[sixties-l] McCartney backs animal rights group in school milk boycott

From: radtimes (resist@best.com)
Date: Tue Sep 04 2001 - 18:18:16 EDT

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    September 2 2000

    McCartney backs animal rights group in school milk boycott


    by Robert Winnett, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

    A RADICAL animal-rights group backed by Sir Paul McCartney is set to picket
    schools, telling children that milk will make them fat and spotty.
    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), which is opposed to
    dairy farming on moral grounds, intends to hand out 100,000 "Pokmon-style"
    cards to young children after they return to school this week.
    The cards will use cartoon characters such as Spotty Sue, Windy Wendy,
    Phlegmy Phil and Chubby Charlie to suggest that if children drink milk they
    can expect the same problems. One card says: "Milk might make people
    intolerant of you because many people who drink it suffer from - pardon us
    - wind!"
    The campaign comes as some experts predict that Britain faces a shortfall
    in milk production of 6m-12m pints a day because so many cows have been
    killed in the foot and mouth epidemic.
    The Peta campaign will put the American-based animal-rights organisation,
    which is backed by celebrities such as Ringo Star, Oliver Stone and Pamela
    Anderson - at loggerheads with the government and farmers. McCartney is to
    host a party in New York on Saturday to raise funds for Peta, whose
    objections to milk are based on opposition to any "exploitation" of animals
    on farms.
    The government recommends children drink milk every day and spends 9m a
    year on subsidies. Suzi Leather, deputy chairman of the Food Standards
    Agency, said: "Milk is the most nutritionally complete food, containing
    nearly all the constituents of nutritional importance to humans."
    Peta attempted to launch a similar campaign earlier this year and was
    reported to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) by farming
    organisations. The group has reworded its literature to comply with the ASA
    adjudication, which is to be published this week.
    However, some head teachers have reacted angrily to the Peta strategy of
    targeting children rather than parents. Tim Benson, head of Nelson primary
    school, east London, said: "This sort of aggressive campaign is very
    regrettable because children are innocent and believe what they are told.
    The medical advice I am given is that milk is good for children's health."
    If there is a milk shortage, as some warn, it could help highlight the Peta
    campaign. Until now Britain's dairy farmers have produced almost all the
    68m pints consumed each day.
    Mansel Raymond, vice-chairman of the milk committee of the National
    Farmers' Union, said the problem would soon become acute.

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