This topic is for feedback on Mumsnet product tests. If you'd like test a product on Mumsnet please mail insight@mumsnet.com.

NOW CLOSED Do you suspect you or your DC has a milk or dairy intolerance? Try a2 Milk for free - a new, entirely natural type of British cows' milk and give your feedback to win a £100 JL voucher

(75 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 17-Oct-12 15:54:14

a2 Milk are looking for 50 MNers who feel they or their DC may have an issue with milk/dairy products to try out their new natural milk and give their feedback on MN. Below is some info from a2 Milk on what makes it different:

"While most cows' milk contains both A1 and A2 proteins, all natural a2 Milk comes from specially selected cows that produce milk containing only the A2 protein. A1 product digests differently to A2 protein and has been linked with a range of symptoms associated with digestive function. Those of us who experience some form of digestive discomfort from the consumption of milk (bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and/or constipation) may well react to this A1 protein rather than the lactose or other milk protein as it is often assumed. Hence a2 Milk is the natural answer to a question of A1 Milk protein intolerance. a2 Milk has proved very popular in Australia where thousands of milk consumers have made the switch and seen an improvement as a result."

This product test isn't for everyone though - we're looking for a very specific group of MNers. To take part you/your DC must:

~ Have had some kind of issue, or suspected issue to do with milk or dairy products in the past year, but...
~ NOT have been diagnosed as lactose intolerant by a healthcare professional (GP, Dietitian, Nutritionist)
~ NOT have been diagnosed as milk allergic by a healthcare professional (GP, Dietitian, Nutritionist)
~ Be able to get to one of the stores listed here to collect your bottles of a2 Milk

If you're at all concerned about whether or not you should take part in this product test, then please consult a healthcare professional before signing up. Just to be really clear, if you or your DC has a confirmed, medically diagnosed milk allergy or lactose intolerance, please do not apply.

If you're interested in taking part, please click here to sign up. Please make sure you answer all the questions in the sign up survey so we know whether or not you're eligible to take part.

Everyone who is selected to take part will be sent vouchers to purchase 2 litre bottles of a2 Milk worth £1.99. You will then be asked to give your feedback on a thread on MN. Please note your comments may be used by a2 in future marketing campaigns.

Thanks
MNHQ

Lougle Thu 18-Oct-12 13:56:33

babybarrister I have reported your post. MNHQ might not have looked in on this thread for a little while, so it would be good if they were able to read your post and have a think about the implications. I totally agree with you, alongside the issue that you can't attribute anything to a product like A2 after just 2 litres.

freefrommum Thu 18-Oct-12 14:06:56

I also agree with babybarrister that this is a very questionable advert that could potentially cause more harm than good and is basically a marketing ploy so that they can say 'endorsed by Mumsnetters'.

TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 18-Oct-12 14:17:39

Hi all - thought we should respond to a couple of points:

freefrommum - this is just a product test, we won't be endorsing the product, regardless of the results.

babybarrister - we've tried to be clear in the OP that this isn't for anyone who has a severe reaction to dairy. It's aimed at people who suspect they may have some sort of issue with milk, but nothing as serious as the symptoms you describe.

We're just seeking clarification from a2 Milk on how much of the product each tester will get but the goal is to get testers to try it for 2 weeks and see if they notice any change.

seeker Thu 18-Oct-12 14:22:16

So basically it's a con.

Lougle Thu 18-Oct-12 14:49:10

Helen, it says very clearly in the OP that each tester will get vouchers for 2L of the product. Unless they can stretch that over 2 weeks, then posters are being expected to buy the product.

Also, it's impossible to say that 'you won't be endorsing the product', because once people from Mumsnet have tested the product and given feedback, the company can legitimately say 'tested by Mumsnetters' or 'Featured in a MN product test' and neither can be said to be untrue.

TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 18-Oct-12 15:16:27

a2 Milk have asked us to post this response to queries:

"a2 Milk is not suitable for those experiencing allergic symptoms, whether diagnosed or not, and only those with mild reactions to regular milk (or none at all) should try it. a2 is a natural cows' milk and is not genetically modified in any way. a2 Milk has been available in Australia for years and has proved to be very popular amongst those with an intolerance to A1 beta-casein (which can cause bloating and constipation). If you are concerned that a2 is not for you, then please do not try it. If you are unsure then please consult your GP. If you experience bloating and constipation after drinking regular milk then please feel free to enlist for this trial where our Registered Nutritionist will check your suitability."

