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    Raw Milk Quarantine Lifted - You Still Shouldn't Drink It
    By Hank Campbell | March 30th 2012 04:07 PM | 54 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0® and co-author of "Science Left Behind".

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone...

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    I drank raw milk as a kid.  If you were poor and living in the country decades ago, when dairy farmers still had some measure of autonomy from government rules, you probably did too.  

    It didn't hurt me. That doesn't mean it's a good idea to drink it; now, instead of poor people in the country who didn't want to pay a lot for milk in a store because it was price controlled by the government, raw milk is a fad for the wealthy anti-vaccine crowd. 

    Claravale Farm of San Benito County, one of two raw milk dairies in the state of California, has been under quarantine because tests showed campylobacter bacteria in its products.  And, no surprise, California has seen clusters of campylobacter illnesses that correlated to raw milk consumption, so state officials wanted to see if those were tied to the non-pasteurized milk.

    The dairy meets minimum sanitation requirements and they can't prove the illnesses were related to the dairy so you can buy their milk again - it doesn't mean you should.  When pasteurization was implemented for milk in the last century, the argument was from grumpy old white guys that newfangled science was going to ruin 'real' milk and, in true precautionary principle fashion, they argued that because it increased costs and was a government requirement, it would drive small milk producers out of business and mean less milk overall leading to higher prices for poor people. Today, 'real' milk proponents are grumpy young women, who argue that 'essential nutrients' are taken out in pasteurization so they like paying more for dairy untainted by any science or health benefits.  Their brethren on the natural food fringes have been arguing for decades that all milk is bad for you and no dairy is needed at all. 

    Scientifically, the 'dairy is not needed' crowd is a lot more accurate than the 'raw milk is awesome' crowd.  There is a negligible benefit to milk in a modern diet, its benefits are touted because it is part of our culture, but the risks when mishandled are real.  People who latch on to the raw milk craze don't understand basic logic; they think if the Centers for Disease Control endorses breastfeeding because it builds a baby's immune system but says not to drink raw milk because of the risk of salmonella, the CDC is contradicting itself.  It isn't. The concentration of salmonella bacteria issuing from mother to child is negligible, unless a mother's nipple has feces or an infection on it, the way cow udders can get without being noticed - but the number of salmonella bacteria in raw milk or raw eggs or uncooked chicken is substantial.  This is not just fancy science, every person who cooks knows it.  You don't touch cooked chicken after you handle uncooked chicken because the disease risk is not worth it.

    What is the world's most dangerous food product?  It isn't pink slime and it isn't the McRib, it is raw milk.  Government statistics show raw milk is responsible for nearly three times more hospitalizations than any other foodborne disease, according to Dr. Hannah Gould, senior epidemiologist with the CDC's Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch.

    Pasteurization kills harmful bacteria. Love it. Accept science.

    Let me be clear; I'd drink raw milk today. I am not all that worried but I grew up near a dairy farm - no way is salmonella making me any sicker than I probably got as a kid but the benefit of raw milk over pasteurized milk is nonexistent so while I am not afraid to drink it, I am not paying more to do so.  I also have no problem eating street chicken in Taiwan, even though most Chinese are immune to hepatitis-A and Americans are not. If you did not grow near on a dairy farm, and you suddenly begin drinking raw milk because of an organic marketing campaign, you are putting your health at risk.

    Comments

    So real briefly, here's two points of science on raw milk. 1) Pasteurization destroys the phosphatase enzyme, which is the enzyme that allows one to absorb calcium in milk. 2) A recent Harvard study found that processed milk contains elevated levels of estrone sulfate--33 times the amount as raw milk. Estrone sulfate is a hormone associated with several cancers--prostate, breast, uterine, and cervical, I believe. And the estrone sulfate is generated by cows due to the stress of milking conditions and lifecycle management in CAFOs even if they are not given rBGH. There's lots more science, but that should get you started.

    Gerhard Adam
    You might want to be a bit more thorough before you post things like this:

    #1 This statement is simply wrong.  Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) is NOT destroyed, it is inactivated and can be reactivated in many milk products.  
    Alkaline phosphatase can be reactivated in many milk products (cream, cheese, etc)...

