Kim Polzin, Consumer Media Representative at the Midwest Dairy Association, wrote in a Spring 2003 article "Milk Quality Is Key to Consumer Confidence," published in the Dairy Initiatives newsletter:

“On the surface, somatic cell counts seem like a topic that would interest only dairy farmers, veterinarians, and dairy processors. The impact of somatic cell counts on protein levels and cheese making seems far removed from things a consumer might think about while visiting the grocery store.

Enter People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and its ‘Got Pus?’ campaign, which attempts to ‘alert consumers to impurities in the U.S. milk supply, particularly the high levels of bacteria-harboring pus.’ Their so-called proof? Somatic cell counts…

[PETA] goes on to discuss the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance and even uses a state-by-state list of average SC [somatic cell] counts published by Hoard’s Dairyman as ‘evidence.’ These activists are asking the public to abandon milk – one of the most tested, wholesome, and nutritious foods available.

The dairy checkoff is working to make sure consumers are not swayed by PETA’s ridiculous and incorrect claims. There is no pus in milk.”

Spring 2003