Dairy Education Board makes headline news in the Washington
Times: Read all about it!
The Washington Times - June 25, 1999 2; Vol. 19, No. 32; A
Section, story by Andrew Cain
Title: Crusader assails milk ad series Says industry
Got morals? An anti-milk crusader has filed a complaint with
Attorney General Janet Reno, charging that a print ad in the
"milk mustache" series endorses statutory rape.
The ad features Joshua Jackson, a star of "Dawson's Creek,"
a coming-of-age drama on the WB network.
The ad makes light of an episode that aired last year in
which Mr. Jackson's character, a minor on the show, has an
affair with his English teacher, says Robert Cohen,
executive director of the Dairy Education Board - which is
"dedicated to dispelling the myth that milk is nature's
Mr. Cohen, 47, has written a book called "Milk - the Deadly
Poison" and has a Web site, www.notmilk.com.
Mr. Jackson actually is 21, but he portrays a teen-age
character, Pacey Witter, a high school student described on
the show's Web site as "a bumbling adolescent grasping for
In the ad, Mr. Jackson sits in a rowboat and holds a glass
"I can't help it," he says. "Women of all ages look up to
me. Why? I'm 6 foot 2. Thanks in part to milk.
"The calcium helps bones grow strong. Considering 15 percent
of your adult height is added when you're a teen-ager,
that's good to know. Especially if you want to impress, say,
an older woman."
Mr. Cohen wrote a complaint to Attorney General Miss Reno on
June 18, saying: "The dairy industry is now endorsing the
crime of statutory rape, and in doing so is influencing the
behavior of our children... "
Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the New York
advertising firm that produces the ads referred calls about
Mr. Cohen's complaint to the International Dairy Foods
The organization's chief executive officer and marketing
director were in meetings yesterday and did not return calls
A spokeswoman at the network assigned to "Dawson's Creek"
also did not return calls for comment.
The program "dealt with the affair properly and the teacher
resigned," Mr. Cohen said. But "the dairy industry glorifies
"If you have sex with your high school teacher, it's cool.
The dairy industry is making that glamorous."
Nearly 100 celebrities - from Kermit the frog to baseball
slugger Mark McGwire - have appeared in the ads sponsored by
the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board.
Even Donna Shalala, the diminutive U.S. secretary of health
and human services, donned a milk mustache to promote low-
fat or fat-free milk as a source of calcium.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group
of doctors based in Washington, recently filed a complaint
with the Federal Trade Commission challenging the health
claims in the milk mustache ads.
The doctors' group argues the ads that feature black, male
or older female celebrities imply that drinking milk can
lower their risk of osteoporosis, prevent high blood
pressure and improve sports performance.
But the doctors said those benefits only apply to young
Caucasian and Asian women.
The milk processor promotion board believes the complaint is
Susan Ruland, a spokeswoman for the board, called it "an
outrageous complaint" by a group of "anti-meat and anti-