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Prevent food-borne illness


Many consumers have voiced concern about antibiotic use in animal agriculture.  Yet with the first sniffle or cough from their children, these parents will run to the doc to get a prescription for a human drug containing antibiotics.  These are the same parents who in an effort to provide a healthy diet for the littles they adore will serve them raw milk because they believe it contains nutrients not present in the same milk, once pasteurized. These advocates of non-pasteurized milk come from all economic and social backgrounds.

I respect an adult individual’s decision to eat and drink what they want to eat and drink. I don’t like over-regulation. However, I am afraid that many of the people who drink raw milk are unaware of health risks associated with its consumption.

Food-borne illness is no joke.  Any of you who have been unfortunate enough to experience the unpleasant symptoms know what I’m saying.  If you have suffered through the excruciating abdominal pain, fever and headache associated with E.Coli 0157:H7 you will not soon forget it.

Most of the people I know who drink raw milk truly believe it is somehow better for their children – including their unborn children – than pasteurized milk. The well-researched and scientifically documented truth of the matter is that these people are misinformed and are taking great risks with the health of their families.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to cause foodborne illness than pasteurized milk.

Raw milk does not cure asthma or allergies. It does not cure lactose intolerance. Raw milk is not more effective in preventing osteoporosis than pasteurized milk. Raw milk does not help build a child’s immune system. Raw milk is not more nutritional than pasteurized milk. The Food and Drug Administration says that although the heating process slightly affects a few of the vitamins-thiamine, vitamin B6 and folic acid within the B-complex, and vitamin C, the changes are not significant.

Raw milk might contain disease-causing pathogens such as salmonella, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Brucella speces and Campylobacter jejuni. Pregnant women, babies, young children, older folks and those with compromised immune systems are in the greatest danger of contracting an illness caused by these bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control warns that pregnant women are 20 times more likely to become ill if exposed to listeria. The symptoms might be flu-like or she might have no symptoms, but listeria in pregnancy can cause a woman to miscarry, have a stillborn child, delivery prematurely or at the least, the baby might be born with an infection.

E.Coli 0157:H7 and Salmonella both come with horrible symptoms and both can kill you.

Most people in overall good health will recover from an illness caused by harmful bacteria in raw milk – or in foods made with raw milk – pretty quickly. But some individuals can develop symptoms that are chronic, severe, or even life threatening.

Not all raw milk and products made from it contain harmful bacteria. I don’t believe it is worth the risk – especially for children.

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