    Therefore, this particular verification method must be performed immediately after the heat treatment in order to produce valid results.
    http://www.dairyconsultant.co.uk/si-milkpasteurisation.php
    While you're making it sound like deactivation of ALP is a problem,  it is the inactivation of phosphatase that is the test for adequate pasteurization. 
    http://www.reagena.fi/www/en/products/pasteurization_test_for_dairies/index.php


    #2 is associated with milk from pregnant cows due to the nature of factory farming.  It has nothing to do with pasteurization.
    http://www.medical-hypotheses.com/article/S0306-9877%2805%2900354-3/abstract

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.26265/abstract;jsessionid=84048530DAF8C32F5E452FE8DEB31BF9.d04t03?userIsAuthenticated=false&deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=

    Now, that's some science that can get you started.

    Here's a sensible link regarding raw milk.
    http://fooddomain.msu.edu/pdfs/RawMilk-Final1.pdf
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Indeed. As I said, the argument that some essential nutrient is lost in pasteurization requires us to accept that milk is needed at all.  And it just isn't, after being a newborn.  Calcium in a modern diet is derived many ways and plenty of perfectly healthy people drink no milk at all - entire cultures.

    So it's silly to think the benefit of raw milk outweighs the risk.  It's one time when the precautionary principle isn't a principle, it's a fact.

    See? I can side with vegans when their science claims are correct.
    Gerhard Adam
    I find some of this ironic, like a weird kind of time warp thing.  I mean that in the sense that people seem to take things like pasteurization and vaccinations as something that was just dreamed up and now we're discovering the "science" as to how bad it all is.

    It's like none of these people recognize the problems that actually did exist before these processes were in place.  It's all revisionist histories and pseudoscience.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Yes, you are technically right, but the pasteurization requirement is used as a regulatory tool to get people to buy denatured milk from the processors by placing a cost-prohibitive processing hurdle on small farmer-2-consuner direct dairy producers. So with regard to #1, the farmer has to inactivate the phosphatase, then reactivate it? That's two processing steps. The whole point is to get unadulterated milk. For #2, yes the pasteurization does not cause the elevated hormone levels, but the system of processed dairy, where milk from many farms and hundreds of cows are commingled in a central processing facility leads to practices at the farm that lead to the elevated hormone levels. Specifically, because the milk is commingled, it is a race to the bottom in cost and quality.

    Hank
    There is no de-natured milk, other than for people who buy into a marketing claim.  And there is no benefit to milk at all, health-wise, so claiming raw milk is better for health is silly. It's like claiming one type of butter is healthier than another.
    Yes, I agree with you--in general, specific foods may not have specific health benefits, so I don't buy milk to cure a specific disease. It's more about seeking quality, variety, versatility, safety, security, and accountability.

    When I said denatured milk, I meant milk in which the bacteria have been killed. So technically you are right--the milk was not denatured--just the bacteria residing in the milk.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...the farmer has to inactivate the phosphatase, then reactivate it? That's two processing steps.
    No, you're misunderstanding what's taking place.  The heating of pasteurization inactivates the phosphatase, and is used as a guide because it was determined that this was a good indicator that the heating had taken place sufficiently long to kill bacteria.  If too much time lapses after the process is completed, the phosphatase may begin to activate [by itself] and therefore render the pasteurization test invalid.

    There's is no two step process involved here.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Dear Mr. Campbell,
    Could you please send me the reference of you data showing 'three times more hospitalizations caused by raw milk
    than any other foodbourne illness' I couldn't find that reference.

    pretty pathetic piece of writing, for someone who holds himself out as a scientist. The figures used by your resident expert epidemiologist were so obviously cooked that a jr. high-school student would be failed and chastized if they tried to pull off the fraud perpetrated by the CDC.

    if - as you'd have your readers believe - raw milk is "the world's most dangerous food" ... then how come it's not even in the top 10 of foodstuffs causing illness in America ? Rather than parrot the propaganda put out by the Dairy Cartel, get some facts and educate you-self

    Perhaps you'd care to explain how Claravale carried on dairying raw milk for 80 years without an incident of illness? How is it that in a country with 50 million people - England - with has 100 raw cow milk dairies and 2 dozen dairies, managed to deliver the stuff to millions of people without a single incident of illness in the last decade? What is it that they know about how raw milk dairying is done, that you ... so obviously ... don't? !

    There are many issues you are not addressing or even mentioning in this article:

    - Pasteurization destroys enzymes, fragile milk proteins, vitamin C, B12 and B6, and beneficial bacteria.
    - Pasteurized milk is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.
    - Calves fed pasteurized milk do poorly and many die before maturity. (How does this translate to humans? - a good question for studies)
    - Raw milk sours naturally but pasteurized milk turns putrid. Processors must remove slime and pus from pasteurized milk by a process of centrifugal clarification.
    - Inspection of dairy herds for disease is not required for pasteurized milk.

