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  1. ITV Report

Organic milk 'may harm babies' brain development'

Women who drink "healthier" organic milk during pregnancy may be putting the brain development of their unborn babies at risk, experts claim.

Iodine is known to be important for the healthy brain development of babies, especially in the early stages of pregnancy.

Women who drink organic milk during pregnancy may be putting the brain development of their unborn babies at risk, experts claim. Credit: PA Wire

A study by scientists at the University of Reading found milk certified as organic contains about a third less iodine than conventionally-produced milk. The same was found to be true for "ultra-high temperature" (UHT)-processed long-life milk.

The study found no difference in iodine content between full fat, semis-skimmed and skimmed milk.

Lead scientist Professor Ian Givens said people are increasingly buying organic and UHT milk for perceived health benefits or convenience but warned the trend could have serious implications for public health.

Iodine deficiency ought to be a health problem from the past. But unless this situation is carefully monitored, we risk sleepwalking into a new health crisis in the 21st century.

Organic and UHT milk is not bad for you, and drinking all types of milk has numerous health benefits.

But to get the same amount of iodine as in a pint of conventional pasteurised milk, you would need to drink around an extra half-pint of organic or UHT milk.

– Professor Ian Givens