This should come as no surprise, but according to a new study published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, a public health journal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six people who consume raw milk will get sick with either a bacterial or parasitic infection. Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized (which is a heat treatment used to kill germs, discovered 150 years ago by Louis Pasteur and proven to reduce milk-transmitted infections).
Researchers from the Minnesota Department of Health reported 530 cases of infection, including from the bacteria Salmonella, E. Coli and Campylobacter, as well as parasitic infections, in individuals who reported drinking raw milk between 2001 and 2010. However, many cases of infection may not have been reported so researchers believe that number may actually be higher. In fact, they say that about 17 percent of those who consume raw milk became infected. That s 20,502 Minnesotans. Although these infections often last only about a week with symptoms including diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting, there is the potential for more severe symptoms or long-term diseases.
The majority of infections were isolated incidents (sporadic) and therefore infection could not definitively be linked to consumption. (People may have been infected due to contact with cattle). However, according to author Dr. Trisha Robinson, an epidemiologist at the Minnesota Department of Health, The risk for illness associated with raw milk is far greater than what was determined based on recognized outbreaks. She goes on, Raw milk s health benefits are not scientifically proven. But what we can say is that people are getting sick after drinking raw milk.
ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava added There are pervasive myths out there that raw milk is somehow healthier and more alive than pasteurized milk. But the only items that may really be alive are contaminating bacteria or parasites. Any enzymes in raw milk would be inactivated by a consumer s stomach acid, and the brief heating of pasteurization does not destroy the nutritional value of milk.
Dr. Bloom says, Well, that s just brilliant. In the interest of health these geniuses are consuming something that will make 17 percent of them ill. And this is probably because they think that perfectly safe pasteurized milk contains harmful chemicals, hormones and maybe Kryptonite.