Profoundly Flawed Study Used as Basis for CDC’s New Report on Supposed “Dangers” of Raw Milk

March 6, 2012
Print This Post Print This Post

MilkTo hear the media tell it, our lives are in jeopardy if we drink unpasteurized milk. But the facts tell the opposite story.

A new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declares that raw milk “cannot be considered safe under any circumstances,” and essentially advocates for stricter laws and enforcement against raw milk on the state level. The study claims that the rate of outbreaks caused by unpasteurized milk and products made from it was 150 times greater than outbreaks linked to pasteurized milk. The authors of the study based this conclusion on an analysis of reports submitted to the CDC from 1993 to 2006.

However, according to the Weston A. Price Foundation, the CDC has manipulated and cherry-picked this data to make raw milk look dangerous—and it has dismissed the same dangers associated with pasteurized milk.

What the CDC data actually shows is that there are almost 24,000 foodborne illnesses reported each year on average. For the fourteen-year period that the authors examined, there was an average of 315 illnesses a year from all dairy products for which the pasteurization status was known. Of those, there was an average of 112 illnesses each year attributed to all raw dairy products and 203 associated with pasteurized dairy products.

In other words, pasteurized milk products cause nearly twice as many illnesses as raw milk products, but illnesses from dairy products still constitute only 1.3% of the total, with raw dairy products coming in at less than half of a single percentage point. All of this is minor compared to the health risks of taking prescription drugs or even entering a hospital.

Raw milk, despite what the media reports said with such hysteria this week, is simply not a high-risk product. And, as we pointed out last week, there has been not a single death from consuming raw milk in the 38 years the data has been collected—compared to over 80 deaths from pasteurized milk products during that same time period.

The time frame examined by the researchers dramatically skewed the results as well. The authors analyzed data from 1993 to 2006. Perhaps they chose that range because one year later, in 2007, 135 people became ill from pasteurized cheese contaminated with e. coli and three people died.

Nowhere do the researchers identify the specific reports they analyzed, so the veracity and quality of the reports, and how this might affect the results, are impossible to judge. In stark contrast, the CDC refuses to look at Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting data for the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) because the data is considered “lacking.” Clearly, the agency picks and chooses when it wishes to analyze complete data and when it does not.

Another factor that is completely neglected is the source of the milk. Most food contamination products originate in large factory farms or CAFOs. Many people would consider unpasteurized milk from a family farm safer than pasteurized milk from a CAFO, but of course the government does not want to alienate Big Farma by getting into such qualitative distinctions.

The CDC study also utterly neglects any analysis of the long-term health benefits of consuming raw milk versus pasteurized milk. The pasteurization process destroys delicate proteins, enzymes, immune factors, and vitamins, and inhibits mineral availability. As we noted last week, based on the latest research, the very healthiest milk would be raw, grass-fed, organic, and from a cow that is only milked for the first six months after giving birth. Of course, now that a judge has ruled against “cowshares” and called them a “subterfuge,” it appears that to get the healthiest possible milk (not milked all through pregnancy), you will have to own your own cow.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our government valued informed consumer choice instead of relying on misinformation to serve the interests of big food operations?

A new farm bill will be drafted soon. We hear that healthy milk, and not just raw milk but even healthier pasteurized products like organic milk, will be under attack in the bill. We’ll monitor the situation and keep everyone posted.

58 Responses to “Profoundly Flawed Study Used as Basis for CDC’s New Report on Supposed “Dangers” of Raw Milk”

  1. L..P. says:

    I have RAW MILK delivered to my front door every week. The thought of drinking grocery store *Puss* milk, makes me want to vomit. IF people only knew WHAT is really in *Grocery Store* milk….maybe they wouldn’t buy it….and maybe they just don’t care. I’m finding that to be the attitude of a great percentage of Americans these days, whether it’s GMO’s….Meat that is contaminated and glued, milk that has growth hormones AND PUSS, to vaccines and drug-pushing doctors. The only reason this raw milk debate is even an issue is about Big Agri and the Food & Death Administration, as they BOTH KNOW the health benefits OF Raw Milk, but that would interfere with their profits and people actually would BE moire healthy. This whole ordeal with Raw Milk IS CRIMINAL…and the criminals are the FDA, the USDA, Big Agri & Big Pharma…and of course our own corrupt United States Government who support all the entities mentioned. All of this is UNCONSCIONABLE!!