Also - we now have confirmation that each tester will get 4 vouchers each, so can buy up to 8 litres to try over the 2 week trial (or afterwards).

Lougle - what I mean is that Mumsnet isn't officially endorsing the product, as in 'Mumsnet approved' etc. Yes, we're doing a product test, and a2 will be able to say that, but there won't be any nutritional claims made off the back of the product trial.

babybarrister Thu 18-Oct-12 15:20:46

The point is MN that many people do not know what an allergic symptom necessarily is until they have been tested
I am going to be contacting the Anaphylaxis Campaign for their comment as it does not seem as if MN has done sohmm

babybarrister Thu 18-Oct-12 15:23:09

The point is that many people do not recognise allergic symptoms as being that UNTIL they are diagnosed ie eczema etc

MN clearly have not bothered to contact the allergy organisations so I am going to do so. Frankly I think this is a very poor show from MN - you have your priorities all wronghmm

Lougle Thu 18-Oct-12 15:41:43

"Lougle - what I mean is that Mumsnet isn't officially endorsing the product, as in 'Mumsnet approved' etc. Yes, we're doing a product test, and a2 will be able to say that, but there won't be any nutritional claims made off the back of the product trial. "

Thank you for your response Helen smile I have to say that, in my view, the wider public will not appreciate the semantic subtlety of 'Tested by Mumsnetters', 'Featured in a Mumsnet Product Test' and 'Mumsnet Approved'. As has been demonstrated with other spurious advertising campaigns in the past, what people will see is 'Mumsnet - big famous forum, it must be good'.

Holisticfairy Thu 18-Oct-12 16:45:46

Cows milk is difficult for most to digest and given that most milk is pasturised
It's a completely different to raw milk which can be beneficial to those that tolerate cows milk.For children raw goats milk is a much better option and easier on the digestion,for most dairy is mucus forming and causes numerous health problems.Home made nut milks can be used as a replacement,but be careful if you use soy as most soy is genetically modified.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 18-Oct-12 16:58:55

According to the NHS website there are clear differences between allergy symptoms and intolerance symptoms. Not sure whether Joe public should really be making that call though?

babybarrister Thu 18-Oct-12 17:41:12

The Anaphylaxis Campaign were not contacted about this. They have just tried to post on this thread but with no success. They will be trying again. They consider that anyone with any symptoms of any allergy or intolerance should FIRSTLY go and seek medical advice to rule out allergy or intolerance PRIOR to considering any other alternatives. MN should have made it clear that in all cases people should have sought medical advice in order to rule out any true allergy or intolerance

greenbananas Thu 18-Oct-12 17:46:15

MNHQ - please be very careful with this. I think you should withdraw any support for it as fast as possible.

There is widespread ignorance, even among GPs, about the difference between allergy and intolerance. Some people are going to be made extremely poorly by trying this milk. A few people might have very serious reactions to it. Quite apart from the human cost of this irresponsible advertising campaign, this is not going to look good for mumsnet if/when it gets any adverse publicity.

I've had a look at the manufacturer's website, and the difference between allergy and intolerance is not being made clear at all. Understandably, they are just concerned to sell the stuff to as many people as possible. This could be very dangerous.

Lougle Thu 18-Oct-12 17:56:42

Putting it another way, MNHQ:

If this was a product test for a nut product, would you be happy to endorse a product test (because by posting the request, you are endorsing the testing, if not the product itself) where you ask for posters whose DC or themselves have:

~ Have had some kind of issue, or suspected issue to do with nut products in the past year, but...
~ NOT have been diagnosed as nut intolerant by a healthcare professional (GP, Dietitian, Nutritionist)
~ NOT have been diagnosed as nut allergic by a healthcare professional (GP, Dietitian, Nutritionist)
~ Be able to get to one of the stores listed here to collect your <slightly atypical nut product>

Would you??

I don't think you would. Because NUT allergies are well known and well publicised. You'd be thinking 'don't want to touch this with a bargepole. We don't do pseudo-allergy testing, we do product tests.'

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 18-Oct-12 18:34:41

Evening. And thanks for all the points you've made here: we are definitely taking them all on board. It's a bit too late in the day now to take any decisions/do anything further but we wanted you to know we weren't ignoring you.

