FSANZ sees no need to distinguish A1 and A2 milk based on research available

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 3rd March 2009

Food Standards Australia New Zealand has concluded that the current information available on A1 and A2 milk does not provide due reason for any amendment to the Food Standards Code.

It has been suggested that A2 milk could provide levels of protection to consumers from autism in children as well as schizophrenia, diabetes and heart disease, but these suggestions remain unproven, FSANZ reports.

The food standards body will continue to monitor new research, but believe current studies to be inconclusive.

“FSANZ has considered the very limited scientific evidence available on comparative health effects of the two milks and discussed the issue internally and at Board level,” they said. “FSANZ has noted that further research is in progress and concluded that, while there are some interesting hypotheses being examined, it could not proceed with regulatory action on the basis of the available evidence. FSANZ has not received any applications to amend the milk provisions of the Food Standards Code to consider A1 or A2 milk.”

The European Food Safety Authority recently came to a similar conclusion.

What is the difference?

Of the six major protein types in cow’s milk, four are casein proteins and the other two are whey proteins. The caseins usually make up about 80% of the protein in cow’s milk. One of the major caseins is beta -casein, which distinguishes A1 and A2 milk.

Certain breeds of cows, such as Friesians, produce mostly A1 milk, whereas other breeds, such as Guernseys, as well as sheep and goats, produce mostly A2 milk. Milk produced in Australia and New Zealand is normally a mix of A1 and A2 milks, FSANZ advised.