From Dr. Mercola:
Both pesticides and dairy products have been linked to Parkinson’s disease in the past, and a new study suggests the combination of products – pesticides in your milk – could also play a role.
The study tracked nearly 450 men from Honolulu, Hawaii, an area where high levels of the insecticide heptachlor were used on pineapple fields during the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s.1 Very high levels of the insecticide were found in milk in Hawaii during the ‘80s as a result.
The study revealed a strong association between heptachlor residue and the loss of brain cells, especially among heavy milk drinkers. Among those who drank the most milk, residues of heptachlor were found in 90 percent of brains compared to 63 percent for those who consumed no milk.
Further, those who drank more than two cups of milk per day during the ‘60s had 40 percent fewer brain cells in the midbrain substantia nigra (SN) area of the brain upon their death than those who drank less milk. Diminished substantia nigra is often seen in Parkinson’s disease.
The study showed that milk intake is associated with SN neuron loss in the brain, a hallmark of Parkinson’s.
And while the milk in the study wasn’t directly tested to determine if it was contaminated, heptachlor was known to be found at excessively high levels in the Hawaiian milk supply during the time of the study’s milk-intake data collection.
What Else Might Be Lurking in Your Milk?
In 2011, Spanish and Moroccan researchers used a highly sensitive test to determine what types of medications could be found in a variety of milk (cow, goat, and human breast milk).
They hit the chemical jackpot. Medications used to treat diseases in both humans and animals were revealed. Among the drugs and hormones detected were:2
Anti-inflammatories (niflumic acid, mefenamic acid, ketoprofen, diclofenac, phenylbutazone, naproxen, flunixin, and diclofenac) Antibiotics (florfenicol) Natural hormones (estrone) Sex hormones (17-beta-estradiol) Steroid hormones (17-alpha-ethinylestradiol) Anti-malaria drugs (pyrimethamine) Anti-fungal drugs (triclosan)
While all types of milk tested contained chemicals, cow’s milk contained the highest levels. Some of these drugs and hormones were given to the cows directly, while others were likely ingested from the cattle food or contamination on the farm.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authority to require milk be tested if evidence exists that drug residues may be in the milk supply.
However, although the FDA has stopped some dairy farms from selling their cattle for meat after drug residue violations, this prohibition doesn’t typically extend to the milk.3
This is ironic, since the FDA and other government agencies seem to have no problem going after raw milk farmers, even when there is no evidence of contamination whatsoever
Farmers Continue to Be Harassed for Selling Safe Raw Milk
Michael Schmidt, a raw milk farmer in Canada, has been battling with the government for decades in order to provide safe raw milk to area residents.
He has been