    You suggest that accepting pasteurization is "accepting science," but it is actually you who are promoting obsolete behavior:
    "Pasteurization was instituted in the 1920s to combat TB, infant diarrhea, undulant fever and other diseases caused by poor animal nutrition and dirty production methods. But times have changed and modern stainless steel tanks, milking machines, refrigerated trucks and inspection methods make pasteurization absolutely unnecessary for public protection. And pasteurization does not always kill the bacteria for Johne’s disease suspected of causing Crohn's disease in humans with which most confinement cows are infected."

    Until you can scientifically explain all of these issues and how the pasteurization process resolves them, you don't have the authority to claim that "accepting pasteurization is accepting science," because you aren't even presenting the science.

    Sources listed on http://realmilk.com.

    With respect,
    A scientifically-minded raw milk drinker

    Gerhard Adam
    I thought you said you were "scientifically-minded"?
    - Pasteurization destroys enzymes, fragile milk proteins, vitamin C, B12 and B6, and beneficial bacteria.
    What enzymes are destroyed?  As mentioned previously Alkaline Phosphatase is inactivated, but hardly destroyed.
    - Pasteurized milk is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.
    Please provide evidence, since you've essentially listed anything and everything that can promote fear and uncertainty and provided NO data.  Again, as with many such claims, where is the evidence of raw milk NOT producing these conditions.  For example, in your "colic in infants" example, you're clearly wrong since it is caused by the proteins in cow's milk and NOT pasteurization:
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/71/2/268
    - Calves fed pasteurized milk do poorly and many die before maturity. (How does this translate to humans? - a good question for studies)
    What does this have to do with anything?  Why would someone give pasteurized milk to a calf?
    - Raw milk sours naturally but pasteurized milk turns putrid. Processors must remove slime and pus from pasteurized milk by a process of centrifugal clarification.
    Again ... what does this have to do with anything?
    - Inspection of dairy herds for disease is not required for pasteurized milk.
    What are you talking about?  I expect you simply made this up.
    Examples of FDA-regulated foods are produce, dairy products, seafood, and processed foods.
    http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/crs/RS22600.pdf

    Here's just an example from California.
    We inspect dairy farms and milk processing plants, and collect samples of milk and milk products to assure consumer safety.I'm going to specifically challenge this claim as particularly bogus. 
    http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/milk_and_dairy_food_safety/
    The only link you provide is to a site with an agenda.  How about some scientific papers if you have any real information?

    BTW, the site you linked quotes the following as their "mission":
    Dr. Price's research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats.
    http://www.westonaprice.org/about-the-foundation/about-the-foundation

    Who is Dr. Price?
    Dr. Weston A. Price (1870-1948), a Cleveland dentist, has been called the "Isaac Newton of Nutrition."
    http://www.westonaprice.org/about-the-foundation/dr-price-movie
    Mundus vult decipi
    Here's a sensible link regarding raw milk.

    http://www.realmilk.com/documents/ResponsetoMarlerListofStudies.pdf
    and
    http://www.realmilk.com/

    Before you jump on people that do not vaccinate maybe you should do a little studying on it. How many children do you have?

    Gerhard Adam
    Bogus link.  It's unscientific and has a specific agenda.  [see above].
    Mundus vult decipi
    Interesting.

    I'll stay "poor" and drink my raw Goats milk. The problem is not "real" versus "processed". The issue lies in the handling of the milk in each individual case. I appreciate the concern presented, but choose not to fall into the trap that by several individuals transporting/processing/heating/cooling/bottling of milk it somehow becomes safer than the milk cooling in my freezer this morning.

    I chose informed Freedom versus uniformed follow the leader. Each person has the Responsibility to examine the studies to determine what is, or is not, acceptable to themselves.

    I find this debate much like the debate of the Thirties and Forties when Physicians encouraged smoking for ones health. Science is evolving each year to prove something is or is not acceptable.

    Hank
    That's the odd part of my stance; I am usually all for freedom (though that is a strange phrase to use - you also have the freedom to ride a motorcycle recklessly and smoke, I wouldn't exercise those freedoms either, though) but people need to have some place for information that is not Big Dairy and that is not Anti-Science Hippie. 

    This nonsense about enzymes that keeps cropping up is just silly. There is nothing at all essential in milk - vegans are right on that but I don't usually discuss it because milk is a cultural drink so there is no point.

