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Raw milk discussion on Food Safety News web site

Publisher’s Platform: ‘Dead’ Milk vs. ‘Magic’ Milk
by Bill Marler | Jul 31, 2011

“Dead Milk” 23, “Magic Milk” 202

So, who is winning?

I was asked to talk with Sally Fallon Morrell on the Kojo Nnamdi show on WAMU Public Radio in D.C. last week in what the host determined to be the “Raw Milk Wars.”  The producer who called me said that she had tried to find someone, anyone, in public health to go on the show, but everyone refused. So, she was left with me.

Sally, who has become famous for her pronouncement that raw milk is “magic” was pleasant enough, as were the host and the callers — even my friend Harry. Some of the comments on the WAMU were a bit harsh, but after two decades of being a lawyer, I am more than used to that. I especially warm to the comments by members of the “Teat Party.”

I was struck by a number of things Sally said during the show.  One assertion she said made me think I need to do the experiment she suggested of putting Campylobacter in raw milk, leaving it in the fridge for two days with the bottle cap off and, like magic, the Campylobacter disappears.

I was not at all surprised that she mentioned that between 3% of people in the U.S. consume raw milk — recent CDC’s FoodNet data supports that.  In comparison, 78.5% of people in the survey reported drinking pasteurized milk.  That is about 26 times more people drinking pasteurized milk than raw milk, so wouldn’t you expect most illnesses to be from pasteurized milk since so few people actually drink raw milk? This gets me back to the “Dead Milk” 23, “Magic Milk” 202 score — who is winning?

I have been keeping track of “Outbreaks, Illnesses and Recalls Linked to Raw (Unpasteurized) and Pasteurized Dairy Products, United States since January 1, 2010 – July 30, 2011.”  Here is the breakdown:

• 18 raw dairy outbreaks with 202 illnesses, 24 hospitalizations, and no deaths (16 fluid raw milk, 2 aged raw milk cheese)
• 1 pasteurized dairy outbreak with 23 illnesses, 2 hospitalizations, and no deaths
• 1 queso fresco Mexican-style cheese outbreak with 5 illnesses and hospitalizations, no deaths
• 3 sporadic illnesses and hospitalizations from illegal Mexican-style cheese, no deaths
Recalls (no illnesses reported)

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One Response to Raw milk discussion on Food Safety News web site

  1. chris kazaam says:

    Disgusting, the government took away my choice to enjoy raw dairy with the multi-agency raid on Rawesome in Venice, CA. Fascism at its best. Can’t find anything else to do with their time besides harass “supposedly free” Americans. Maybe Corporate Farming doesn’t like the fact that i won’t buy their DEAD SLOP(pasteurized milk). Hmmmm? Thanks to all the lawyers & nasty jurors who make it possible to litigate retailers who DARE to sell what the consumer wants, at their own risk.

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