Dairy farmers are being urged by The Dairy Council to hit back at an aggressive campaign launched this week by the Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation.
The White Lies campaign is aimed at &"exposing the enormous health consequences of consuming dairy products&".
It kicked off during this week&'s National Vegetarian Week with a sell-out seminar in London called Why You Don&'t Need Dairy.
Armed with a giant Pinta Pus carton, the VVF handed in to the Department of Health a &"scientific report&" claiming that &"cow&'s milk and dairy products are at the heart of the UK&'s worsening health statistics&".
Juliet Gellatley, director of the Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation said: &"Heart disease, cancer, strokes, ­diabetes and all the other degenerative diseases are at epidemic proportions in this country and diet is principally responsible.
&"It is now accepted meat is one of the main culprits but this report now places dairy where it belongs - at the heart of a worsening public health crisis.&"
Before the launch, The Dairy Council had already alerted members and was offering information on all the scientific issues as well as letter-writing assistance.
Dr Judith Bryans, nutritionist and the Director of The Dairy Council, told The Grocer: &"Our letter-writing campaign is intended to get as many people as possible involved in dairy farming to contact their local papers.
&"We felt it was important to use this nationwide network of people, who know how much effort goes into making sure our milk is healthy, to spread the message about how inaccurate these claims are.
&"Many scientific studies confirm the health benefits of dairy foods - milk has been shown to reduce blood pressure and may help with weight loss, and dairy foods may also have anti-cancer properties.&"
Kit Davies