    The creepy weirdo who asked how many children I have - I guess that was some sort of implied threat on the Internet - is indicative of the concept that when people get fundamentalist about a cause, they lose their sensibility. Even over milk. I'm not anti-milk, or even anti-raw-milk, I drank it as a kid, I am against marketing gimmicks foisted off on people as a health benefit.  I puncture organic food for the same reason even though, as I said, personally I am about as 'organic' as it gets when it comes to food.  Your child is unlikely to actually die over salmonella, so there isn't much reason to address the issue, except raw milk is exploiting people using pseudoscience.  By all means, continue to believe whatever you want, just don't pretend there is a health basis for it.
    I like raw goats milk as well...

    I'm sure everyone has seen this, but I'll post it anyway. When the Authorites come in with guns drawn like they're raiding a crackhouse just because someone is selling raw milk amongst consenting adults in a private club, we've got problem in this country that goes beyond food.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b27EFldZ17k

    "By all means, continue to believe whatever you want, just don't pretend there is a health basis for it. "

    I'll agree on that point. Because we produce/consume 85% of what we have here, we make sure it is what is acceptable for ourselves. I will not jump on the bandwagon of Organic, organic, Grassfed, grassfed, Natural, or natural - labels all which are complicated by the intervention of both sides of the "food" discussion.

    I'm simply cheap. I don't like to purchase meat, vegetables, fruit, or dairy in it's various forms for the cost that is required.

    As to the creepiness - it's like reformed smokers or drinkers - their attempt to draw you into their world is best kept at a distance.

    The very fact that a conversation can be had between reasoning individuals who don't fall back upon knee jerk defensive posturing is a good thing.

    UvaE
    I drank raw milk as a kid
    So did I. Once. Never again. The only thing that tasted worse was my first cigarette. Ditto for the latter .
    Hank
    I kind of chuckle at people who insist 2% or 1% or whatever does not 'taste as good' as whole milk, and people who go to other countries and say the milk does not taste right. It's all cultural, so people who tried pasteurized milk when that was being rolled out also did not like the taste compared to raw.
    You said raw milk is the world's most dangerous food... The world's MOST DANGEROUS. That is an incredibly bold statement. (Reminds me of commercials I used to see of outrageous statements made for the upcoming news reports - way back when I allowed myself to be programmed by the idiot box). Then, you go to say " I'm not anti-milk, or even anti-raw-milk". So what's your position? If I found some food to be the "most dangerous in the world" (like vaccines, although not food, or GMO's), I most certainly won't say I'm not against them. I'm very against them.

    Many commenters posted A LOT of factual information, with cited sources, and you have not done the same. I didn't see any of that in this article. Just an attempt to discredit the proponents of raw milk with opinion. Reminds me of Bill Gates's interview about vaccines.

    By the way, the comment asking about children was implied to ask if you would vaccinate them. Stop discrediting and attacking your readers by calling them creepy.

    Why is it that raw milk enthusiasts are so passionate and informed about health, and pasteurized milk enthusiasts are usually uninformed (referring to the consumers), and proponents of pasteurized milk are using fear tactics to scare people into government regulations? Are you going to say Codex Alimentarius is a good idea and all meat (factory farmed and pasture fed) should be irradiated? It kills the bacteria...

    Queen Elizabeth drinks raw milk.

    Hank
    Queen Elizabeth drinks raw milk.
    Well, if an inbred 85-year-old German monarch does it, the science is settled!
    Gerhard Adam
    Why is it that raw milk enthusiasts are so passionate and informed about health, and pasteurized milk enthusiasts are usually uninformed (referring to the consumers), and proponents of pasteurized milk are using fear tactics to scare people into government regulations?
    LOL ... I suspect it's only that they THINK they're better informed.  That's what usually happens when people exercise confirmation bias and then use the resources of the internet to reinforce their preconceived notions.  I have yet to see a single scientific link from the raw milk supporters.
    Mundus vult decipi
    It seems like you like to write, but don’t really know what you are writing about. Check your history and you will discover that pasteurization came about after major health problems in urban areas because of several factors, lack of sanitation being one and the most critical probably was the feeding of distiller’s grain to cows, which is not a natural diet for them. Like our modern factory farm techniques, this causes disease in animals and makes their milk very different from those eating a natural diet of grass and getting sunshine. Pasteurization, of dirty milk didn’t solve the problem (disease in the milk), it only covered it up and kept people from getting acute disease from the milk. Now we have added confinement, antibiotics, growth hormones, and other unnatural processes to confound the original problem. The milk isn’t cleaner, pasteurization just allows industry to further adulterate and exploit nature and if you think this doesn’t come at a cost to the health of milk, you are fooling yourself. Confinement of a single species in close proximity has always increased the incidence of disease. I’m a nurse, and I see it at the hospitals. So we have CAFO milk, from cows that live about 1/5th their normal lifespan and loose a large number of their offspring to miscarriage, or milk from animals eating their normal diets of grass, living a long healthy and happy life on the open pasture. One is for Raw consumption, and one operates in the dark, no cameras allowed. I’ll take my milk with the open door policy and living as nature intended.

