“Et tu, Globe and Mail?”


First, let me disclaim any grudge against the venerable Globe and Mail.  I love that newspaper, so much so that I frequently cross the Canadian border and remain for days in the coffee houses of Vancouver or Victoria just to commune with my Globe and Mail.   In fact, I was doing just last week while escaping our American Thanksgiving, not the ideal holiday for those who prefer not to put junk in their mouths.

On the day before our Thanksgiving (November 25, 2015) the Globe ran a piece called “Eating Cheese with Chopsticks?” about the efforts of the Canadian dairy industry to seduce Chinese-Canadians into become new customers.  I know, all is fair in love, war and advertising – but journalism should perhaps rise above the ethical nadir of the infomercial.  In the article the Globe found a “dietitian” who asserted with great authority that “as well as decreasing blood pressure, milk can reduce incidences of diabetes and heart diseases” and added that in “countries such as China, where dairy is uncommon, the rate of osteoporosis in women older than 50 is twice as high as in Canada” and that dairy “reduces bone-thinning.”

My goodness!  Such a surprise!  And this must all have happened in the short interval since I last looked at the epidemiology of diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure and osteoporosis!

So – let’s be clear.  Despite the journalism of my favorite newspaper, the meta-analyses of unsponsored studies looking at these ailments do not, by any interpretation of the data, support the salubriousness of dairy consumption.  The assertions quoted above are simply not true.

My dear Globe and Mail, please check your facts before printing reckless claims from a “dietitian” who, in this case, is securely in the pocket of the dairy industry.  Your “Food & Wine” section on Wednesdays should be more than a collection of infomercials.