Can dairy products lead to autism? Internet slams PETA and labels it a conspiracy theorist group

Can dairy products lead to autism? Internet slams PETA and labels it a conspiracy theorist group
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People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has now come under the limelight after Twitter users slammed the organization for their old ad that claimed that "studies have shown a link between autism and cow milk."

What is Autism?

Autism Speaks Light it Up Blue Autism Awareness Celebration at Chicago Children's Museum on April 8, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois.

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the United States today.

What is PETA's claim?


According to PETA, "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."

The organization has also shared a mother's story saying, "I realized that Miles’ ear infections had begun when he was 11 months old, just after we had switched him from soy formula to cow’s milk. He’d been on soy formula because my family was prone to allergies, and I’d read that soy might be better for him. I had breastfed until he was 3 months old, but he didn’t tolerate breast milk very well—possibly because I was drinking lots of milk. There was nothing to lose, so I decided to eliminate all the dairy products from his diet. What happened next was nothing short of miraculous. Miles stopped screaming, he didn’t spend as much time repeating actions, and by the end of the first week, he pulled on my hand when he wanted to go downstairs. For the first time in months, he let his sister hold his hands to sing “Ring Around a Rosy.”

As soon as the Twitteratis came across this claim, they started slamming PETA for making such claims, as one Internet user said, "PETA is like every conspiracy theorist group rolled into one but they also hate animals while claiming to defend them." While another one wrote, "PETA... I was f*cking born with it. Autism isn’t something you can develop, and an official diagnosis requires showing symptoms of the disorder from before 3."



One angry Internet user said, "From the bottom of my heart Peta, f*ck you." Sharing a picture, another one wrote, "PETA, I will never forgive you for this." Another one slammed the organization and wrote, "They've pushed this bullshit elsewhere so I am not even slightly surprised. Peta is just straight-up evil. The embodiment of White Eco fascist hypocrisy." Suggesting a conspiracy theory, another one wrote, "I once heard someone claim that PETA is actually a secretly right-wing group designed to make veganism and environmentalism look as stupid, ill-informed, and ridiculous as possible and honestly, everything they've ever done only seems to confirm this."





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