Raw milk report just ‘tip of the iceberg’

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Milk Drinking raw milk is risky business, but a new report published Wednesday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases, shows that it may be riskier than previously reported, according to an NBC News article available here.

Researchers, looking at cases in Minnesota over the last decade, found that raw milk sickened one in six people who consumed unpasteurized dairy, with children most at risk.

USA Today reports that 60 percent of the illnesses reported occurred in children and teens.  Twenty-five percent occurred in children under the age of 5, including an 11-month-old infant who died after contracting toxic E. coli O157 infection.

"Outbreaks associated with raw milk occur frequently and receive a lot of media attention, but our study shows that sporadic cases of illnesses associated with raw milk consumption far outnumber cases associated with recognized outbreaks,” Robinson said in an email to NBC News. “We hope that our findings will help inform potential raw milk consumers when thinking about drinking raw milk or giving it to their children.”

Read, “Drinking raw milk is risky business, new report suggests.”

The researchers found about 530 people who were sickened by raw milk over the last 10 years, and about half of those who became ill received their raw milk from their own or a relative’s farm.  However, researchers warn that the actual number of cases may be undercounted and “just the tip of the iceberg.”

They suggest that based on previous research, the 530 cases represented 20,000 actual cases. Read more here.

Recently, a family in Tennessee experienced first-hand the dangers of feeding raw milk to children. Five-year-old Maddie Powell was one of nine children sickened in the outbreak. She was hospitalized for nearly a month after developing hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal kidney disease associated with severe E. coli infections. Powell was released from the hospital in late November.  

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Dairy Mom    
Olar, SC  |  December, 12, 2013 at 01:25 PM

I have to wonder where they got their information? Did they poll all the people who have drank raw milk unharmed for decades? Or just those who have a family member who has gotten sick? I was raised on a farm, as were both of my parents. We always drank our milk, and I never new it was "scary" until I was in my twenties. Most of my large, extended family (my parents were from families with 6 and 8 children, I have over 50 cousins) drink raw milk to this day, and none of us have Ever gotten sick. I think I could count hundreds of people I know who regularly consume raw milk, and no where near 1 in 6 have gotten sick.

OH  |  December, 13, 2013 at 08:34 AM

Obviously Dairy Mom you are ignoring the numerous reports of people getting sick and dying. You are just using personal information and have not done any research on the general population to know the true facts. People that did not grow up on a farm are more susceptible to bad reactions. http://www.wate.com/story/24003606/little-girl-recovering-from-e-coli-after-parents-say-she-drank-raw-milk

WI dairy farmer    
WI  |  December, 13, 2013 at 08:48 AM

I am not opposed to warning people of the risks associated with drinking raw milk, just let those of us who want to drink it have the choice. I AM NOT FORCING YOU OR ANYONE ELSE TO DRINK IT! This past summer Crave Brothers had an outbreak with their PASTEURIZED MILK products also. Wouldn't this get a consumer's attention more so because the have been told it is safe and shouldn't get sick because it is pasteurized versus knowing the consequences of drinking the raw milk. ANY thing we do has a risk and we can't replace common sense. But please let us who enjoy it have a choice.

WV  |  December, 13, 2013 at 03:40 PM

This is a bogus "study". They didn't definitively link ANY illness to raw milk; if you were a raw milk drinker and happened to come down with food poisoning in those NINE YEARS, they attributed it to raw milk. That's insane. Not only that, but it has NOT been published yet; it will be in the January edition of the Journal. And conveniently, it's the only study that isn't available to read on the website. The CDC's own numbers on raw milk don't lie. Raw milk is one of the safest food products you can consume. You want to avoid dangerous products? Don't go near the bagged salad aisle.

December, 13, 2013 at 03:41 PM

Numerous? That's one, and not from a very reputable source either. Keep trying.


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