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What’s in Your Milk? 20+ Painkillers, Antibiotics, and More

Lisa Garber
December 28th, 2012
Updated 12/28/2012 at 3:03 am
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milkchemicals 260x162 What’s in Your Milk? 20+ Painkillers, Antibiotics, and MoreWith the aid of innovative and highly sensitive testing, Spanish-Moroccan scientists determined that there could be up to 20 painkillers, antibiotics, and growth hormones in a single glass of milk. The researchers say that the traces are so small that consumers need not worry about adverse effects, so we’ll just have to take their word for it, it seems.

The scientists analyzed 20 samples of milk—cow’s, goat’s, and human—bought in Spain and Morocco, and found a chemical cocktail of ingredients added to the animal’s diet prior to milking or contamination through feed or on the farm. Some of the contaminants found in trace amounts include triclosan (an anti-fungal), 17-beta-estradiol (a sex hormone), and florfenicol (an antibiotic).

It’s worth noting that the image provided by the University of Jaen lists the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac twice in error. Their findings were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Advances in Food Safety

University of Jaen’s Dr. Evaristo Ballesteros marveled over their technique, which could be used to assess the food safety of other products. “We believe the new methodology will help to provide a more effective way of determining the presence of these kinds of contaminants in milk or other products.”

“Food quality control laboratories could use this new tool to detect these drugs before they enter the food chain. This would raise consumers’ awareness and give them the knowledge that food is…harmless, pure, genuine, beneficial to health, and free of toxic residues.”

While all types of milk tested contained chemicals cow’s milk was most contaminated. This is not surprising, seeing as cows are routinely given antibiotics, growth hormones, and fed questionable GMO feed. Unfortunately, you will probably be picking up some of these chemicals each time you purchase milk from big-time and conventional supermarkets.

milk chemicals1 What’s in Your Milk? 20+ Painkillers, Antibiotics, and More

What Milk Should You Buy?

If you do drink milk, there is always a better option than traveling to your nearest grocery store. Organic milk is superior to conventional milk, as the cows won’t typically be on an antibiotic, growth hormone, and GMO corn feed diet; they will likely be grass-fed and graze freely. But there is an even better milk than organic.

Raw milk, like organic, should not come from antibiotic-fed, hormone-injected cows. In addition, raw milk is not pasteurized, a process that destroys beneficial bacteria, transforms proteins, and ruins many of the other vitamins and nutrients found in the milk. It’s always smart to go one step further when buying raw milk to ensure safety, finding out a little bit about the farm and farmer the milk come.

Detoxing Your Body and Environment

Toxic residue in food is hardly limited to milk. The Daily Mail writes about earlier studies that have found fish with altered brain chemistry and sexuality thanks to caffeine, antibiotics, and hormones from contraceptive pills and HRT that survived treatment from sewage plants.

While some scientists say these trace amounts aren’t enough to affect people, many of them are stored in our bodies for great lengths of time, which can become problematic with frequent consumption. To this end, it’s important to limit our exposure to environmental toxins and poisons found in conventionally grown and prepared food and water. You can also take steps to detox your body naturally.

From around the web:


    I can’t even believe we have to have this conversation. WTF HAPPENED TO NORMALCY? You may as well just eat, drink, smoke whatever you want since we’re all fkd anyway! EVERYTHING IS TAINTED AND IF IT AIN’T THE DAMNED ANIMALS EAT GRASS WITH ACID RAIN AND PESTICIDE RESIDUE SO THE POINT IS MUTE! We may as well just ride it out as long as we can–when we’re dead, fk it, what can we do? You and me will never stop big government and greedy bastards in Monsanto, etc –they’ll kill us first. HMM WONDER WHAT THEY EAT? There’s a question. Wonder if they eat the same shit they’re feeding us? TIme to find out!


    Guess we’ll have to buy our own fing cows for that mate!! Everything gov’t touches turns to sh-t! Best if we all tell the fed to get bent and go back to the 100 year old methods of farming!!


    That SUCKS! Poor cows. Too bad you couldn’t find them a home on another farm or try to go it alone and stay local. My friends are dairy farmers ==milk in bottles and the best ice cream in the world! They only sell to our local area.


    I never could stomach milk–gives me the winds somethin’ fierce! :) Heartburn too!

  • Undecider

    Ingrid, the milk you’re referring to is the pasteurized and processed garbage. In America, you have to seek out the raw organic milk.

  • Alana Maaskant

    That’s exactly what is happening. I saw a documentary where this pig farmer got injured by one of his own pigs and just dumped the blood out of his boot and kept working. Later when they tried to treat him none of the antibiotics would work because they were resistant (factory farms being hotbeds for pathogenic contamination and perfect breeding grounds for antibiotic resistant mutations). He nearly died but when he got better he decided to run small scale outdoor operation. Quality not quantity. It’s better for the product, its better for us and it’s better for the living thing that gives it’s life so that we may be fed.

