It might seem like there's nothing more natural than a kid with a glass of milk -- but what's in that glass could be anything but natural.
Painkillers, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories -- you name it, it could be in there... because while it's illegal to sell milk tainted with those meds, it isn't even tested for most of them.
European researchers recently did what food officials around the world won't: They tested some milk, and found that you could be getting up to 20 drugs and hormones with every sip.
There's something to think about next time you see one of those "milk mustache" ads.
Using a sensitive new test, researchers from the University of Jaen in Spain found all kinds of drugs and hormones in milk from cows, goats, and even the human breast -- but they say the highest levels of pharmaceutical backwash turned up in the 20 samples of cow's milk they tested.
They found anti-inflammatory painkillers such as niflumic acid, mefenamic acid, and ketoprofen along with 17-beta-estradiol, which is a form of the sex hormone oestrogen.
The researchers also found steroids, anti-fungal drugs, and even an anti-malarial med.
And we're supposed to believe this does a body good?
The only caveat here is that the study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry was done in Europe, and that the milk samples tested came from cows in Spain and Morocco.
But don't make the mistake of thinking U.S. cows are any better -- because they're not.
Our milk is only tested for a handful of the dozens of drugs we know have been given to dairy cows. We know this, because these cows eventually end up in slaughterhouses where they are tested -- and all the things that aren't supposed to be in the milk turn up in their meat.
When the FDA tried to pull some milk samples for extra tests earlier this year, the dairy industry and friendly agricultural officials in 10 states revolted, saying it would lead to a disruption in the milk supply.
But if that garbage is in the supply, it should be disrupted -- permanently.
There's no easy answer here -- although I will say that plenty of health experts agree that milk isn't nearly as necessary as the Milk Mustache marketing team would have you believe.
You can live a full and healthy life without this stuff -- but if you can't give up the moo juice, at least go organic.
It may cost a lot more than regular milk... but you're paying for what's NOT inside.