    Hank
     I’ll take my milk with the open door policy and living as nature intended.
    Nature did not intend for you to drink milk after infancy at all.  And I hope you never get cancer or any serious disease because 'nature' is a bitch when science is not there to help.
    **SUMMARY OF THIS BOGUS ARTICLE**

    HANK: "I drank raw milk as a kid... It didn't hurt me. Raw milk is for poor people. It's a fad for the wealthy anti-vaccine crowd."

    "One of the raw milk daries has been under quarantine because tests showed bacteria... they can't prove the illnesses were related to the dairy..."

    "The argument was from grumpy old white guys that newfangled science was going to ruin 'real' milk..."

    "Today, 'real' milk proponents are grumpy young women..."

    "People who latch on to the raw milk craze don't understand basic logic..."

    "The number of salmonella bacteria in raw milk or raw eggs or uncooked chicken is substantial. This is not just fancy science, every person who cooks knows it."

    "Raw milk is the world's most dangerous food. Not pink slime or the McRib."

    "Pasteurization kills harmful bacteria. Love it. Accept science."

    "It's silly to think the benefits of raw milk outweighs the risk."

    "This nonsense about enzymes that keeps cropping up is just silly."

    "There is nothing at all essential in milk - vegans are right on that but I usually discuss it because milk is a cultural drink so there is no point"

    "The creepy weirdo who asked how many children I have..."

    "I'm not anti-milk, or even anti-raw-milk"

    "raw milk is exploiting people using pseudoscience"

    "Well if an inbred 85-year-old German monarch does it, the science is settled"

    "Nature did not intend for you to drink milk after infancy at all"

    "Nature is a bitch when science is not there to help"

    This guy is a joke, this website is a joke. He is contradictiory, juvenile, and highly opinionated. Good job with the name calling, unfounded claims, and blatant disregard to people's fact-based comments.

    You claim to have created this website (Science 2.0) "...where world-class scientists write articles" (then later say "anyone can write here")... "where there are no political or cultural agendas..." I found YOUR article to be incredibly contradictory to the very reason you claim to have created this website. The above quotes are from someone who created a site meant for "world-class scientists"?? It seems more like 3rd grade defense!

    Go drink your pasteurized milk, get your vaccinations, eat your McRib and pink slime, drink your fluoridated water, get some mercury fillings, add Aspartame or HFCS to your drink, take anti-depressants and ADHD medication, go ahead and buy the discounted pesticide-covered produce (it'll just wash right off), watch your tv news channels for they have important messages, and listen to your government, for they know what's best for you.

    Oh, and while you're at it, don't bother addressing anything the commenters said, they (we) are just poor creepy grumpy anti-vaccine vegans who don't understand basic logic.

    Hank
    (we) are just poor creepy grumpy anti-vaccine vegans who don't understand basic logic.
    Well, you are, anyway.  

    40 years ago, some poor people in the country did get raw milk directly from farmers because it was price controlled in stores and therefore pasteurized milk was more expensive.  I can't imagine raw milk is cheaper now, I think Whole Foods is terrifically expensive. Sorry my particular family situation bothers you so much - I know you wish my parents had been able take some faux-intellectual stand against evil Big Science but, no, they just wanted to feed their kids.  You clearly have different priorities for yours - namely, giving them smallpox and never visiting a dentist.

    You nailed it. Thank you for the time and effort you put forth, Paul.

    I think we need to ban spinach and cantalope. In the last few years, people have been KILLED by these dangerous foods.
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2007-09-20-spinach-main_N.htm
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/02/health/cantaloupe-deaths/index.html
    Let's face it. The FDA is just salivating for a story like that for raw milk so they can ban it.

    You need to read "The Real Story of Milk" and find out WHY the pasturization process was started on milk in the first place.

