PETAs claim

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are saying

got autism?

Studies have shown a link between cow's milk and autism.

Until January 5, 2020, PETA's website made this claim:

More research is needed, but scientific studies have shown that many autistic kids improve dramatically when put on a diet free of dairy “products”. One study of 20 children found a major reduction in autistic behavior in kids who were put on a casein-free diet (casein is a component of cow’s milk). And another study done by researchers at the University of Rome showed a “marked improvement” in the behavior of autistic children who were taken off dairy products.

The reason why dairy “products” may worsen autism is being debated. Some suggest that the gastrointestinal problems so often caused by dairy products cause distress and thus worsen behavior in children with autism.

Regardless of the cause, testimonials show that many people with this condition may be able to find relief with a simple dietary change—removing milk from their diet.

Now the word "autism" has been removed from the article and they seem to have backed away:

A recently resurfaced PETA ad, more than a decade old and long since removed, was based on a study that had come out at that time and was created in response to the milk industry’s harmful “Got Milk?” campaign, which duped parents into believing that cow’s milk is a healthy drink rather than one linked to asthma, constipation, recurrent ear infections, iron deficiency, anemia, and even cancer (PETA).

Are there studies that link autism to cow's milk?

  • 1
    I used the Wayback Machine to locate PETA's original claim. Their actual scientific claim appears to be the question Laurel linked to. Their ad campaign is rudely worded and can be read as making a different claim, but this is not actually supported by their website.
    – Avery
    Jan 6, 2021 at 13:13
  • @Avery This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this ad on this site (see questions linked to the duplicate), except for a slight difference: the ad before had peta.org as the link and this one has goveg.com, a page for people who are so convinced by two sentences on a billboard that they already need help on becoming vegan (it’s not a page that even mentions the claim as I had hoped). I also checked to see if there’s widespread belief in milk causing autism, and I didn’t find anything that doesn’t link back to the same article on PETA’s website.
    – Laurel
    Jan 6, 2021 at 13:51
  • Improving the status of an already autistic kid by changing their diet (study) is something very different from suggesting that milk causes autism (billboard). Then again, the word "vaccination" comes from "vacca" (cow) and that might make conspiracy theorists add two and two together to obtain their favourite result :) Jan 9, 2021 at 22:49


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