By Robert Cohen Text Only


Unsafe Levels of Dioxin have been found in Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

Ben & Jerry are environmental activists, and use milk from the healthiest cows. Imagine what is in the concentrated cheese and ice cream made from the average dairy cow?

Unsafe levels of dioxin were measured in a sample of Ben & Jerry’s brand ice cream, according to a new study published on


Ben & Jerry’s promotional literature reveals that Dioxin's cause "cancer, genetic and reproductive defects and learning disabilities."

Ben and Jerry say:

"The only safe level of dioxin exposure is no exposure at all."

STEVE MILLOY, co-author of the study and owner of the JUNK SCIENCE website wrote:

"The level of dioxin tested in Ben & Jerry's was almost 200 times greater than the "virtually safe [daily] dose" determined by the EPA, said Michael Gough, lead study author. Gough is a former government scientist who chaired the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advisory panel on the effects of dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange on U.S. Air Force personnel in Vietnam.

"An independent laboratory measured 0.79 ± 0.38 parts per trillion of dioxin in the sample of ice cream, " said Gough . "Our result has measurement error associated with it and the sample may or may not be representative of all Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, but our result is consistent with current scientific literature."

Gough and Milloy noted they believe existing scientific evidence does not credibly link low levels of dioxin exposure with human health effects. "But not everyone agrees," said co-author Steven Milloy, editor of "Ben & Jerry’s and Greenpeace, the company’s source for information on dioxin, have concluded that dioxin is not safe at any level."

"If dioxin is so dangerous, perhaps Ben & Jerry’s should remove its ice cream from the market until it is 'safe', consistent with the company’s promotional literature," suggested Milloy.

"Many children enjoy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream," said Milloy, "but by the company’s own standards, its ice cream is not safe. Are they are choosing corporate profits over children’s health?" he asked. "Maybe an appropriate new flavor would be ‘Tasty Toxics’ or ‘World’s Best Hypocrisy’."

A full copy of the report is at


Steven Milloy may be contacted at 202-467-8586.

Robert Cohen

UPDATE: Comment on 20/20 coverage

On 3 November, 2000, 20-20 ran a story on DIOXINS in Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

From now on, when I see an attempt by the media to alter truth, I will refer to it as a "stosselism." Any reporter who attempts to become a corporate shill will be referred to as a "stosselist." A lie will be called a "stossel." Conjugate the verb. I stossel, you stossel, she stossels, they stossel...we all stossel.

Here is a partial transcript of last night's show. I begin with the ending. After the reporter stosseled, Barbara Walters said:

"They won't like you."

John Stossel's response:

"The ice cream's safe. There are low levels of dioxins in all kinds of food. I have Ben & Jerry's in my freezer. My kids eat it. It's high in fat, but it's safe. It's this feel-good environmentalism that galls me."

Earlier in the four minute segment, Stossel explained:

"'s absorbed in animal fat, and that's how most of it gets to us...EPA considers dioxin a cancer risk...there is dioxin in the ice cream...there are 13 pats of butter in a cup of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Do you think people know that?"

Stossel had cited Steve Milloy's website.

Milloy tested Ben and Jerry's vanilla ice cream, and found it to contain 200 times the safe level of dioxin.

The Department of Environmental Protection repeated the tests, and found consumers eating ice cream containing 2,200 times the safe level of dioxin.

Stossel intentionally failed to reveal the actual levels of unsafe dioxins. His report revealed only their presense. His logic? DEP calls it a "cancer risk," but he serves it to his kids because "feel-good environmentalists" gall him.

The name of Stossel's editorial segment is:


I'd like to ask ABC to do the same. I've been stosseled more than I care to admit, and this is the last stossel.

To paraphrase a famous philosopher: "There are stossels, damned stossels, and statistics." Today's wish is for Mr. Stossel to become a statistic. 20-20's credibility will forever be questioned when stosselists stossel.

Robert Cohen