RESEARCH SHOWS RAW MILK IS HAZARDOUS
December 17, 2013
Raw Milk a Hazard for Children and Pregnant Women
In a new policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics has advised children, infants and pregnant women not to consume any raw milk or raw milk products from cows, goats or sheep.
Although the sale of unpasteurized milk products is legal in 30 states, the academy says that the evidence of the benefits of pasteurization to food safety is overwhelming, and that the benefits of any elements in raw milk that are inactivated by pasteurization have not been scientifically demonstrated.
California allows raw milk sales in retail stores and requires a permit which also allows for sales on/off farms and at farmers’ markets.
The report, published in the January 2014 Pediatrics, released TODAY, notes that many species of harmful bacteria have been found in unpasteurized milk products, including Listeria, Salmonella, Escherichia coli and Cryptosporidium, among others.
In a study published last week in Emerging Infectious Diseases, researchers estimated that over the past 10 years in Minnesota, where raw milk is legally sold, more than 17 percent of those who consumed it became ill.
“There are no proven nutritional advantages of raw milk,” said a lead author, Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, the chief of neonatology at Georgia Regent University in Augusta. “Further, raw milk and milk products account for a significant proportion of food borne illnesses in Americans. There is no reason to risk consuming raw milk.”
Are cheeses made from raw milk less likely to be contaminated? “No,” Dr. Bhatia said. “They have the same potential.”
Sources: Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times; Western United Dairymen; Real Raw Milk Facts; American Academy of Pediatrics, Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund