LETTER: Raw milk much more dangerous than article said

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 | 10:31 a.m. CDT; updated 4:18 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Raw milk has long been known to be hazardous, and regulations requiring pasteurization were put in place for good reason. Milk is a wonderful, healthy food, but in its “pure” raw state it is a perfect growth medium for bacteria, including salmonella, campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7 and listeria. Serious outbreaks from raw milk still occur, mostly in states that allow its sale.

Consumers cannot tell milk is safe just by looking at the farm (as the article implied), just as they can’t tell by looking that their peanut butter snack bar is contaminated. Several outbreaks have struck children after school field trips to beautiful dairy farms to sample the raw milk. The only licensed raw milk farm in Ohio relinquished its license after causing a salmonella outbreak in 2004 that sickened 62 people in four states.

No respected authority on health or food safety (not CDC, the FDA, AMA, ADA, state or local health departments), NONE of these recommend consumption of raw milk. I am very concerned that the lengthy, front-page article on March 31 promoted legalizing the sale of raw milk with only a few paragraphs about the health risks.  Yes, as the final quote said, you can find all kinds of arguments on the Internet. But they are not all equally grounded in research and experience. Consumers deserve better food safety protection, not weaker regulations that would only result in more outbreaks of disease.

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