CDC Relases Raw Milk Safety Report: finds unpasteurized dairy causes a disproportionate number illnesses
In a recent paper published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, scientists working for the Centers for Disease Control found that raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products (including cheese) were significantly more likely to cause foodbourne illness than their pasteurized counterparts:
...the high incidence of outbreaks and outbreak-associated illness involving nonpasteurized dairy products is remarkable and greatly disproportionate to the incidence involving dairy products that were marketed, labeled, or otherwise presented as pasteurized.
Not only were unpasteurized products more likely be contaminated, but they were more likely to cause serious illness requiring hospitalization. The researchers speculate that this is because raw products are more likely to carry bacterial contamination from an animal reservoir, while pasteurized products were more likely to be contaminated with virus or bacteria from a human source.
The federal government prohibits the interstate sale of raw milk products, but states have the right to regulate raw dairy as they see fit, and about half of US states permit the sale of raw milk products in one form or another.
Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, an organization that advocates for the consumption of unpasteurized milk and dairy products, claimed the CDC data shows evidence of bias against raw milk:
In the context of the very low numbers of illnesses attributed to dairy in general, the authors’ decision to cut the time frame short, as compared to the available CDC data, is troubling and adds to questions about the bias in this publication.
"Milk Drop from Above" via fdecomite