  2. CC says:

    I wasn’t going to comment but there have been many comments about the math in the above equation… and no one else has jumped in. Let’s not forget the total number of foodborne illnesses: 24,000. The article doesn’t say if all of these were from milk or if some other foods are included. But the total number we are dealing with it much more than the 315 cases for which the pasteurization status is known. 315 out of 24,000 is a very small percentage. And 315 is a very small number to be basing any study on. I would hazard a guess that there are more cases were pasteurized milk made people ill and the doctor only wrote, “illness caused by milk” …. without noting the pasteurized nature of the milk. But if someone came to a hospital saying they had consumed raw milk and were feeling ill, the doctor would be CERTAIN to note the raw nature of the milk. All this to say that the study is critically flawed. The study is so flawed that it is ridiculous to base legislation on it. And I certainly think that arresting farmers who are willing to sell raw milk to willing buyers is ridiculous. That is just wrong.

    I consider raw milk to be safe as long as it is dealt with in the correct way. I would encourage anyone who buys raw milk to go to the farm and pick it up…. at least once. Be responsible for your own health. Look around. How healthy are the cows? Do they have space to walk around? Do they go out to pasture? If a healthy cow is milked in a clean environment and the milk is placed directly in a cold environment…. then you can be pretty certain that milk will be GREAT. Many larger dairy factories are not as conducive to healthy cows or healthy milk. These larger farms are the reason pasteurization is so important. If you don’t know where your milk is coming from, then I wouldn’t drink it raw. But if you DO know your milk is coming from a healthy environment, then you should seriously consider taking advantage of all the healthful benefits of raw milk. Because raw, unprocessed, fresh milk from a healthy, hormone-free cow IS healthier for you.


  3. geminga says:

    After reading this it should be crystal clear that you are not intended to live a long healthy life. No medical complex can make obscene profit off healthy people. My husbands dad, born and raised on a dairy farm never had pasturized milk until later in life when he got too old to farm. He died recently at 93, never seriously ill until the last 6 months of life. No profit here. We now live in a full fledge Corprotocracy. Our government is a cesspool of corruption infected by corporate money. Clearly the corprotocracy does not want raw milk to take hold. The only reason is a potential for a reduction in profit. Social cost is always irrelavant.


  4. Julia L. says:

    I guess it is time that most Americans return to raising their own foods. The fact that this will be incredibly difficult because so many family farms have been sold and so few people can afford the money required to start their own farm is quite disheartening to me.
    It is past time to elect people who wish to return to smaller government. People like Ron Paul have the right idea. End these intrusive bureaucratic organizations that make regulations with the force of law. Not only will we regain the acknowledge rights to exercise our freedoms but we will cut much of the government budget.


    • Carol Schinzing says:

      God (or Nature, if that is preferred) created animals & humans with milk for each of their own species. Cow’s milk is for its calf; goat’s milk is for its kid; human mother’s milk is for her human infant. Each species milk is especiially formulated to provide what its particular young needs and the antibodies needed to protect the new young life. If any species mother cannot provide milk for its offspring, in order to save the newborn another species milk woiuld be necessary, although it could never be as good for the newborn. Man is the only species that uses any kind of milk after it is able to be nourished with solid food. Man does not need cow’s milk! (Only the dairy inductry needs for man to use it’s products!)


  5. Chuck S says:

    I’m sorry, but it looks like the FDA is right and you’re wrong. There are 1/2 as many illnesses with raw milk, but I’d guess that less than 1/100th as many people use raw milk as pasteurized, so the illness rate is much worse for raw milk.


    • Jan Steinman says:

      @Chuck S: you shouldn’t judge right or wrong based upon a guess.

      US CDC figures indicate that over 3% of Americans consume raw milk, according to a study by epidemiologist Dr. Ted Beals. That’s over 9 million people! The resulting incidence rate of 0.4 illnesses per 100,000 raw milk consumers is well below almost any other food — including a variety of fresh produce, luncheon meats and other dairy products. It is orders of magnitude lower than certain other foods that are legal to purchase and consume raw, such as seafood and steak tartare.

