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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE March 6, 2001

Gisele's 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Ad Pads Health Claims

Milk-Mustache Promo Skimps on Good Science, Doctors Say

WASHINGTON—A milk-mustache ad featuring almost-bare supermodel Gisele Bundchen violates federal law and good science, says the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in a document filed with the government last week.The ad appears in the current swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated.

Like many ads in the celebrity milk-mustache campaign, the Gisele ad makes false health claims and, in doing so, violates regulations. The ads suggest that milk-drinking men reduce their risk of osteoporosis.

"Scientific studies show milk has no benefit at all for men concerned about osteoporosis," says PCRM president and nutrition researcher Neal D. Barnard, M.D. "Milk-drinkers break at least as many bones as people who avoid milk.Worse yet, milk appears to double prostate cancer risk because of the way it affects a man’s hormones."

PCRM outlined its concerns in an amendment filed 28 February 2001 with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The amendment is the latest addition to a 70-page petition PCRM filed with the FTC last July requesting an immediate investigation into 36 of the ads, including ones featuring Jackie Chan, Marc Anthony, and Britney Spears. The petition is currently under investigation with the USDA.

In the petition, PCRM attorney Mindy Kursban argued that not only do many of the ads disseminate bogus health claims, but they fail to disclose even one of the many health problems associated with dairy consumption. Studies show ingesting dairy products may increase risk of prostate cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases.

The dairy industry spends approximately $180 million per year on its milk-mustache and "got milk?" campaign.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey

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