Re babybarrister's point: TheOtherHelen's OP does stress that "if you're at all concerned about whether or not you should take part in this product test,, then please consult a healthcare professional before signing up."

Although we do appreciate we could perhaps have worded that to make it clearer that, if you have any worries about allergies/intolerance, you should seek medical advice before doing anything else.

babybarrister Thu 18-Oct-12 18:38:32

As a matter of interest in terms of food allergens, after nuts in fact it is milk which has the next highest level of fatality - worth thinking about isn't it? Have a look at the UK Resuscitation Council Guidelines on the Treatment of Anaphylaxis for a full break down on the stats ...

babybarrister Thu 18-Oct-12 18:43:53

The most important point is that as you now realise people must rule out dangerous conditions for them and their DC first.

A secondary point is whether this milk is in fact helpful for anyone as it is relying on frankly totally unproven claims ....hmm

HALA Thu 18-Oct-12 19:18:40

My son has bad eczema, hay fever etc. and would love to try anything that might help.

mamij Thu 18-Oct-12 19:44:07

MNHQ - would you mind withdrawing my application please? Have second thoughts reading through all these threads.

Curmit - will definitely push to see an allergist. Have appointment with dietician in about three weeks time. Hopefully will be more helpful than dermatologist!

Lougle Thu 18-Oct-12 20:08:31

"It's a bit too late in the day now to take any decisions/do anything further but we wanted you to know we weren't ignoring you."

Really? How is it too late?

greenbananas Thu 18-Oct-12 20:18:07

Mulling this over some more, I think that one of my main concerns is that the word "protein" in the advertising may confuse even some people with diagnosed allergies to milk proteins into trying this stuff. There will have to be something very, very clear on the packaging which says that would be dangerous.

The manufacturers are certainly not going out of their way to make it clear that eczema, asthma and hayfever are atopic conditions which are linked to a tendency towards allergies in general.

seeker Thu 18-Oct-12 20:20:57

I just think that "a new, entirely natural type of British cow's milk" is completely meaningless.

casabevron Thu 18-Oct-12 20:56:01

So to sum up, in order to take part in this trial you must

~ Have had some kind of issue, or suspected issue to do with milk or dairy products in the past year, but...
~ NOT have been diagnosed as lactose intolerant by a healthcare professional (GP, Dietitian, Nutritionist)
~ NOT have been diagnosed as milk allergic by a healthcare professional (GP, Dietitian, Nutritionist)

In other words, you have either been to a doctor and established that you are not allergic/intolerant to cow's milk, or you have not been to a doctor and therefore not been diagnosed as allergic or intolerant yet. It would not seem to me that this milk is the solution in either case.

Am so sick of seeing products and services aimed at cashing in on the lack of knowledge amongst the general population, not to mention doctors, surrounding allergies and intolerances. It is only through having a ds relatively recently diagnosed with food allergies that I have received a rapid and sobering education on what allergies really entail.

I've no doubt that this product has proven popular in Australia. If the number of 'part-time' intolerances/allergies I've encountered since ds was diagnosed is anything to go by, it'll sell well here too. Am very surprised at you MN for enabling this trial, I thought you were a bit more clued-up than that...

(And sorry to be pedantic, but I don't think a nutritionist counts as a healthcare professional does it? - I could set myself up as a nutritionist tomorrow with no qualifications at all. If you have been told by a nutritionist that you are not milk allergic/intolerant, it might be wise to seek further advice from a proper medical professional.)

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 18-Oct-12 21:03:56

In other words, you have either been to a doctor and established that you are not allergic/intolerant to cow's milk, or you have not been to a doctor and therefore not been diagnosed as allergic or intolerant yet. It would not seem to me that this milk is the solution in either case

I think they are trying to say it is suitable for those with a diagnosed cow protein intolerance (not allergy?)

Lougle Thu 18-Oct-12 21:10:42

"Hence a2 Milk is the natural answer to a question of A1 Milk protein intolerance."

How does one distinguish between 'A1 Milk protein intolerance' and any other intolerance of dairy?

A critical Review of the A2 Milk Case from Australia, where the company in question claims:

"a2 Milk has proved very popular in Australia where thousands of milk consumers have made the switch and seen an improvement as a result." (from the OP)

This review says, and I quote:

"This review concludes, however, that there is no convincing or even probable evidence that the A1 beta-casein of cow milk has any adverse effect in humans."

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now