PETA ‘Got Autism’ Ad Draws Fire

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A 2000 PETA ad used then New York mayor Rudy Giuliani's battle with prostate cancer to discourage people from consuming products made from cow's milk. (Getty Images)

A 2000 PETA ad used then New York mayor Rudy Giuliani’s battle with prostate cancer to discourage people from consuming products made from cow’s milk. (Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – An old ad campaign from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is getting new attention and drawing fire from the scientific community for suggesting milk products cause autism. 

The ad, still on PETA’s website shows a bowl of cereal floating in milk. The cereal is arranged to make a frownie face. Above it reads the slogan “Got Autism?” with the tag line “Studies have shown a link between cow’s milk and autism.”

The ad is based on the popular “Got Milk” campaign created for California dairy farmers to encourage people to drink cow’s milk.

But PETA is using spurious data to back its claims, says Time Magazine. The activist group claims that studies prove a link between autism and cow’s milk, but Time says those studies are old and flawed.

No scientific studies have found that drinking cow’s milk can cause autism.

PETA is no stranger to controversy, courting media attention with sexy ads starring nude celebrities and dramatic protests in which protesters dress like klansmen, bloody animals or just wear nothing at all.

It’s possible this attention may deter PETA from making more dubious claims, but Time magazine says that is doubtful.

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