Bovine Veterinarian has written many pieces on the potential dangers of consuming raw milk. The FDA recently distributed a press release that said, “A recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention covering a 13-year period determined that raw milk products are 150 times more likely to cause a foodborne illness outbreak than pasteurized milk products.”
Still, some producers continue to market raw milk to consumers and risk passing on potentially contaminated products. A recent campylobacteriosis outbreak linked to raw milk in Pennsylvania in January has now sickened 80 people in four states.
In his Feb. 25 issue of Environmental Views, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Dennis T. Avery discusses why regulations are in place against the sale of raw milk for consumer consumption, and the potential danger of it to an unsuspecting public.
What follows is Avery’s commentary “Raw Milk: Buying Danger”:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control finally confirmed that drinking raw milk is more than twice as dangerous then drinking pasteurized milk. And the raw milk disease outbreaks are more dangerous’ especially for kids and the elderly. This is the CDC’s reluctant response to a craze among the alternate believers for “all natural.” CDC made the announcement after a 13-year review!
Dr. Robert Tauxe, director of CDC’s division of foodborne diseases said: “The states that allow sale of raw milk will probably continue to see outbreaks in the future.” The CDC and FDA also say pasteurized milk has all the same benefits as unpasteurized milk.
This “bolsters the federal government’s argument to go after farmers who sell unpasteurized milk across state lines” said The Washington Times online Feb. 21.
First and foremost, cattle sometimes have diseases that the farmers don’t know they have. This isn’t as big a risk as it was in my youth. Lots of the dairy cattle then carried tuberculosis and undulant fever, truly awful diseases. All dairy cattle now have to be tested periodically to ensure they don’t have either. Still, hundreds of Americans have had to be hospitalized with serious illnesses from such milk-borne bacteria as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria—and the ever-popular E. coli in some of its more dangerous forms. The CDC says 200 out of 239 hospitalizations studied during its long review of the raw milk question stemmed from unpasteurized milk.