TV3's Fatimah Is Wrong About Babies And Cow's Milk. But Do Kids Really Need Milk?


Cover image via The Malay Mail

Fatimah Syarha, the host of TV3's Fiqh Wanita, a show targeted towards Muslim women, recently claimed that cow's milk should not be fed to babies, as the infant may "absorb" the obtuse DNA of the bovine via the milk and would affect the development of the child

The screenshot with the quote about cow's milk that has gone viral on social media.

Image via The Malay Mail

Needless to say, Fatimah's scientific understanding (or the lack of) not only undermined her reputation as a religious educator (she was discussing the importance of breastfeeding), her so-called "theory" on cow's milk quickly became the mocking point on social media

Another screenshot from the same show.

Image via The Rakyat Post

The Rakyat Post compiled a list of things users said to her:

Adila Musa Idris commented: "I find your lack of scientific fact disturbing. You cannot base your claims on blind assumptions alone. Where is your proof?"

Siti Amiranah said while Fatimah’s point on the importance of breastfeeding was correct, the former did not agree with the claim that cow’s milk will cause brain damage. "It's just ridiculous, humans have been feeding children with milk from animals for centuries."

Mariani Mohd Azlan said that the facts provided by the host are wrong and creates confusion among its viewers, who are generally young mothers. "I request that TV3 and the ustazah correct and amend the information on this matter or at the least provide correct scientifically accurate information in such shows."

Aishah Balqis said based on this logic, it was best to stay away from beef, chicken and seafood.

"Maybe we should eat human flesh then you get 100% human DNA. So shallow."

Moving on, while Fatimah's ignorance of the fact that we cannot assimilate foreign DNA via food must be criticised, we should also ask how important is milk for kids and do they really need it?

While we are encouraged, since early childhood, to drink at least a glass of milk every day, the truth of the matter is that kids don't really need milk.

Although milk is a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D, other food sources also provide these nutrients. What's more, on one hand there's no evidence that drinking milk reduces bone fractures and on the other drinking too much milk can lead to anemia and may contribute to obesity.

Kids, in order to build strong bones and healthy bodies, need exercise, ample sunshine, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that help them maintain a healthy body weight, says nutritionist Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., adding that there's no evidence to support the notion that milk is a preferred source of calcium.