      That means you are 35,000 times more likely to be sickened by other food than by raw milk, according to Beals, based on US CDC data.

      Indeed, you are more likely to be killed in a traffic accident on the way to pick up your raw milk than you are to be sickened by the raw milk. You are literally about 3-4 times more likely to be struck by lightening than to be sickened by raw milk.


    • Bert says:

      To Chuck S, Are you outta your mind ? !!!??!!! The FDA has killed more people with the approval of just one drug (Vioxx) than all the raw milk deaths since the mid 1800’s when unscrupulous business men tried to make a buck at the expense of human health by using distillery swill to feed cows that were held in unsanitary factory conditions. And that’s just one drug. If you combine all the drugs approved by the FDA that have killed people it would be greater than all the illegal drugs combined since 1900 ! And you want to trust this corrupt agency ?? Get your head out the sand ! Read the history about raw milk. You’ll be surprised. Too bad you didn’t take any Vioxx because your opinion of the FDA would be very different. Unfortunately, our government is bought and paid for by big business. That’s a fact ! You have a greater chance of getting hit by lightning than dying from raw dairy !


    • dave says:

      There is nothing healthier for the human body then unprocessed, unhomogenized,unpastuerized untoched by chemiclals and growth hormones -milk cheese vegetables and meat oh forgot fruits
      You obviously believe that a product label with 400 words on it (none of them with vowels) is safe


  6. c snider says:

    I for 1 fed my children “raw” milk for their entire life, after weaning from breast milk. Of all my nieces and nephews, my children were the healthiest! Never sick in all their growing up years…still healthy!
    I would prefer “raw milk” even for myself now. My children are now 42, 46 and 47. Now my only option is to own my cow!!!!!!!!!!!!


  7. Vern Burje' says:

    I have to laugh at the government in a way. I live in Oregon and, of course, for a time had access to raw milk which I and my family drank. When I purchased the last gallon of raw milk the year it was finally made illegal to buy it I took at least SIX MONTHS to consume it (it turned into buttermilk, which I also enjoy). The milk was tasty to the last drop! I challenge ANYONE to be able to do that with pasteurized milk! It just rots!! The government’s claim that raw milk is unsafe is bogus! The natural enzymes in the raw milk largely protect it against bad bacteria!


  8. Angelo Rodriguez says:

    Yes, count me in on this raw milk issue. I for a long time have opposed drinking milk that has been pasteurized and homogenized as well. It’s bad enough that the price of things goes up and we buy unhealthy foods!!?? Where’s the FDA that’s suppose to protect us? Oh!!! that’s right, Lobbyist with deep pockets of USC (money) that influence the minds of our leaders that are supposed to have their best interests in the people they represent. People-Money? Let me think!!! Of course that does not happen, right??? But if it does, it’s legal…. But, if a police officer were to accept money to influence their minds, that wil be called a bribe. Please explain the difference. One effects hundreds of people if not more while the other effects one law breaker……. I feel that our leaders that accept USC from anyone should be considered a BRIBE. They set the example. Thank you for time.


  9. WickedPickle says:

    I’ve never enjoyed the ‘white’ water that the FDA spouts as “Good for you” even at it’s top percentage (3%) it’s flawed.. Add to that 2%.. %.. skim and lactose free and you’ve got a bottle of colored water. Raw milk is the way to go to ‘taste’ the wonderments of real milk. I do wish the nanny g’ment would keep it’s nose out of other peoples choices (whether they think it’s for our good or not) Fact is, all I see them doing it for is to profit big b’ness.. Our grandparents drank raw milk all their lives and even though we’re much lazier than they were, still it won’t harm us any more than it harmed them. Moo Cows of the World.. UNITE!!