    Hank
    Do you intentionally invoke organic spinach diseases killing people as a positive rationalization for allowing organic milk?  
    The fact of the matter is, any food product CAN be dangerous. More so, any raw food CAN be dangerous. However, we're still encouraged to eat raw vegetables, though there are recalls galore for those. And people still eat raw fish. Just because something is raw doesn't mean it's inherently bad. And just because something is treated (through pasteurization, cooking, or other similar process) does not mean that it's inherently good.

    Should you be careful when choosing a raw product? Of course. Should there be hire standards on raw products? Definitely. Does that mean we should allow any raw product in our diets? Not at all.

    The fact is, anything and everything has the potential to kill you. There is no point in fear mongering just because you make the decision not to do something.

    Also, there is a big difference between drinking raw milk and not vaccinating your child. I would drink raw milk any day (especially because it's the ONLY milk my body can naturally digest without making me feel ill). However, I would never decide to not vaccinate my child. Taking a risk with food poisoning is an entirely different game than taking a risk with extremely deadly or debilitating diseases that are highly contagious just because you're afraid that your child might end up with a mental illness as a result.

    Hank
    I think that's a practical approach. Like I said, given my way, I wouldn't let my family consume anything I did not personally grow, kill, etc. but some of the other commenters on this buy into a whole raft of Big Science Conspiracy positions and they buy into an Oppressed Underdog claiming to be a beacon of truth about vaccines and, of all things, even the dentist.  

    Because I say most people should not do something based on evidence does not mean I think it should be banned. Smoking is not good for you either, I don't smoke, but I don't think it should be banned.  If your child gets caught smoking and you gave them the cigarettes, you will be in trouble.  Likewise, each time a child ends up in the hospital and the cause ends up being raw milk, it isn't going to end well for proponents.  So be responsible or the government will not allow you to be.

    Aside from that, the arguments about how beneficial raw milk is compared to pasteurized milk proceed from the flawed assumption that milk is essential at all.  It is not.  It is solely cultural. I know the dairy lobby does not want to hear that but it's fact.
    Considering that there are only 8 states that allow raw milk production and that the farms allowed to produce the milk are constantly reviewed for health problems in their cattle, proper feed, proper nutrition, proper bottling procedures, and constantly tested for disease, I dont think that the consumers of the products would ever get in trouble if they ended up sick from the product. So, I really cant see where your analogy lies between buying cigarettes for kids and buying milk for them.

    my wife couldnt breast feed my first son so she went with a raw milk alternative and he's never been sick, he's taller than any other kid ive seen his age (21 months), the doctors say he's the perfect weight, he's not chubby like other babies he actually has muscle tone and definition he's very lean, and everyone says he's the happiest baby theyve ever seen.

    Now I'm sure our great genetics are responsible for a lot of this but raw milk didnt cause him any harm. also whenever we gave him normal formula he spit up constantly, never spit up his raw milk formula.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, congratulations on being a new parent.  However, I have yet to meet a parent that will claim that their child is small for their age, or not as progressive, or chubby, or anything else for that matter.

    So, while it makes for a cute anecdote, it doesn't mean much beyond that.

    Bear in mind, that no one is claiming that raw milk is arbitrarily harmful.  It's just like anything else that falls into this category.  The potential for harmful pathogens is increased.

    Here's a simple thought experiment for all the raw milk advocates.

    You and your family all drink raw milk.  However, one day a friend accompanies your child home from school.  They both want a glass of milk.  Do you give it to your child's friend without informing his parents or not?

    I'd be curious to hear the answers.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I don't neccesarily care if my milk is pasteurized or not. Watching the exchanges here, I am not certain which is better or worse. What I do care about is not consuming chemicals and hormones. I want to know exactly what I am putting in my mouth!! I also care about the treatment of animals in mass production facilities. I will therefore raise my own chickens, eventually raise goats, and produce my own vegetables. And as for my milk, while being confused that much more for coming here lol, having learned I can pasteurize right there on my stove, I will probably go on ahead and pasteurize when I do get my goats. Just in case, for my kids.as far as whether or not I would tell another parent I was giving their child raw milk.....honestly, I probably wouldn't. I don't think many others really would, because if you were certain in your mind it was safe, you would just think it isn't going to hurt them, its not a big deal.

    Hank
    Raw milk puts you at far greater risk for chemicals and hormones, plus it adds in a lot of other potential diseases.

