PETA, which claims to be the largest animal rights group in the world, erected its first new ‘Got Zits?’ billboard – a play on the20 year-old ‘Got Milk’ campaign - within walking distance of two high schools in Kansas City, according to reports from the US.
The billboard features a teenage girl sporting a milk moustache, as well as several blemishes. The advert reads, “Got Zits? Studies show: Milk and cheese trigger acne. Ditch dairy.”
PETA made its claims on the back of a scientific study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in February 2013. The study reported evidence of a connection between diet and acne – particularly consumption of high glycaemic load and dairy foods.
Commenting on the new billboard in February 2013, PETA executive vice president, Tracy Reiman said that with dairy alternatives readily available, children in the US need not “sacrifice their complexion and overall health.”
“The only people who benefit when teens drink milk from animals or eat dairy-based ice cream are dairy factory farmers and the makers of acne medication,” she added.
Latest “sensational” claims from PETA
The NDC, which provides dairy-based nutritional information to industry stakeholders, has branded PETA’s new ‘Got Zits?’ billboard as the latest in a long line of “sensational assertions” made by the animal rights group.
Speaking with DairyReporter.com, NDC spokeswoman, Barbara Baron, advised the public to seek out advice on acne from a dermatologist, not from PETA.
“As a registered dietician, what I want the public to know is that a balanced, nutrient-rich diet – and staying hydrated – is how you keep your skin healthy from a nutrition perspective,” said Baron.
“The public should look to dermatologists, not animal rights groups, for advice in this realm.”
Commenting on PETA’s study-based acne claims, Baron said it is too early to draw any “definite conclusions.”
“While we keep a close eye on all scientific research related to dairy intake and health, there is too little research on this specific topic for anyone to draw definitive conclusions.”
“The US dairy industry is focused on communicating credible information based on science,” she said.
“…PETA has used tactics like this in the past, to no avail.”
“No basis for such claims”
Alongside its acne claims, PETA also condemned US milk production practices.
“Teens aren’t the only ones who suffer because of dairy consumption,” said PETA.
“Cows on dairy factory farms are genetically and chemically manipulated to produce unnaturally high quantities of milk, and as a result many cows contract mastitis, a painful infection of the udder. Newborn calves are torn away from their mother, and the males are sold to veal farms, where many are chained for months inside crates so small they can’t even turn around or lie down comfortably.”
The NDC also played down these claims.
“Like PETA’s many other sensational assertions, there is no basis for such claims,” Baron concluded.