  • Alana Maaskant

    Selective breeding is waaaay different than GMOs. When they take genes from an entirely different species and put it into a plant, they are messing with nature in an entirely new and unpredictable way. Selective breeding is choosing seeds (with beneficial traits) from a plant and replanting, which is still a very slow way to make change. This GMO thing could never happen in nature and there is not chain of events that would ever cause it to happen. Nature usually takes care of itself with millions of years of evolution, which picks and chooses beneficial characteristics…this is freakish and will have unforseen results….like when the cotton plant actually produces it’s own roundup.

  • Undecider

    Raw organic milk from grass fed free range cows. There’s no substitute when it comes to cow milk. Or any milk from any animal, for that matter.

  • Mike Green

    I drink fat free , organic milk on my whole grain organic shredded wheat with organic blueberries or whatever organic fruit is available. That’s it ! fuck it ! I dont have celiac disease and I refuse to waste anymore effort than that. Good luck crazies do whatever works for you.

    • Alana Maaskant

      Organic doesn’t automatically mean good. Shredded wheat is crap regardless. The fat is the most healthy part of the milk . Your the crazy bud, pissed off at people who care because you don’t.

  • schattenwandler

    My apologies peeter, but demanding “one should do his research” and then quoting wikipedia is simply hilarious!

  • peeter

    I cannot believe this! This article says that pasteurization is a process that destroys beneficial bacteria.
    Actually it’s called sterilization that destroys beneficial bacteria, pasteurization kills mainly pathogens.
    Quote from wikipedia:
    “Unlike sterilization, pasteurization is not intended to kill all micro-organisms in the food. Instead, it aims to reduce the number of viable pathogens so they are unlikely to cause disease”

    As I was reading this article I almost believed it… until they made such a wrong statement which means the whole article is extremely biased.


    • Pooaul

      I agree, do your research but does this article say that all the beneficial bacteria is killed? Nope. The pasteurization process does destroy bacteria. Good, bad, I’m sure it’s pretty indifferent..

      • signalfire1

        And it’s not hot enough to kill the bug that causes the same disease in dairy cattle that is implicated in Crohn’s disease in humans…

    • Andrew G

      That’s hilarious! You’re quoting from Wikipedia! LOL!

      • Andrew G

        I just saw schattenwandler’s comment!

      • Hayden Bridges

        Wikipedia is a community source and while not suitable for academic use, is appropriate for informal discussion. Anyway, OP has a good point: don’t believe everything you read.

  • Karrie Smith

    It’s illegal in Canada and Europe to inject cows with bGH. I’m not sure what other meds you are referring to, and the author is writing about Canada. No reason to be rude.

  • fdgdf

    israel, stolen country

  • Leaves

    Those that worry about GMO, selective breeding can also cause the same problems. Look at the strawberries most nurseries try to sell at the moment and try growing one of the seeds of these plants. The resulting plant will not produce fruit and is a genetic dead end. Wild/Alpine strawberries can be breed into these horrible cultivars that are been sold but the mutant strawberries cannot be breed back to the wild version again.
    Try to grow plants that have not under gone any selective breeding if you want to feel human.

  • Leaves

    Isn't there a organisation setup to control the usage of these drugs in animals? Shouldn't cows etc be provided with a balanced/non-feces contanminated enough environment so that their immune systems are strong enough to naturally protect themselves from infection? Isn't unethical to put animals in a feces laden environment only to rely on drugs to stop them from dying? Wouldn't the overuse of antibiotics in animals be contributing to the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria (superbugs)?

  • Henry

    They were horrible and caused me untold amounts of stress and EXTRA work. Their design and large size gave them no traction whatsoever in snow, even a tiny amount, like 1″. I complained and complained to Organic Valley to no.

  • Chris Falkavage

    To Veronica, in Canada…….If you think that anyone in North America raising dairy cattle doesn't use some sort of antibiotic in their herd ,your full of cow dung yourself and to say that Canada's dairy cattle are among the elite.HAAAAA!!! FUNNY!! As I read all the above comments, I shake my head because milk has been pasteurized for years @ 200 degrees. It's no wonder milk consumption has gone down due to our media. Milk is not known to cause high blood pressure when after drinking it, nor has it caused people to be rushed to the hospital, unlike the energy drink MONSTER……..I drink 3 glasses a day and manage to have all my teeth and healthy bones and a full head of hair. Oh, I used to be a dairyherdsman and dealt with Canadian cattle. I couldn't wait to load them on a truck,cuz they(the cows) were about as arrogant as the Canadians themselves and full of bad dairy traits. In the meantime, I'm going to the frig and get a glass of cold milk from……..the U.S.A.

