While there is still no way that I know of for North American farmers to get their cattle tested for A1 or A2 status and no A1/A2 information is available on semen in North America, it’s time we caught up with New Zealand where farmers, who’ve seen the writing on the wall, are upgrading their herds’ status toward full A2 simply by breeding their cows to known A2 bulls. Here’s an excerpt from the latest review of Keith Woodford’s book “Devil in the Milk, from Ari LeVaux at AlterNet:
Milk May Endanger Your Health, and the Dairy Industry Knows It
A mutant protein linked to major diseases has invaded the world’s dairy supply, including, most likely, the jug of milk in your fridge.
The protein, called A1 beta-casein, is well known in the scientific community. While most dairy companies, trade groups and government agencies consider it harmless, a growing body of research implicates A1 beta-casein in diabetes, heart disease, autism and schizophrenia.
The original mutation occurred several thousand years ago, causing cow zero and its offspring to produce milk in which the amino acid histidine occupies the 67th position of the beta-casein protein found in milk solids.
The amino acid proline occupies that position in the nonmutant, original form of the A2 protein. Today, the average vessel of milk contains milk from many cows, with a mixture of both A1 and A2 beta-casein.
Keith Woodford, a professor of farm management and agribusiness at Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand, is spreading the word about what he believes to be the dangers of milk containing A1 beta-casein.
His book, Devil in the Milk, builds on more than 100 peer-reviewed studies to present a compelling case that A1 milk poses substantial health risks.
The book is a technical read, and conspiracy theorists will find it gripping, as Woodford details the extent to which corporations and government bodies with entrenched interests in maintaining A1 milk’s reputation have disputed, ignored and silenced evidence suggesting there might be a problem.
If Woodford is right, those fighting to sweep this research under the rug are endangering the health of millions, if not billions, and for little in the way of return. He says it would be a simple matter to remove A1 beta-casein from the word’s milk supply.
A New Zealand company, A2 Corp., has patented means of testing cattle for the A1 mutation. The company assists dairies in switching their herds to A2 production, which takes about two generations, or 10 years. A2 Corp. also certifies dairies that produce pure A2 milk and helps market it.
While Woodford makes it clear neither he nor his family have any financial interest in A2 Corp., it’s clear he hopes the company succeeds.
Countries with the highest levels of A1 in their milk also have the greatest incidence of Type 1 diabetes and heart disease, Woodford explains. This observation inspired a study on rodents, in which one group of rats was fed A1 beta-casein and the other was fed A2. None of the A2 group developed diabetes, while half the A1 group did. Other animal studies implicate A1 in heart disease.
The evidence linking A1 milk to autism and schizophrenia follows similar lines: Correlations in population studies and support from animal studies, but scarce research on human subjects.
Earlier related stories on the A1 A2 milk question:
Dairy Science as if people mattered — the Bovine’s review of the A1 A2 book