Finding raw milk information is an easy trip down Google Lane with 2.4 million URL’s listed. Locating raw milk producers by state is also easy, but note “Many producers have requested that their names not be listed, for fear of reprisals from government officials and for other reasons.” Organized enthusiasts like Realmilk, claim that when “Americans could buy Real Milk, heart disease, allergies and cancer diseases were rare,” crudely insinuating that pasteurization is responsible. Other cheerleaders for raw milk claim it has undeniable benefits not only for the consumer, the farmer, the cows, but also for the environment, e.g. some supporters believe that the lack of “friendly bacteria” in pasteurized milk may provide a better environment for “health harming microorganisms to flourish. ”
Critics of raw milk, including the Food and Drug Administration(FDA), most state governments, and the group Public Citizen cite the dangers of pathogens and dispute the health claims. Despite the restrictions and conditions imposed on producers of raw milk, the FDA states “raw milk, no matter how carefully produced, may be unsafe.” (my emphasis). May be unsafe?
Ever since Louis Pasteur in 1862 first invented the process that bears his name, cascades of words, articles, opinions, and arguments have issued forth. Here are just some of the facts: Raw milk and unpasteurized milk products, such as cheese, ice cream, yogurt, puddings, and others, can transmit an archipelago of don’t-let-the-daunting-names-turn-you-off diseases, including but not limited to listeriosis (Listeria monocytogenes), Coxiella Burnetii (Cause of Q Fever), camplyobacter infection (one of the most common causes of bacterial diarrheal illness in the U.S.) Brucellosis (undulant fever or brucellosis), Salmonella, not to mention E. coli, tuberculosis, & etc. Outbreaks of listeria, Q fever, and camplyobacter and other diseases transmitted from raw milk continue to be reported in North America and throughout the world.
Here are some common myths and proven facts about milk and pasteurization:
“• Pasteurizing milk DOES NOT cause lactose intolerance and
allergic reactions. …
• Pasteurization DOES NOT reduce milk’s nutritional value.
• Pasteurization DOES NOT mean that it is safe to leave milk
out of the refrigerator for extended time, particularly after it
has been opened.
• Pasteurization DOES kill harmful bacteria.
• Pasteurization DOES save lives.”
Need I add that people who consume raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products are taking big time health risks?