  10. Peter B. says:

    Hi ANH-USA,
    I am a supporter of what you are trying to do in this areana.
    One thing you need to do is not go the other way.
    You need to give facts not “misinformation” also.
    Your informaiton above about 315 illnesses with 203 pasturized vs 112 raw.
    You really need to rate illnesses per number of people using a given product.
    If 10% of people drink raw milk (some say 1%) then the number of pasturized illnesses would be 9 times less than the number you gave or 23 illnesses per the same number of people (2 if the percentage is 1%).
    Thanks for all you do,


  11. cdc you are out ofyou mline i havedrank raw milk all my life i m 75 very good health mae v


  12. Hope Guajardo says:

    What ever happened to ‘certified raw mile’ where the cows were regularly tested and had to be free of diseases that could be transmitted in their milk? One of my ancestors was the first person to produce such a product from a small farm in Maryland.


  13. Jan says:

    PS.- Don’t even get me started on vaccines.


  14. Jan says:

    As a practicing physician for over 35 years, I am thoroughly disgusted with the ongoing insanity I keep hearing about what is or isn’t healthy. Increasingly I am ready to say to my patients, “Anything you hear about health on the mainstream news media is false.” The more I learn, the harder it is to be still about what I am increasingly finding to be true: conventional medicine as I was trained to practice is indeed dangerous to your health. I left the conventional practice of medicine for an alternative approach ten years ago and now find myself in the interesting position of disagreeing with an alarming number of beliefs that I was taught were true that are still being promoted by the talking heads of MSM. For example; “Iodine is dangerous”, “hypothyroidism affects only a small percentage of the population”, “cholesterol is bad for you”, “fluoride is good for your teeth”, “raw milk is dangerous”, “many diseases are incurable”, “cholesterol causes heart attacks”, “pharmaceutical drugs are safe and necessary”, “diet doesn’t matter”(unless you are diabetic or overweight, then your health deterioration is all your own fault for not following the diet closely enough), “organic food is unnecessary”, “polyunsaturated fats are good for you”, “saturated fats are bad for you”, “low fat diets are good for you”, “TSH tests are all you need to diagnose thyroid disease”, “Basal body temperatures are meaningless”, and on and on and on.

    The current climate created by the FDA is an absolute violation of our freedom of speech for the self-serving interests of a very few. This anticipated legislation should not even be necessary. The fact is that it is desperately needed, a direct reflection on the failure of our democracy to run the way it was intended. The dark has been insidious in taking control of our minds and beliefs. It is high time we wake up and question the so-called experts who continue to to promote their own interests at the expense of the common good. Scientific studies that do not reveal their source of funding and the hidden interests of those who fund them are essentially worthless. Common sense based on experience has given me far better results for my patients than the latest scientific studies. Yet this is exactly the approach I was taught to avoid in medical school, where believing in one’s own experience was dismissed as being too limited, and the experience of someone else was considered even more dubious,…


  15. gina says:

    I’m so tired of the lies about raw milk that have been lobbied by Big Corp interests. Raw milk from grass fed cows tastes like real food. It nourishes me like none other. Pasteurized milk tastes like crap by comparison.


  16. brad roon says:

    The Constitution specifically grants the Fed govt certain powers and clearly states that all powers/authority NOT granted specifically by the Constitution are retained by the people and the states.
    IF we believe the Constitution then, you and i would have to surrender our right to choose what to consume and not consume to the state. The state (s) would then all have to surrender (unconstitutionally, they are not allowed to ) those “powers” to the Federal govt. Then the Congress, and ONLY the Congress could enact a federal law to restrict your decision making authority in this process. Since nobody has surrendered that right, and no state has formally surrendered that right, the Feds have no jurisdiction over what has clearly been a right of our citizenry for over 236 years.
    All those USDA pamphlets encouraging the growing, processing and consumption of food by private individual citizens proves the tacit and explicit Federal Govt acceptance of we the people, having that right. So when was it “taken” from us? Who allegedly had the authority to take it? Who has that “authority been given to? Because if they are American citizens, they have no more right to make those decisions than the citizens who were raped of that right!
    My 2 petitions: &


  17. Jaycee says:

    While I have not read the study you cite, nor do I know enough about the issue of raw milk consumption in the United States, I believe it is wise to exercise caution regarding your interpretation of the CDC study’s “actual” data. If it is indeed a fact that “pasteurized milk products cause nearly twice as many illnesses as raw milk products”, as you assert in the article above, this does not necessarily mean that pasteurized milk products are unsafe and unpasteurized milk products are safer. Making a judgement about product safety should look at the number of deaths per year in the context of actual consumption of each product. For example, if I were to tell you that for an average year in the CDC study, 115 people consumed raw dairy products and 1 million people consumed pasteurized dairy products, the “average of 112 illnesses each year attributed to all raw dairy products and 203 associated with pasteurized dairy products” per year that you cite would mean that nearly all people who drank the raw product got sick from it, while a small fraction of the people who drank the pasteurized product got sick. Now which product would appear safer? Words to the wise: numbers by themselves can tell a different story when they are taken out of context.


