Raw milk fares poorly in safety progress report

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As Wisconsin lawmakers consider allowing the sale of raw milk, one group has released an infographic to warn about the realities behind unpasteurized dairy.

The Wisconsin Safe Milk Coalition showed in its 2012 Food Safety Progress report that raw milk is risky --  Campylobacter illnesses increased by 14 percent and Vibrio by 43 percent. For Vibrio alone, the CDC estimates that around 140 cases go undiagnosed for every Vibrio parahaemolyticus case reported.

The percentage of E. coli O157, Listeria, Salmonella, and Yersinia remained unchanged last year when compared with outbreaks reported in 2006 to 2008.

Click here for the infographic.

Atticus Communication reports that the dangers of raw milk go beyond this infograpihc. Medical costs of those affected have been as high as $1 million.

One case in particular demonstrates raw milk risks. In April 2012, 15 children in Oregon became ill from E. coli after drinking contaminated milk. A two-year-old and three other children were hospitalized after developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and acute kidney failure. The girl’s mother spoke with Oregon Public Broadcasting, warning others against feeding raw milk to children.

“There’s just an inherit risk in feeding your children raw milk that you can’t ― you can’t ― ignore,” she said.

Read, “Mother warns against feeding raw milk to children”

A year later, the now three-year-old is still dealing with the aftermath of the infection. She is reportedly unable to stand or walk on her own, cannot speak and is fed through a feeding tube. As of February, she was placed back on dialysis and is now waiting for a kidney transplant.  Read more here.

In 2013, there have been numerous raw milk outbreaks, including outbreaks from a cow-share dairy in Alaska, The Family Cow in Pennsylvania, and in Minnesota.

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July, 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM

On July 9th there was an article published announcing 1 death and 5 hospitalizations due to cheese made from PASTEURIZED milk. So guess what - ALL food has risks. And yes, raw milk can be dangerous. I would not drink raw milk from just any farm. All raw milk is not created equal. You have to get it from the right source and any educated consumer would know that, would know where it comes from, would know the right questions to ask the farmer. But regardless, it is our inherent right and freedom to choose for ourselves as educated consumers what we put in our own bodies. My entire family has been raised on raw milk and I will raise my children on raw milk. I would sooner go without milk before drinking conventional pasteurized milk. We're talking about less than 1% of the population as raw milk consumers so STOP trying to stop us because we will always find a way to get what we know to be the healthiest, highest-quality food possible.

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