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CDC: Raw Milk Much More Likely to Cause Illness
FoodSafetyNews.com ^ | Feb. 22, 2012 | James Andrews

Posted on 02/22/2012 7:18:04 AM PST by iowamark

Raw milk and raw milk products are 150 times more likely than their pasteurized counterparts to sicken those who consume them, according to a 13-year review published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday. States that permit raw milk sales also have more than twice as many illness outbreaks as states where raw milk is not sold.


The CDC study, published online in Emerging Infectious Diseases, reviewed dairy-related outbreaks between 1993 and 2006 in all 50 states, during which time the authors counted 121 dairy-related illness outbreaks resulting in 4,413 illnesses, 239 hospitalizations and three deaths.

Despite raw milk products accounting for approximately one percent of dairy production in the U.S., raw milk dairies were linked to 60 percent of those dairy-related outbreaks. In addition, 202 of the 239 hospitalizations (85 percent) resulted from raw milk outbreaks. Thirteen percent of patients from raw milk outbreaks were hospitalized, versus one percent of patients from pasteurized milk outbreaks.

Seventy-five percent of the raw milk outbreaks occurred in the 21 states where the sale of raw milk was legal at the study's onset in 1993. Today, 30 states permit the sale of raw milk, while another seven are considering raw milk legislation changes this year.

The study found that individuals under the age of 20 accounted for 60 percent of those affected by raw milk outbreaks, compared with 23 percent associated with pasteurized products. Children were also more likely than adults to become seriously ill from pathogenic bacteria in raw milk.

The differences in illness severity between raw and pasteurized milk are largely due to the pathogens present in each: People sickened from raw milk typically ingest injurious bacteria -- most commonly Salmonella or Campylobacter -- whereas pasteurized milk outbreaks more often result from "relatively mild" pathogens such as norovirus, according to the CDC.

This is the first comprehensive federal-level update to raw milk statistics of this kind since 1998, when the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition released a similar review of raw milk outbreaks spanning from 1973 to 1992. That study found that 46 raw milk outbreaks occurred during the review window, with 40 of them in states with legal raw milk sales.

At the time, the 1998 study concluded that "consumption of raw milk remains a preventable cause of foodborne illness." Similarly, Tuesday's CDC study suggested that "stronger restrictions and enforcement should be considered."

"It's really helpful to have these numbers updated as interest in raw milk increases through activist groups," said Michele Jay-Russell, Ph.D., program manager of the Western Center for Food Safety at University of California Davis.

"I wouldn't say the statistics are surprising, but it's helpful to know that, unfortunately, things have not really changed since the last report," she added. "Despite being in the 21st century, raw milk continues to make people sick."

The study comes on the heels of one of the largest raw milk outbreaks in U.S. history. As of Tuesday, 77 people in four states been sickened in a Campylobacter outbreak linked to raw milk from Your Family Cow dairy in Pennsylvania that began in late January. At least nine of the victims from that outbreak have been hospitalized.

Many of those who are ill in that outbreak are children. "Parents who have lived through the experience of watching their child fight for their life after drinking raw milk now say that it's just not worth the risk," said Dr. Barbara Mahon, co-author of the CDC study, in a news release.

Since January 2007, the end of the study's review window, there have been at least 56 additional foodborne illness outbreaks associated with raw milk. Between 2010 and 2011, raw dairy products were linked to 21 outbreaks and 201 illnesses, while pasteurized dairy products caused two outbreaks and 39 illnesses.

According to Jay-Russell, nearly all instances of outbreaks from pasteurized dairy occur because of contamination after the pasteurization process.

This year, Indiana, New Jersey, Iowa, Idaho, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Wisconsin have all considered changes to their raw milk sales laws. The majority of the bills under review would either permit the sale of raw milk where currently illegal, or remove certain restrictions on its sale in states where it's already permitted.

Federal law restricts the transport of raw milk across state lines for sale, though consumers are free to travel across state lines to purchase milk and take it home, and there is no law against consuming unpasteurized milk.

The push for loosened raw milk sales rules across many states runs counter to the best scientific recommendations the CDC and Food and Drug Administration can make based on the available data, Jay-Russell said. Many raw milk proponents argue that raw milk provides nutrients and numerous health benefits negated by the pasteurization process, while many food scientists say there's no credible scientific evidence for any of those claims.

"It's [the CDC and FDA's] charge to look at the health statistics and inform the public and help policy makers create policy that makes sense," Jay-Russell said. "But there's a push-back. Some groups don't want government influence over food, so it makes it a much more political debate than a scientific one."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Food; Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: milk; pasteurization; rawmilk
Nonpasteurized Dairy Products, Disease Outbreaks, and State Laws—United States, 1993–2006
1 posted on 02/22/2012 7:18:08 AM PST by iowamark
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To: iowamark

I would like to see a breakdown beyond ‘raw milk products.

What percentage of these cases were the result of ‘queso fresco’, better known as ‘bathtub cheese’.

Regardless, it still doesn’t give the national government the right to tell me what I can eat or drink.


2 posted on 02/22/2012 7:24:23 AM PST by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: iowamark
I have worked with the CDC. I am quite pleased to tell you that the CDC is one of the only Federal Agencies I have seen, in action, who actually tries to HELP people and IMPROVE conditions in America and the world, across the board. I am quite impressed with the front line folks in the agency, who have good hearts and geniunely work hard to make a positive difference. We talk about abortion, and it is a huge problem -- but as many that are aborted, an equal number are saved through such innovative and beneficial programs such as the Newborn Screening programs -- which is a worldwide program.

I do not expect that the CDC will have doctored these results or bent them to fit an agenda. It's simply not their style.

THAT SAID: I still feel people should be free to select whatever food they wish to eat, even if it risks disease or death.

3 posted on 02/22/2012 7:27:52 AM PST by Lazamataz (If you only think about a diet, only your brain loses weight.)
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To: maine yankee
You can eat or drink it all you want - the moment you try to SELL IT however.....

Sort of like the INS agents in Coneheads.

“If they ARE aliens, wouldn't that be under NASA?”

“If they are just visiting, but they moment they try to WORK HERE - they are MINE!”

4 posted on 02/22/2012 7:28:07 AM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: iowamark

*Sponsored by the American Pasteurized Dairy Association


5 posted on 02/22/2012 7:30:51 AM PST by bridgemanusa (loan MA Conservative)
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To: iowamark

I call bullcrap on this one. We drank raw milk as a kid and we all were quite healthy. We used to make our own butter from the cream we skimmed off the top and it was awesome. I tried to buy some raw milk from a dairy once and the guy looked at me like I was insane! After I explained why he proceeded to tell me about how regulated it is. And the only way to get raw milk was to own my own cow or buy into a “collective” cow. What kind of crap is that?

Guess what? Cigarettes are bad for you too. But I can buy them damn near anywhere.


6 posted on 02/22/2012 7:31:56 AM PST by rfreedom4u (Just because someone thinks it's a good idea doesn't make it legal.)
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To: Lazamataz
I have worked with the CDC . . . I do not expect that the CDC will have doctored these results or bent them to fit an agenda. It's simply not their style. THAT SAID: I still feel people should be free to select whatever food they wish to eat, even if it risks disease or death.

Same here, on all counts. The actual risk from raw milk is low, and it is a parent's place to decide whether that is acceptable for the parent or for their children, not some government bureaucrat's place.

7 posted on 02/22/2012 7:32:11 AM PST by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: iowamark

Illegal immigrants more likely to cause illness than legal immigrants. I don’t see the gov’t rushing to protect us from that.


8 posted on 02/22/2012 7:37:13 AM PST by Irenic
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To: iowamark; maine yankee

Maine Yankee is right, the product, and how it was treated, is most important.

When we were doing better financially, I was buying fresh goat milk at $6/gallon from a college kid (human, not goat) who would call me when the milk was available. It would still be warm when I drove it home and put it in the fridge.

That is a lot lower risk than that Mexican style cheese.


9 posted on 02/22/2012 7:37:54 AM PST by Dr. Sivana (May Mitt Romney be the Paul Tsongas of 2012.)
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To: iowamark

All food supplies must be under the control of the central government so that when the time comes to use food as a means of population control, they can just flip a switch.


10 posted on 02/22/2012 7:38:15 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the fascists.)
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To: iowamark

Riri: Organic food much more likely to cause illness too. Doesn’t stop the trendies from buying it.


11 posted on 02/22/2012 7:39:10 AM PST by riri (Plannedopolis-look it up. It's how the elites plan for US to live.)
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To: iowamark
Lol. Not exactly a epidemic. And to top it off, about a quarter of the outbreaks were caused by Pasteurized products. Go figure.
12 posted on 02/22/2012 7:53:11 AM PST by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
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To: iowamark
... dairy-related outbreaks between 1993 and 2006 in all 50 states, during which time the authors counted 121 dairy-related illness outbreaks resulting in 4,413 illnesses, 239 hospitalizations and three deaths.

Oh no!

In a nation of 300,000,000 people, over 13 years, 239 people were hospitalized (slightly over one per month, nationwide) and 3 died.

Probably more than that died from infected hangnails.

13 posted on 02/22/2012 7:53:46 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

All food supplies must be under the control of the central government so that when the time comes to use food as a means of population control, they can just flip a switch.


“Turn off that roto-tiller and slowly step away !”


14 posted on 02/22/2012 7:54:15 AM PST by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: rfreedom4u

You might want to consider the difference between anecdotal evidence, which is what your story is, and statistical evidence, which is what the CDC produced.

You don’t have to believe it or accept it, but your personal experience tells us very little about what others can expect.

The “150 times” number may be somewhat misleading. It is likely disease caused by raw milk is very rare, while that caused by pasteurized milk is pretty much non-existent. That means you can have such a differential while the raw milk is still not really much of a risk.


