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Global Dairy Platform to Enhance Image, Expand Demand of Dairy Products

Oct 15, 2007

Global Dairy Platform to Enhance Image, Expand Demand of Dairy Products

IDFA senior staff members joined producers and processors from around the world at the first annual meeting of the Global Dairy Platform (GDP) earlier this month in Dublin, Ireland. The meeting, held in conjunction with the International Dairy Federation's World Dairy Summit, offered a first glimpse into several GDP projects already underway to enhance the image of milk and dairy products around the world.

Global Dairy Platform is an international non-profit organization based in Chicago that unites leading dairy corporations, cooperatives and associations in an effort to coordinate industry resources, reduce duplication of research and promotional efforts, and expand global demand for milk and dairy products. The organization was founded last year by four of the world's largest dairy producer cooperatives: Arla Foods, Inc.; Campina; Dairy Farmers of America; and Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd.

"Many of the same dairy issues that we face in the United States are common in other countries," said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO, who attended the meeting. "By being pro-active and coordinating scientific and medical research on dairy, the Global Dairy Platform can help dairy industries around the world reach consumers with positive messages about the nutritional benefits of dairy products."

At the meeting, GDP executives discussed several research projects currently underway, including a review of findings on dairy connections to healthy weight loss and weight management. Scientists from the United States, the Netherlands and Denmark are analyzing 10 to 12 existing studies to bring the results together into one report for increased validity and statistical significance. This meta-analysis is expected to be complete within the next six months. As a subsequent step, GDP will conduct multinational clinical trials to test the overall findings.

"The study's results will give us a better understanding of how dairy products can help combat obesity," Tipton said. "This is important information that needs to be shared with consumers, health professionals and policy makers around the world."

Other GDP projects in progress include studies of the economic effect of increasing milk consumption, dairy's role in reducing hypertension, and using science to reposition milkfat and differentiate it from saturated fats.

IDFA joined GDP this year as an associate member, and Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs, recently accepted an invitation to become a member of the organization's Communication and Scientific Advisory Board. Frye will join an elite group of international health and nutrition scientists, academics, and communicators and experts from the regulatory field who guide GDP's efforts.

For more information about the Global Dairy Platform, visit For more information about the annual meeting or the ongoing projects, contact Frye at or 202-220-3543.

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Posted October 15, 2007

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