Vegan Society issues formal complaint to ITV after This Morning criticises the environmental impact of plant milk

Author: Maria Chiorando

Read Time:   |  26th October 2022

It said of This Morning that 'it's irresponsible to omit any mention of the high impact dairy milk production has on the environment'

The Vegan Society has complained to ITV following a plant milk taste testing segment on daytime TV show This Morning.

During the taste testing feature, hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield were provided with dairy, lactose-free and plant milks including soya, almond, hazelnut, oat, coconut, pea and potato.

As they sampled the milks, consumer journalist Alice Beer listed both benefits and environmental drawbacks associated with each drink.

Among the criticisms, almond and soya milk were blasted for water use and deforestation in order to grow soya crops, respectively.

What about dairy?

But according to the Vegan Society, the vast quantities of land and water needed to raise dairy cows, including feed provided by soya crops, was not mentioned.

As a result, the Vegan Society has contacted ITV to raise concerns over the feature, saying the programme offered an ‘imbalance of information’.

It added that dairy milk ’emerged favourably, without so much as a mention of the industry’s undeniable impact on global warming and on the Earth’s resources’.

The Society also noted that Alice said children and teenagers should not replace dairy milk with plant milks ‘because they will miss out on essential nutrients’.

However, it says, from one year of age, ‘fortified plant alternatives to milk can be used as a main milk drink’, citing The British Dietetic Association which says: “Plant-based diets can support healthy living at every age and life stage.”

‘Irresponsible’ segment on This Morning

The Vegan Society’s Head of Campaigns, Policy and Research Claire Ogley addressed the segment in a statement.

She said: “Particularly in the face of climate change, which is already having a devastating impact on communities across the world, it’s irresponsible to omit any mention of the high impact dairy milk production has on the environment. 

“It is also misleading for a journalist to make a claim about the health impact of dairy alternative milks during childhood, which is contrary to guidance from expert dietitians. 

“Fortified plant milks are safe for anyone over one year of age to consume as part of a well-planned diet which meets all our nutritional needs.

“Reliable information on how a plant-based diet can meet the nutritional needs of children and teenagers can be found on The Vegan Society’s website.” 

The charity says it has yet to receive a response from ITV regarding the complaint. 

Still getting used to replacing dairy with vegan alternatives? Our guide to choosing the right vegan milk for your favourite recipe will help 

Featured image: Photo by Dave J. Hogan/Getty Images

Written by

Maria Chiorando

Maria is an editor and journalist. Her work has been published by the Huffington Post, the Guardian, TechnoBuffalo, Plant Based News, and Kent on Sunday among other national and regional titles.

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