    I agree about growing and preparing as much of your own food as possible - what I find odd are people who recognize that infant and child mortality have plummeted yet want to eliminate the things that caused that, like vaccines and pasteurization.  
    Gerhard Adam
    ...because if you were certain in your mind it was safe, you would just think it isn't going to hurt them, its not a big deal.
    Word of advice.  Whenever you say things like that based on what you believe, always consider how that explanation would sound in front of a judge.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Well you asked. I was quite honest, wasn't I? Don't you think honestly that that would be most people's mindset on such things as this?

    MikeCrow
    A lot of people are idiots too, doesn't mean I want to emulate them though.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    I understand, but that doesn't alleviate my concerns.  Too many people have too many goofy ideas for me to feel comfortable that their belief should be their guiding principle.

    Regardless of what you personally believe, you wouldn't be the first person to have milk contamination [remember that's why pasteurization was introduced in the first place].  Similarly you cannot test for successful pasteurization on your stove, so it's little better than boiling water for sanitation.  It works, provided that no one takes shortcuts, and assuming that no other source of contamination is present.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Now then. I have gone off reading, and have decided... to each his own. I read on a site something that hadn't even crossed my mind. No matter how happy the cow or goat, how well fed, or how much beloved, bacteria can still get inside the udders, not just on them, and the animal can carry without being sick. So, will I drink it raw personally, if my children weren't a factor? No, but this is one of those controversial issues that one person can't decide for another. Now to my level of intelligence, I have made no claim to being above the average person. In fact, I admitted outright that I believe myself quite typical. I have a feeling though, had I said I would absolutley inform a parent and meant it, I would have received a comment implying I was a liar or something along those lines rather than idiot. Have a good evening. I have egg noodles to cut and tomato sauce to make.

    Gerhard Adam
    No, but this is one of those controversial issues that one person can't decide for another.
    ... and that's precisely the point that I was trying to make by asking whether someone would inform the other child's parent.  I don't think anyone was suggesting that you were an idiot. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    I tried to be careful with my wording, maybe I wasn't careful enough.

    Let me try to give you a little better explanation of my point.

    Say your child goes to visit a friends house for a nice home made pasta dinner. You don't know this, but the father of said friend races motorcycles, and in the course of the evening takes your child for a ride, your child is a good passenger, hold on well, the father becomes confident that your child is being safe, having a good time, and on the return trip home includes a 120 mph ride through light traffic on the highway. From the fathers point of view perfectly safe.

    And while it might have been perfectly safe, you might be quite upset, and rightly so, because that parent was being an idiot, putting your child at risk of possible death, without your knowledge.

    See :)
    Never is a long time.
    Its o.k.! Today is a new day! I read through all the comments. Everyone seemed so angry and defensive. People insulting one another.... I was already keyed up to defend myself, and I really could not understand why a discussion about milk should cause such heated debate. I have continued to read what I could find, and now I understand just how much an issue of safety it is. I wasn't simply ignoring you either. I really did have noodles to cut, tomato sauce to make, chickens to feed, bread to make, and more reading to do. :)

    Hank
     I really did have noodles to cut, tomato sauce to make, chickens to feed, bread to make, and more reading to do.
    How the Greek Gods have fallen.  Back in the day, Hecate was a goddess of magic, now she is just a domestic goddess.
    :D I like mythology. I started using hecate as a screen name when I was only 15, and I have kept it. I am, more or less, a creature of habit.

    Hank you are so moronic...i just happened onto this page...you have an unqualified answer to everything....got to get the last word in no matter what, gotta be right.....argumentative and soooooo boring!!! Is that why you created this faux scientific site just so that you could mouth off your opinions?
    Well for me one visit is the last visit. It seems you enjoy interacting with the general public as if you were sparring with your younger brother…..yuk!

    "raw milk is a fad for the wealthy anti-vaccine crowd"

    You've gotta love propagandist with nothing real to say.

    "Government statistics show raw milk is responsible for nearly three times more hospitalizations"

    Now there is something you can really trust in. A government statistic.

    Hank
    You are claiming the entire CDC is in a vast conspiracy of collusion against raw milk?  Thank you for proving my point about kooks embracing this anti-science belief.
    Hello! I have read through all the comments, and it seems like the debate is about whether or not raw milk is healthier/safer as compared to pastuerized milk. I'm not a scientist out testing dairy farms, so I don't for sure (most likely none of us knows for sure!) whether raw milk is actually a dangerous product. But to me this is irrelevant. To me the issue is really about the FREEDOM to buy and sell raw milk.