  18. Geraldine V says:

    During WW2 I drank only Raw Milk, and thereafter whenever we were lucky enough to have a housekeeper who lived on a farm and brought us their milk directly from the farm. It is delicious and healthier than pasturized milk which destroys all beneficial qualities in the milk. So, follow the money again. Whenever we remove things from a food source or heat it, it loses its synergistic form., it becomes a chemical. Same with Orange juice. Eat a whole orange instead.


  19. Christina says:

    I personally consume raw dairy products (when not pregnant) and find this whole debate absurd.

    A question though-the article states “there has been not a single death from consuming raw milk in the 38 years the data has been collected.” I am pregnant now and pregnant women are advised to not consume raw dairy products due to the possible threat of the bacteria listeria, which can cause fetal death. My midwife said yesterday that one of her patients contracted listeria through eating raw cheese and the fetus died.

    Perhaps this specific case was not reported, but I’m wondering how common fetal death is due to contracting listeria this way.


  20. Bernie says:

    Cow milk is meant for baby cows. I prefer Almond milk. It’s much healthier and doesn’t have all the antibiotics and growth hormones that the factory farmers inject in thier cows….Not to mention the cruelty they have to endure.


    • Jan Steinman says:

      Almond milk is for baby almonds.

      Humans and dairy ruminants have co-evolved for perhaps 14,000 years. Carefully produced raw milk is a humane, environment-friendly product.

      Almond milk is (in most cases) a highly processed, industrial food product, packaged in non-renewable resources in a way that cannot be recycled into an identical product. (”Down-cycling” into a lower-grade of use is not really “re-cycling.”) It is generally transported huge distances, and has a high carbon footprint.

      If you have a machine and make your own almond milk, more power to you. And if you have your preferences, great. But please don’t lecture from a position of superiority that is an illusion.


  21. Kimberly Archibald says:

    I have known folks that drink RAW MILK; it is a very hidden secret how healing it is. Seems everything that may make us live longer, or be healthy is not what the Boss Big Pharma wants for us; no profits in that. Do not believe what you see coming from our government these days; our government shines the shoes of Big PHARMA and corporation giants who control our governments and give millions to their campaigns. THIS IS A FALSE ARTICLE and they have a government agency backing it; total corruption! If cigarettes can have a warning label and I can make a choice to kill myself with them, why not the same warning label as RAW MILK!!!!


  22. Dr. Joel A Saeks DC says:

    So if raw milk is so bad why are there very few people getting sick from it? Raw milk was and is a staple of many farms. These are the same people with better immune systems and less allergies that city dwellers. I myself have used raw milk when I lived in NY and never had any problems granted I am one person.
    Now lets us look at something like turkey production in the US. How many times has Cargill sold tainted turkey? How many people have died from that? Has anyone died from raw milk? Yet you go after people selling raw milk to consumers who are buying it because it is raw and ruin these businesses. yet a company like Cargill get a mild slap on the wrist. what is wrong with that picture. Raw milk is alive it has all the enzymes that are supposed to be there. Would you ever think of selling pasteurized mother’s milk? are you OK with Monsanto working on genetically modifying cows so they make human milk from their udders? Will they sell it raw or will it be pasteurized? If it is pasteurized will it have any real value?
    It is time for you to put the health of Americans first and allow us to make conscious choices and not just supporting corporate food companies. It is the little guy who makes this country great!


