-FROM HER UDDER TO YOUR LIPS: THE RAW FACTS
- RAW MILK
Los Angeles County has just completed a study on the
health risks from drinking raw milk. They've issued a
report. Here are some of the highlighlights/lowlights.
"Diseases which may be transmitted by micro-organisms
in raw milk or raw milk products include salmonellosis,
campylobacteriosis, brucellosis, yersiniosis, listeriosis,
staphylococcal enterotoxin poisoning, streptococcal
infections, tuberculosis and E. Coli 0157:H7 infection."
In mid March, I will be debating raw milk advocate
Sally Fallon at the Toronto Total Health 2001
conference. Sally's web page:
I'll be sure to give Sally a copy of a study that appeared
in the journal Dairy Science (1999 Dec, 82:12). A study
was performed in which raw milk samples from dairy
herds were tested. Here is what scientists found:
"Bulk tank milk from 131 dairy herds in eastern South
Dakota and western Minnesota were examined for
coliforms and noncoliform bacteria. Coliforms were
detected in 62.3% of bulk tank milk samples... noncoliform
bacteria were observed in 76.3% of bulk tank milk."
Drink raw milk and you're not the only one at risk.
The Los Angeles County report reveals:
"Although the initial impact of the disease is on the individual
consumer, many pathogens may be transmitted from person
to person, including to family members, and patrons of
restaurants if the individual is a food handler. The fetus
of a pregnant woman may be at risk. Some of the diseases
associated with the pathogens can lead to death, particularly
among vulnerable persons."
The Los Angeles County report cites Centers for Disease
Control estimates that no more than one out of 20 cases
of food borne illness are reported to local health
departments. Such illnesses are epidemic in nature, and
rarely reported by the media. Various examples of mass
milk poisonings were given in the L.A. study.
In 1985, an outbreak of listeria was linked to soft
cheese made from raw milk produced in Los Angeles
Of the 142 cases reported, 93 were in pregnant women
or their children. There were 48 deaths, including 20
Since 1973, 394 cases of salmonella have been
reported in Los Angeles County. Of these, 101 (25.6%)
were consumers of raw milk. Molecular fingerprinting
identified the strain of bacteria in ill persons as
the same as that found in raw milk samples.
Health Benefits of Raw Milk
A rigorous review of the medical and scientific literature
by the L.A. County investigators found no studies
suggesting health benefits from consuming raw