15 posted on 02/22/2012 7:55:25 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: rfreedom4u

I, too, grew up on the raw milk that my Dad brought in nightly from the barn.

However, we know more now about pathogens than we did then.

After a particularly frightening outbreak of brucellosis in our area, my parents bought a pasteurizer. Milk tasted the same.

You have a right to drink raw milk or even eat raw eggs and meat if you like. But applying knowledge and common sense is more likely to keep you well.


16 posted on 02/22/2012 8:00:22 AM PST by Jedidah
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To: rfreedom4u

Most states require dairies to be certifies in order to sell raw milk.

Pasteurization was developed and mandated for very good reasons.

Kids aren’t supposed to use tobacco, but they are expected to consume milk.


17 posted on 02/22/2012 8:06:40 AM PST by RitchieAprile
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To: maine yankee

Me too, CDC and FDA know how to present stats to show the results they wnat them to show. I would also like to see a comparison of raw milk related illnesses with overall food borne illnesses, which I imagine would show that “regulated” foods are responsible for the majority of food related illnesses.

I have also read how some food borne illnesses are tracked and the assumption is that if a person consumed any raw milk products that product must be responsible even if no pathogens have been directly traced to that source.


18 posted on 02/22/2012 8:07:53 AM PST by lastchance ("Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis" St. Augustine)
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To: iowamark

If I put raw milk into my body I’m more likely to get sick. If a man puts another man’s penis into his body he is more likely to get AIDS. If a doctor puts a knife in a pregnant woman’s uterus the baby will die. Which of these acts is illegal?


19 posted on 02/22/2012 8:08:38 AM PST by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: iowamark

150% of a miniscule number is still a very small number. This is a press release by a government bureaucracy that is defending it’s right to abuse our liberties by doing things like running sting operations against Amish dairy farmers.

Is this really a cost-effective use of government resources to ‘protect the public health’?


20 posted on 02/22/2012 8:21:39 AM PST by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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To: Lazamataz

“CDC: Raw Milk Much More Likely to Cause Illness”

“More likely” isn’t much of a scientific explanation.


21 posted on 02/22/2012 8:37:35 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (Most Conservative in the Primary, the Republican Nominee in the General.)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

Can’t stick much scientific proof and backing numbers, in a headline.


22 posted on 02/22/2012 8:42:22 AM PST by Lazamataz (If you only think about a diet, only your brain loses weight.)
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To: maine yankee

“Regardless, it still doesn’t give the national government the right to tell me what I can eat or drink.”

Agreed. Of course, the next pathetic argument we hear from the libtards is the cost of treating those made ill contributes to increased health care costs.

Response? Get the damn government out of health care, too. There is simply NO Constitutional mandate for the Feds to be involved in either the dairy industry OR the health care industry.


23 posted on 02/22/2012 8:46:48 AM PST by PubliusMM (RKBA; a matter of fact, not opinion. 01-20-2013: Change we can look forward to.)
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To: Lazamataz

Absolutely agree, with the proviso that when someone gets sick from drinking unpasteurized milk, the rest of us don’t have to pay their hospital bills (i.e., get the government out of the medical care business).


24 posted on 02/22/2012 8:57:30 AM PST by sima_yi ( Reporting live from the People's Republic of Boulder)
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To: sima_yi

We used to milk and I drank raw milk every day while growing up. So did my grandparents, the youngest died at 93, the oldest 104. Eating or drinking home raised food doesn’t scare me much. We never had a choice, made our own butter from it too.


25 posted on 02/22/2012 9:08:19 AM PST by nobamanomore
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To: iowamark

Pasteurized milk 150 times more contaminated with blood, pus and feces than fresh milk

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035039_raw_milk_pasteurized_CDC.html#ixzz1n8Gsfz1E


26 posted on 02/22/2012 9:23:23 AM PST by Sprite518
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To: Lazamataz

True, but they are shutting down a business on “more likely.”


27 posted on 02/22/2012 9:40:38 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (Most Conservative in the Primary, the Republican Nominee in the General.)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

The CDC isn’t shutting anything down. The CDC does not have an enforcement arm. They are involved in pure science.


28 posted on 02/22/2012 9:45:05 AM PST by Lazamataz (If you only think about a diet, only your brain loses weight.)
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To: iowamark

I don’t drink much, if any, milk. When I do, it’s usually “super pasteurized” because it lasts longer in the fridge as I use so little of it. So I don’t really have a dog in this fight.

But my primary question is: Where in the U.S. Constitution does it give the federal government the right to “regulate” or proscribe any food, drug or other products? Or create any agencies which do that?

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” — Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution


29 posted on 02/22/2012 11:07:52 AM PST by hadit2here ("Most men would rather die than think. Many do." - Bertrand Russell)
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To: hadit2here
CDC: Raw Milk Much More Likely to Cause Illness

Yeah, thanks for the info, CDC. But you STILL don't have the legitimate power to stop people from doing it.

30 posted on 02/22/2012 11:09:32 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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