Suspected Milk/Diabetes Link

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

Agriculture and International Trade Minister Lockwood Smith says it seems certain that alternative supplies will be available if the suspected link between dairy products containing A1 protein and diabetes is proven.

"If products containing A1 are clearly shown to be a problem, the Dairy Board is indicating it will move quickly to provide alternatives," Dr Smith said today.

The board has suggested that if the need arises in the future people with a predisposition to diabetes might only drink milk containing the alternative A2 protein.

Cows producing milk with the A2 protein were being isolated by the board, which is applying for patents to commercially market milk products specifically containing A2 should this be necessary.

The board has also said it is involved in research which indicates that much more accurate testing for a predisposition towards diabetes will be available in the near future.

Dr Smith stressed that milk remained a highly valuable food.

"Milk is a very nutritious product and it clearly is still safe for the vast majority of people."