In the early 1900’s, New York State was ravaged by a typhoid epidemic. One of the main culprits in spreading the disease was contaminated raw milk. (click on image to enlarge)
New York Times 12/08/07
A year earlier in NYC
New York Times 02/11/06
That second article notes that out the 1,322 cases in the City, 51% of all typhoid cases were traced to consumption of raw milk. Due to the epidemic, New York State implemented mandatory pasteurization.
Fast forward to the present. Communities across the country have been enacting local laws under the name of food sovereignty. What’s food sovereignty, besides a hard word to spell?
Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. (The International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty)
Apparently, in the United States this translates to mean freedom from state and federal food safety laws, particularly regarding milk and cheese. There is a movement to exempt milk and cheeses from pasteurization laws, which apparently is an evil tool that only benefits corporations. Yes, these brainiacs want to eat food that is exempt from safety rules.
While these same advocates holler about the safety of gmos, from which not one illness has ever been found, they champion foods that are known to cause illness and even death…. because they’re natural. These dumbasses truly believe there is no health danger. That is seriously dumbass.
Wait, did I say dumbass? We’re starting to wade into imbecile territory now. This is what the Campaign for Real Milk (CFRM) , Missouri has to say
Furthermore, in many children not fortunate enough to have started life on raw milk, raw milk given later in childhood has cured autism, behavior problems, frequent infections, deafness, asthma and allergies and other serious health conditions.
But wait, there’s more
Raw milk is actually the safest food around (my emphasis) with so much consumer oversight and also with an extremely efficient built-in anti-pathogen mechanism!
In 2012, Missouri raw milk producer, MooGrass Farms was cited as one of the sources of an E. coli outbreak which sickened nine people in Missouri. They are listed as one of the raw milk purveyors on the CFRM website.
One raw milk fetishist, Kim Nash quoted in the above link said, “Basically any approach that’s not hand-in-hand with pharmaceutical and big medicine is being attacked.”
According the New York State Department of Health, since 1993 “over 70 outbreaks of human illness from consumption of raw milk have been reported nationwide, affecting over 1,500 people and causing 185 hospitalizations and 2 deaths.” There is a proviso regarding those statistics. There is very strong evidence the New York State Department of Health is in the udders of Big Milk.
In 2012, a multi-state campylobacter outbreak was traced to a Pennsylvania farm that sold unpasteurized milk. The contamination resulted in 148 illnesses.
Elsewhere in 2012:
Listeria Found in Pennsylvania Stump Acres Farm Raw Milk
Salmonella Outbreak Launches Search For Rogue Cheesemaker
Raw Milk May Have Sickened Three in Wisconsin with E. coli
The above are just a few samples of food illnesses linked to raw milk and cheese. In the last year, hundreds have been sickened.
Approximately 29 states have laws allowing the sales of raw milk or raw milk products. But due to the amount of illnesses caused by these products, some states that don’t allow the sales seem to content to keep it that way.
Last month, Indiana legislators allowed two raw milk bills to die without a vote, citing an Indiana Board of Animal Health (BOAH) report commissioned by the General Assembly. The report cited the dangers inherent in raw milk but ultimately wrote that it was more of a political decision.
Even with the known risks associated with consuming unpasteurized milk, some consumers are demanding legal access to raw milk. BOAH cannot quantify this demand.
BOAH believes that pasteurization is a practice that is highly effective in reducing the risk of human illness from pathogens in raw milk. Distributing raw milk for human consumption will increase the risk that someone will become ill from consuming raw milk. But the decision to authorize or not the sale of unpasteurized milk to consumers is ultimately a political decision.
It was nice to see a legislature defer to the experts to decide an issue, unlike what’s been happening with the gmo issue. Although, the fact they let it die and didn’t have a vote speaks volumes. More than likely they didn’t want to have to deal with the shrill noise that would have emanated from the raw milk crowd.
So, while the chance of another typhoid epidemic is slim, the danger of illness due to raw milk still exists.
The Turtles: Can’t You Hear the Cows