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Petition the Australian dairy industry to a public debate on the facts about dairy

This petition had 936 supporters

Australian dairy industry challenged to back their claims in a public debate.

Get the facts, not the legend. Is dairy healthful or harmful to human health, the environment and the cows themselves? 


"You gotta take them on," said Cr O'Connor.

So come on Cr O'Connor, Dairy Australia and Farmer Power, we challenge you to a public debate on the facts about dairy.

Dairy industry representatives have been called on to back their claims in a public debate, following an online petition last week that encouraged support for famous comedian Dave Hughes to follow through on his idea to give up dairy for a week.

The original petition, launched on 20 August 2013 on, provided 13 reasons for ditching dairy in 2013 and has been signed by more than 1,300 people worldwide.

Industry figures were quick to react, with Dairy Australia launching a list of “13 reasons why milk is good” and lobby group Farmer Power urging people to object to the “radical campaign”. When speaking of petition supporters on NovaFM, Hughesy’s hometown mayor and former dairy farmer, Cr Chris O’Connor said, “you gotta take them on Hughesy”.

In response, newly-formed group Dairy Debate – which launched the original petition – has called for a public debate on the facts about dairy. The representatives challenged to the debate are Cr Chris O’Connor, Mayor of Corangamite Shire Council, Jock O’Keefe, leader of dairy lobby group Farmer Power, and Ian Halliday, Managing Director, Dairy Australia

Dairy Debate also called for experts to respond to the dairy industry claims. Accredited Practising Dietitian Amanda Benham was happy to accept the challenge.

Ms Benham said she was taking part in the public debate so that people can make informed decisions about dairy.

“Contrary to what the industry wants us to believe, consuming dairy products is neither necessary nor natural. People need to hear both sides of the story so that they can make an informed choice about whether or not they want to consume dairy products. There needs to be more awareness of the potential negative effects of consuming dairy products, including the impact on the environment and on the animals involved. If the people quoted in The Warrnambool Standard newspaper stand by what they claim, they should be happy to publicly debate the topic,” she said.

Event details

The Dairy Debate – Get the facts, not the legend

When: Saturday 21 September 2013, doors open at 2.30pm, debate starts at 3pm

Where: Kindness House, Level 2, 288 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. No outside food or drink (aside from bottled water) is permitted.

Cost: Tickets are $10 and go towards the cost of this non-profit event. Tickets are available at


Details about the webcast are coming soon.

To contact Dairy Debate organisers, please email

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