Rosanna dairy remarks anger farmers
A WAR of words has erupted between former Miss World Rosanna Davison and Irish dairy farmers after she urged the public to eliminate dairy from their daily diet.
The advice for the newly qualified dietician was branded "bizarre" and "reckless" by John Comer, president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) ,who described the former beauty queen's views as "faddish quackery".
Speaking to the Sunday Independent this weekend, Ms Davison, who has recently completed a three-year course in Naturopathic Nutrition and Human Biochemistry to become a qualified nutritionist, said: "The difference between me and the ICMSA is that I am not trying to sell anything."
The dispute comes after Ms Davison wrote on a blog, "there is simply no space for moderation when it comes to dairy. This is always one of the very first dietary modifications I recommend to clients, friends and family when they ask me for advice on their diet. Eliminate it entirely. Remove it from your diet and watch your beauty, vitality and energy levels increase within a matter of weeks."
But in a strongly worded statement, Mr Comer said: "No serious student of human health and diet shares Rosanna's opinions about the supposed ill-effects of dairy consumption."
His comments come after the covergirl claimed three-quarters of the world's population is "genetically unable" to properly digest milk and other dairy products.
Mr Comer said: "Her claim that commercial milk is full of unnatural hormones, antibiotics, insulin factors and 'pus cells' is just breathtakingly wrong and astonishingly reckless. If anyone's interested in the actual science – as opposed to faddish quackery – then there are countless sources and commentators, all of the highest scientific repute, who can verify to the long-attested health benefits of dairy products.
"We know that dairy products can help fight osteoporosis, hypertension, cardio-vascular disease, maintaining healthy body weight and healthy cholesterol levels as well as combating type 2 diabetes. Those are just some of the benefits that . . . dozens of agencies have upheld after rigorous testing, so we'll take Rosanna's comments with a pinch of salt".
He added: "Rosanna's remarks about milk containing animal proteins which cause cancer is really just silly scaremongering.
"Leaving aside her spectacularly ill-informed comments on the Irish dairy industry . . . passing inane and unproven remarks about what she thinks causes cancer is almost beyond belief."
Mr Comer also called on Ms Davison to consider the responsibility that comes with her celebrity profile.
"We are certainly entitled to ask her to be more careful and balanced about making unfounded allegations against a whole food group . . . and the foundation stone of our most successful indigenous export sector."
Responding to the criticism, Ms Davison said that she had no financial agenda and her opinions were based on current scientific research from Harvard, including renowned scientist Ganmaa Davaasambuu.
"I have built (them) up through extensive research in my training as a nutritionist and personal experience with both myself and my clients," she said.
The ICMSA has an 18,000-strong membership and is the State's specialist dairy farmer organisation.