Calif. Milk Board Dumps Controversial PMS Campaign

Jul 22, 2011

Even if the science was right, the message proved terribly wrong.

The California Milk Processor Board pulled the plug on a controversial campaign that positioned milk as a remedy for premenstrual syndrome by appealing to cowering husbands and boyfriends.

There's merit to the idea that regular consumption of milk — and other foods rich in calcium and vitamin D — can lessen the odds a woman will develop PMS or reduce the severity of symptoms.

But the campaign, mainly on the website whose URL was, was seen by many as sexist and downright offensive. Now the URL directs people to the site, where the milk board apologizes:

Over the past couple of weeks, regrettably, some people found our camapin about milk and PMS to be outrageous and misguided — and we apologize to those we offended.

How offended? As the Hartford Courant's Susan Campbell wrote last weekend:

I am post-menopausal, but I'm still pissed.

Campbell also talked with University of Massachusetts epidemiologist Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson, whose work was cited in the ads and who helped fact-check the campaign for Shots. One quarrel she had with the campaign was that it overstated the prevalence of PMS.

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