  • guest

    check out the federal allowances per individual countries (sites are easy enough ta find) regarding amounts of … Pus, Scabs, Blood in 'milk' (and All dairy products). U.S. ? ewww. Something close to 3X many other countries. Cows die when apprx. 5 yrs. (instead of 20 some Normal yrs) , are Hooked up to machines 24/7 , NEVER see the light of day (or anything else outdoors) , etc. It is BECAUSE of aforementioned, more – that… their udders are in constant state of oozing infection, threat of jist rottin & fallin right off. Many often do. Oh well, in the 'Good OL u.s. of a it's the standard brutal "NEXT!" and the dead are ground up, next hauled in. Oh, the Pus & Scab/Tisue&Blood are simply bleached out, so "No Worries Mates!" Drink Up, do that body Good! *shudder*

    • Craig Stewart Files

      This should be more well known. It seems that in order to be competitively priced, even small farmers are forced to use inhumane methods for producing a less healthy milk product. We should be able to depend on our government regulatory authorities ( are you laughing? ) but even those agencies are just pawns and even advertising for corporate giants. Now everyone is jumping on the " ORGANIC " bandwagon and the "ORGANIC" label is no longer trustworthy.

  • nedlud

    We have had a small dairy farm since 1980, our barn is a bank style barn built into the side of a hill. Very warm and energy efficient. Our farm is hilly, made for the grazing of cattle and production of hay. This is the life we chose and loved.

    Small local creamery trucks used to come into our farm to pick up the milk. They turned around on a little flat spot in our yard area and backed down to the milkhouse, no problem. This all changed when we were forced to go ‘certified organic’ because of poor prices for milk. Organic Valley sent large semi-haulers in that would not and could not function on our farm. They were horrible and caused me untold amounts of stress and EXTRA work. Their design and large size gave them no traction whatsoever in snow, even a tiny amount, like 1″. I complained and complained to Organic Valley to no avail. These trucks ended up doing thousands of dollars of damage to our farm, in addition to my mental and emotional health. We had trusted Organic Valley. Rather than acknowledge ANY RESPONSIBILITY, Organic Valley villified me for being angry with them (which I most certainly was!) and cancelled our contract. This led directly to the destruction (slaughter) of our precious cows.


  • Tony

    Austria is a developed and first world country. They are very organized like the germans. European have a few laws that prevent to use of GMO.

  • Ingrid

    No GMOs…

  • Ingrid

    should mean 2 % milk…sorry

  • Ingrid

    I am from Austria and can tell you, the Milk from the cows, grazing in the Alps for the whole summer tastes totally different than you can buy here in the Stores. What does it mean, Vitamin D milk, 2 5% Milk, 1 % milk…what do you think they do with it??? This Milk here has not even Creme when sitting for an hour. I miss my Milk from Austria! No GMS there!!!

  • Gaudeamus

    It’s good to see that a certain awareness of these things has been spreading and growing for decades until now in the US many, many people are realizing what is going on.

    But we should also not forget that those who opened the way did so as early as the fifties of last century, and they were ostracized or marginalized, or called nuts or became cult leaders.

    There is still much left to be done.

  • Wellaware

    I used to drink Canadian Milk but since I tasted aspertame in it recently I know they are tampering with it. Just taste the damn milk and you will know its sweetened

  • Sandra

    Since 19, I have always consumed raw milk from pasture-kept cows under real husbandry, so has my family. I want my milk pure, unadulterated..produced under healthy, sensible management. It is that simple and I ought have a legal right to consume it, just as the farmer ought have the right to produce it for sale. By Golly, when will the madness stop?

  • Power unseen

    When I was small, our cats drank milk. These days when I had a cat, they won’t touch it.

  • Paxman

    Veronica ..

    In Canada, where I am from, studies have proven we have the cleanest milk in the world.

    Gee Veronica .. do you really believe that ?

    Cananda is a nasty little FDA Satrap .. everybody outside of Canada knows that ..

  • Zoly

    the milk what you buy in stores ,I would not call MILK,even in Canada

  • Dee

    Just curious, Is the milk tested up there in Canada on a regular basis?

  • Veronica

    Milk purchased in Spain & Morocco is not the same quality of that in North America. In Canada, where I am from, studies have proven we have the cleanest milk in the world. Also, it is against the law here to inject our milk cows with anything. Yes I know that for a fact, I have been in the dairy industry & know the rules and laws. So, please, when you write articles, don't lead people to believe that ALL MILK all over the world is the same… because it is not. Canadians are very fortunate that the dairy sector is held to much higher standards.

    • Israel

      I don't know about Canada, but I'm sure that, in general terms, cow milk in the US has much more dangerous components and quantities than cow milk in Spain.

    • HansJakob

      If you believe that, contact me, I would love to sell ye a toll bridge at the north pole as a good investment.
      It is NOT against the law to inject cows with growth hormones or other pharmaceuticals…I know, i grew up on a dairy farm and have not drunk one drop of store bought milk since I left home

    • Z…….

      Hi Veronica, I think that you are big DREAMER. If you are bying organic is ok, but dont say this kind of crap

  • James Dean Hunter

    How does goat’s milk compare to these findings for regular pasteurized, or organic unpasteurized cow’s milk?