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A2 milk, diabetes and heart disease

  • March 4th, 2008

 “The following is a summary of New Zealand government-sponsored research, clinical or otherwise, into A1 and A2 milk since July 2004:    None.”

 That’s how the Sunday Star Times started an excellent review of the state of the play on A2 milk research.

That nil research follows a study of international data, funded by Fonterra predecessor the New Zealand Dairy Board, which found that the incidence of diabetes and heart disease was correlated with consumption of A1 milk. As the SST put it “The correlation is acknowledged by scientists of all stripes to be unusually strong …[though correlation is not cause].”

There’s another strong point the SST could have made. The same government that has refused to fund research on A2 milk is right now winding up to get the power to ban the sale of foods they don’t like, even if they represent no risk in moderation. 

Part 3 of the Public Health Bill 2007 empowers the Director General to issue codes of practice and guidelines to “sectors”, to help “communities” address (including to manage or eliminate)  “risk factors”. As usual these words have purported definitions which do not define, paralleling their common use in PC discourse. Try risk factor for a sample:

“……means a thing or substance that, on its own or together with other things or substances or conditions, may, whether immediately or over time, give rise to, or increase the incidence of, noncommunicable diseases (such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes) in the general population or in communities or in sections of the general population or communities”.

Is there any food or drink (other than water) that could not be caught?

Under clause 88, in 3 years time officials must report to the Minister on whether the codes and guidelines should be made enforceable in criminal or civil proceedings.

Our diabetes and heart disease epidemic is serious. But the politicians who pretend that compassion for the ever-fattening people of Manukau is their reason for telling the rest of us what we can and can’t eat, can’t find enough genuine compassion to face down whoever is hostile to finding the truth about A1 milk.

The Public Health Bill raises testing constitutional issues. When is it justified to use the State’s power to ban things to protect people from themselves? I’ve seen no public debate on this aspect.

Labour would like to paint the new powers as their readiness to stand up to the market forces and consumerism. Their attitude to A2 research seems to me a better guide to their actual values.

The Public Health Bill seems more likely to lead to indulgence in the left’s usual vice, the sweet delight of ordering people around for their own good, in the name of fake compassion.

Disclosure of interest – I’ve punted on A2 shares on the theory that there could be something in research the establishment does not want.


  • Sean
  • March 11th, 2008
  • 9:30 am

Let’s get this straight: you think A2 milk is better, and you’re investing on that basis. If more research shows it is better, you make money. But instead of those who’ll make money out of it paying for the research, you think the govt should pay for the research.

Is this part of a principled stand on your part, whereby you think the govt should be sinking large amounts of taxpayers money into lots of general research on dietary effects on health?

Or is this just a standard appeal for a govt handout on behalf of industry?


I have no idea whether A2 milk is better.
As I said my investment is a punt driven by the establishment reaction to the theory, not any knowledge I pretend.
Of course government should have steered research money that way if there is enough evidence of substantial readily avoidable public health risks.
If you are saying that research should not be done by government if private money could later be made on the back of it, I do not share your view of the proper boundaries of the state. The question is whether the positive externalities not capturable by the private research spenders should be secured by public good spending.

  • peterquixote
  • March 13th, 2008
  • 12:44 pm

basically milk is a toxic product once you get past minimal doses when you are three.
call it A4 if you like, we only make this stuff because it is the best dollar producer.
we should out little villages where the cow sheds are.


This is a serious situation considering the fact that milk is used heavily in several dishes and sweets in several restaurents.

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