FUW slams Daily Mail for repeat offence

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has described as ‘shoddy’ failings by the Daily Mail which led the newspaper to make inaccurate claims about the dairy industry which its sister newspaper, the Mail on Sunday had already been forced to apologise about.

In an article published in the Daily Mail on August 30 entitled ‘So that’s why you’re dog tired’ Dr Sohère Roked claimed cows are injected with hormones to keep them producing milk all year round and that hormones and antibiotics are present in milk – claims which the Mail on Sunday was forced to apologise for having made in 2005 after the FUW complained directly to the paper and to the Press Complaint Commission.

Dei Davies, chairman of the union’s milk and dairy produce committee said: “Back in June 2005, an article published in the Mail on Sunday, entitled ‘Time to wean yourself off milk?’ incensed the FUW as it stated that most farmers gave their cattle growth hormones. The article also stated that most milk contains antibiotic.

“Given that the administration of growth hormones is illegal in the UK and that strict guidelines and testing ensure that no antibiotic residues are present in UK retail milk the FUW believed that an apology and correction was well warranted,” added Mr Davies.

The FUW wrote to the Press Complaints Commission in 2005 regarding the issue and, as a result, received an apology from the Mail on Sunday.

“It is incredibly disappointing that we are here again, some nine years later after the union received an apology from the Mail on Sunday over very similar issues.

“Lessons clearly have not been learned and the union once again finds itself defending the dairy industry against ill-researched and uneducated articles. UK milk is produced to high welfare standards and is a good, healthy, quality product.

“We will be seeking a published apology and correction from the Daily Mail and assurances that these type of articles will not appear in future. The publication of such potentially damaging articles must be stopped,” added Mr Davies.

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