A1 and A2 milk, Acres USA

In Ocober 2009 I did a telephone interview with Acres USA, which is an American journal of sustainable agriculture.  The interview provides an overview of many of the major issues surrounding A1 and A2 milk, both the health and politics.  I did not see the proofs of the interview, and if I had I would have altered one or two sentences where my Kiwi accent has confused the stenographer.  In addition,  the citation for the recent Russian research on BCM7 in young babies is incorrect.  (It should be: Kost NV, et al. Β-casomorphins-7 in infants on different types of feeding and different levels of psychomotor development. Peptides 2009 Oct; 30(10):1854-60.)  But overall I am pleased with how it has come out, and for a general readership I think it is a good place for people to start.  Thank you Acres USA for running with it.  The article is available at: www.acresusa.com/toolbox/reprints/Dec09_Woodford.pdf


About Keith Woodford

Keith Woodford is an independent consultant, based in New Zealand, who works internationally on agri-food systems and rural development projects. He holds honorary positions as Professor of Agri-Food Systems at Lincoln University, New Zealand, and as Senior Research Fellow at the Contemporary China Research Centre at Victoria University, Wellington.
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6 Responses to A1 and A2 milk, Acres USA

  1. william neu says:


    Have you any influence in convincing the A2 Corporation to license testing protocol in the U.S?

    • keithwoodford says:

      I will continue trying to encourage A2 Corporation to license testers in the USA, but to date I have been unsuccessful. They must have their own business reasons why they have to date not licensed testers, so all I can do is appeal to them on ethical grounds, to either do it themselves or not block others from doing it.

  2. william neu says:


    I would appreciate that effort on your part to speak with A2 about the testing in the U.S.. If you come across a lead would you kindly pass it along for me to look into?

    I recently finished your book. The stonewalling you received is not much of a surprise, being that this kind of dodging, wordsmithing and twisting of laws is prevalent in the U.S also – says alot about the universality of human nature.

    On the issue of leaky gut, here in the U.S the Weston A. Price Foundation estimates this problem to be very widespread, due to things like antibiotics, birth control pills, vitamin deficiencies, phytates in whole grain foods and so on. I have a question that is puzzling me that I found (maybe) unanswered in your well written (and now personally recommended) book. In the rats that are fed the BCM-7 there is the consistent result of pathology. One has to assume the rats that are chosen for the experiment are healthy and therefore have their gut lining in good condition; how does the BCM-7 get into the bloodstream? Do they have a less discriminating transport system than ours?

    The WAPF stresses the value of raw milk. Has there been any research with raw milk and BCM-7 problems. I am assuming its the same, but wondering.

    Thank you for bringing this issue to the fore, despite the negativity you have had to deal with – I for one believe there is something to this BCM-7 milk devil due to my reactions to different milk sources, including cream.

    Happy New Year.

    Bill Neu
    WAPF chapter leader, Burlington, WI, USA

  3. keithwoodford says:

    The rats and mice would have been very young at the start of the experiments. All mammalian babies have a permeable intenstinal system to allow the large colostrum molecules to pass from the mother’s milk to the infant’s bloodstream. In adults it is only people who have some other medical condition (often undiagnosed) who will have a permeable intestine

    No, I am not aware of any trials with raw milk and BCM7. It is theoretically possible that the release of BCM7 could be affected by heat treatment of milk. This could either be by pasteurization or by heating it for cooking purposes. But there is no data on this. What is clear is that raw milk and pasteurized milk can both release BCM7.

  4. william neu says:


    I have no formal background in chemistry. I am puzzled by the nature of the BCM7 peptide. I understand the weak bond of Histidine at position 67 which causes one of the peptide end breaks, but from my reading recollection there is no mention of why the break at position 60 is also fragile, creating this fragment.

    Would you clarify this for me?


    • keithwoodford says:

      The bond between valine and tyrosine (positions 59 and 60) is easily broken. This will occur with both the A1 and A2 beta casein. In the case of A1 beta casein this will result in BCM7 being produced. In the case of A2 casein it will produce BCM9, or possibly even longer fragments during first stage digestion. BCM9 is a much milder opioid and there is increasing evidence that it may actually have beneficial properties. This illustrates that not all opioids are necessarily bad. Similarly, there is increasing evidence that human BCM7 (which has two amino acids different to bovine BCM7) has beneficial effects. The recent Russian research by Kost et al provides confirmatory evidence on this, with babies that retain rather than rapidly excrete the human BCM7 (from breast milk) having enhanced psychomotor development, but babies on formula that retain (rather than excrete) the bovine BCM7 having delayed development relative to their peers.

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