Organic Consumers Association

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New Study on Milk Quality Runs Away from Its Own Findings

A Monsanto-funded study by scientists at Cornell University measured the concentrations of heart-healthy fatty acids in 292 samples of conventional rbST, and organic whole milk.  The study was needed, according to the authors, to clear up "confusion" among consumers over nutritional differences between conventional, rbST, and organic milk.

The team found significant differences in the two key fatty acids that are higher in organic milk - conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega 3 fatty acids.  CLA levels were 23% higher in the organic milk compared to conventional and rbST milk, and omega 3 levels were 63% higher.  

The authors dismissed the differences as not nutritionally relevant, reflecting accurately their opinions but not hundreds of studies on the health benefits of elevated CLA and omega 3 intakes.  

In fact, this study actually confirms what several other studies have found - organic milk contains significantly higher concentrations of health-promoting fatty acids, especially during the times of the year when cows are feeding on lush pastures.

Source: A.M. O'Donnell, K.P. Spatny, J.L. Vicini, and D.E. Bauman, "Survey of the fatty acid composition of retail milk differing in label claims based on production management practices," Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 93, Pages 1918-1925.  January 2010.

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