You’ve got to hand it to Public Health England (PHE), the propaganda arm of the NHS and creature of the World Health Organisation. Surrounded by killer facts and research, like the 7th Cavalry at Little Big Horn, they fight on, waving the flag for bad science and skewed priorities, insisting on their right to boss the rest of us around, however tenuous their claims.

But now they’ve even begun to annoy their champions in the press. There seems a certain relish in the way that today’s Guardian – normally an advocate of tax-funded social engineering and behavioural modification – trashes PHE’s position on dairy.

The paper reports that a tri-national analysis of 29 studies, involving nearly a million people, concluded that ‘consuming cheese, milk and yoghurt – even full-fat versions – does not increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke’. Or to quote the findings published in the European Journal of Epidemiology: ‘This meta-analysis showed there were no associations between total dairy, high- and low-fat dairy, milk and the health outcomes including all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease.’

Indeed, the authors go further, with Professor Ian Givens, of Reading University, pointing out that the huge consumer swing from full- to low- or no-fat dairy products – based on health lobby misinformation – could be harmful to the mental development of babies in the womb, deprive children of necessary calcium when growing and hinder the development and strength of women’s bones in later life. (Oh, and fermented full-dairy products may even reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems!)

You’d think this might ring bells at PHE. You’d imagine they might say, ‘Oops. Well, with the best of intentions, we got that one wrong. So let’s stop spending money on spreading the anti-dairy message. Then we can divert those funds into old-age care – or [more likely] imposing plain packaging on anything that you can eat, drink or inhale, whatever the consequences, assumptions or contradictions.’ But not a bit of it.

Apparently, the government is entirely happy with the amount of saturated fat we eat (mainly in the form of meat). But based on the fact that dairy products account for about 36 per cent of that intake – rather than the recommended 32 – a PHE spokesman still says, “We recommend choosing lower-fat varieties of milk and dairy products…to reduce saturated fat and salt in the diet.”

The irony is that, thanks to PHE’s pig-headedness, the very people who pay their bills will fall prey to their baleful influence. And when the prematurely crooked mothers hobble into hospital, carrying their spindly idiot children, will they take the blame? Of course not. They’ll just demand more funding.

by Julia Dixon