "finds the recommendations of the PCRM irresponsible and potentially dangerous to the health and welfare of Americans" and that the PCRM is in fact "a home for anti-meat, pro-vegan nutritionists who are committed to removing beef, dairy, poultry, and other animal products from our diets for good".