PETA anti-dairy billboard targets local high school students

BELTON, Mo. - A new PETA billboard claiming that dairy products trigger acne is up near two local high schools.

The billboard, which reads "Studies Show: Milk and Cheese Trigger Acne. Ditch Dairy," is just south of Highway 58 off of Interstate 49 -- about two miles from Belton and Heartland Christian high schools. It's part of PETA's Got Zits? campaign.

In a news release, PETA cited recent studies from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Harvard School of Public Health, which it said linked eating dairy with acne.

Heartland Christian Principal Claire Baker disagreed with the message completely.

"I don't believe that ditching milk is going to eliminate acne in young people," Baker said. "I think that milk is an important aspect of a growing young person's diet."

Heide January has three kids in the Belton School District, and says she goes through three gallons of milk a week.

"They're milk and cheese kids, and I'm not going to stop them," January said. "Milk does the body good."

According PETA, the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study reviewed records between 1960 and 2012, which revealed overconsumption of dairy products can lead to acne.

"Teens everywhere are afflicted by embarrassing acne," PETA spokeswoman Alicia Woempner said. "Our billboard will raise awareness among local teens that ditching dairy in favor of delicious soy, rice and almond milks and faux cheese options can help banish their blemishes."

The billboard will remain up through the first week of May.

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