    If we want to talk about products that are supposedly harmful to human health let's talk alcohol. According to govt. records "there are approximately 79,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States." DEATHS. Not hospital visits, DEATHS. And excessive alcohol use can lead to neurological & cardiovascular problems, and liver diseases to name just a few. (link: http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm). But we aren't trying to ban the sale of alcohol are we now?

    And I'm not saying we should. In the same way raw milk should be allowed to be sold. Even if there is some sort of law which says only those over 18 or 21 can purchase and consume raw milk I am fine with that. But an outright ban is just wrong.

    Hank
    I don't for sure (most likely none of us knows for sure!) whether raw milk is actually a dangerous product. But to me this is irrelevant. To me the issue is really about the FREEDOM to buy and sell raw milk.
    There are limits to freedom, though I appreciate your libertarian stance.  You are one of the few Republicans (you are a Republican, right?) who will comment on this entire site this month.

    You don't have the freedom to sell something the evidence has shown to be dangerous.  GMOs need not carry a special warning label because they have never harmed anyone while raw milk certainly has - if it carried a warning label and accompanying laws that said raw milk cannot be purchased or given to anyone not old enough to smoke, I would agree with you that it is okay. I am all for adults harming themselves at will and I think most libertarians agree with you.  However, progressives will not.  Since there is some chance the health system, which will be taxpayer-financed in 18 months, will have to pay for the foodborne diseases you may get or give to someone else, they have every right to ban it, just like they can ban Big Gulps.
    Gerhard Adam
    This isn't just an arbitrary political issue.  The claim that people should be "free" to buy and sell whatever they choose is utopian nonsense.

    Such a claim would only be true in a world where each participant is assured of being able to deal directly and assess all the pertinent information that is available.  This cannot occur in a market economy where the producers are this far removed from the consumers.

    As a result, there is an implicit guarantee that certain standards for quality, health, etc. are being maintained.  When one goes into a supermarket, we don't have the opportunity to examine or negotiate with the producer, so the supermarket is essentially "standing behind" the producer regarding the product.

    To suggest that none of us "knows" whether raw milk is a dangerous product is revisionist history.  Pasteurization didn't occur in a vacuum.  While many people want to revise the history of science, the biggest bulk of the science/technology employed today is precisely because we do know how nature behaves, and we have taken steps to improve the safety and security of those that interact with it.

    Pasteurization isn't some economic plot engineered solely to make companies money, so I find the sentiment of "not knowing" the danger to be naive.

    This is no different than the revisionist view of diseases advocated by the anti-vaccine crowd.

    As far as adults being free to harm themselves, let's also be honest, that this isn't how this plays out in reality.  Parents will give it to their children, because the only reason to pursue raw milk is because of a belief in some health benefit.  To behave as if parents will refrain from giving it to their children is wishful thinking.  From here, it is easy to see how someone with such a belief will also give it to someone that isn't their child [simply because friends come over, etc.].  Is anyone truly prepared to engage in that kind of "freedom" so that people are free to put others at risk that haven't agreed to the same conditions?

    This is not an Ayn Rand Amusement park.  Such simplistic notions of "freedom" fail to take into account that the form our society has taken isn't some arbitrary concoction of a committee.  It has evolved and been shaped by those very same "freedoms" and the difficulties they presented in the past.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Why does everyone keeps saying that raw milk "has no benefit" over cooked milk or the cooked milk is the same as raw ,only better?

    FACT - if you want to save a baby animal who's lost it's mother you feed it RAW milk -if you feed it cooked milk it will die.... No "scientist" is needed to tell you which one is better to sustain life..... in fact last time I checked a full grown person can actually live on raw milk alone...... not so with cooked milk. So stop telling me that there is nothing special about raw milk when obviously something is. does it really matter that Scientists can't figure it out even though the "live/die" thing should give them a clue?

    But here's a little article for you from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology for you scientist - there's some amazed scientist over in Europe that just discovered that kids raised on farms who drink RAW milk have lower asthma and allergies.....hmmm funny that is what people have been "claiming" about the benefits of raw milk for many year.s.....but see it's just not TRUE until a scientist tells you it true -
    My guess though (with how slow scientist do their science) it will take them another 50-100 year to finally figure it out that "YES raw milk is actually really Good for you! " and then it will be "okay" again for people to drink RAW milk just like they have to 1000's of years......I can't wait.

    http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749%2811%2901234-6/abstract