UK bans advertisement linking cow’s milk to cancer
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of the United Kingdom (UK) has banned the advertisement linking cow’s milk to cancer, which was funded by vegan group Viva!.
The ban came after a couple of complaints were filed at ASA saying that the claims of Viva! in the ad are misleading.
According to a report from The Telegraph UK, the ad particularly claims that “some dairy industry facts we bet you don’t know … Most cows are pregnant when milking. That’s why milk contains 35 hormones, including oestrogen … some of these are linked to cancer. Milk is for babies, so let Viva! wean you off the teat!”
Later on, ASA found that the poster containing such ad breached rules regarding misleading advertising and substantiation, and banned it from appearing again.
“While the claim stated that some hormones in cow’s milk were “linked” to cancer rather than definitively stating that they caused cancer, we considered that consumers would nonetheless interpret it to mean that because of the hormones that were present in cow’s milk, drinking cow’s milk could increase a person’s risk of developing cancer,” an ASA official was quoted as saying.
“We considered that the various sources provided by Viva! constituted adequate evidence that over 35 hormones were present in cow’s milk. However, we were concerned that the studies were unable to account for confounding factors which could affect the results. We also noted that the papers referred to other conflicting evidence and all noted the need for additional studies to confirm their findings,” he added.
According to him, the studies also did not support Viva’s assertion that the findings of increased risk of cancer were specifically a result of the hormones present in cow’s milk rather than to other factors.
“The ad must not appear again in the form complained about,” he then said.
“We told Viva! not to make claims which stated or implied that due to the presence of hormones, drinking cow’s milk could increase a person’s risk of developing cancer,” he added.