  23. Dina Farrell says:

    Can someone please explain the statement that “the very healthiest milk would be…and from a cow that is only milked for the first six months after giving birth”. I understand that the later into a cow’s pregnancy the higher the hormones in the milk. Even if the cow is not pregnant she can still give milk long after six months. I have a cow that I have been milk for nine months and she just became pregnant recently and I will continue milking her for another seven months. As a rule cows are impregnated two months after giving birth and are milked for the next seven months and then left to dry off for two months before calving. I am very interested in an opinion on this.


    • Stephen says:

      It is important to let the cow go dry for 2 months. Usually, Feb & Mar. This provides a healing period for the cow. Also, the last trimester and shortly after giving birth, estrogen is very high. We never milk or provide milk to our customers during this time. No one needs the Xtra estogen.


  24. claire says:

    I was wondering if it is know what proportion of the population drink raw vs pasteurised milk. I’m all for raw milk but was wondering how accurate saying “pasteurized milk products cause nearly twice as many illnesses as raw milk products” is if only a small percentage of the population drink raw milk compared to pasteurised.


    • Jan Steinman says:

      According to epidemiologist Dr. Ted Beals, US CDC data indicate that in excess of 3% — over 9 million people — consume raw milk.

      I agree that the assertion in the article not meaningful without gross number of drinkers. But the resulting incidence rate of 0.4 illnesses per 100,000 raw milk drinkers is still FAR BELOW that of most other foods that are consumed raw.


  25. Elaine Cassata says:

    Here is another example of government interfering with personal preferences. People that never tasted milk straight from the cow are arresting people that know the difference. It’s not only the taste that is better, it has none of the vitamins cooked away. Next, raw milk drinkers will be arrested like drug dealers (like the Amish farmer) for trying to just live natural, healthy, DRUG FREE lives.


  26. Kathi says:

    I live in farming country. It also just happens to be littered with numerous dairy farms. Around here, it is normal to drink raw milk and use the raw dairy products direct from the farm. Many people do it and we are raised on it, never quite understanding why the CDC makes so much fuss.

    Sure, we have some farms which cleanliness is just not quite as important as it should be. And sure, eventually several of those places have got themselves into hot water because of a foodbourne illness. It’s unfortunate, because all they end up doing is spreading the rumors about danger from raw milk farther and wider.

    But people around here already know the stuff in the stores, stay away from it unless you enjoy a lifetime in the doctor’s office. There’s just something about it, it’s just not quite right!


  27. JOHN A DI RISIO says:

    our health care guardians—have us do??? grovel in the dirt—beg—and apologize for breathing????? JOHN A DI RISIO


  28. JOHN A DI RISIO says:

    OUR government REPRESENTATIVES need to be EDUCATED and vote for the Best Interest of WE the people!!


  29. antonio ramos says:

    A shame this country only care about their money and not the ultimate health of our nation thanks for clarifying this mess .
    cheers to the farmers.


  30. R. Smith says:

    What the above article does not point out is that, although raw milk has half the illnesses that pasteurized milk does, the amount of raw milk consumed is probably much less than half that of pasteurized milk. It would be interesting to see what that analysis would show.

    Don’t get me wrong, I support our right to consume raw milk and resent big government trying to dictate what I can and can not consume. Just wanted to point out this possible glitch to the above article and how we report the data.


  31. Todd Martin says:

    I’m 85 years old and drank raw milk for the first 32 years. Then the government intruded itself and began harrassing the vendors of raw milk to the point of eventual non-availability. The constant manipulating of the facts concerning milk at the behest of those who are more concerned with profits than the health of the population in general speaks to the veniality, if not the corruption of those agencies ostensibly created to protect the health od the American public in louder and louder voices. It would appear rhe time is faster and faster arriving when there is an abolition of both the FDA and the CDC, and a recreation of those agencies with people genuinely concerned with the true well-being of the American public!


  32. Tim says:

    Thanks for bringing attention to these issues. Our society is so corrupted by money and power, sites like yours are vital to get views other than the corporate agenda out. BTW, I’ve been drinking raw milk since June 2009 without issue. Obviously the scare tactics that raw milk is dangerous are just that. Now raw milk from a CAFO farm is deadly, you NEED to pasteurize that milk to make it safe to drink. It’s actually scary it’s not safe to drink on its own.


  33. Patricia Masterson says:

    Dear Friends,
    With regard to pasteurization of milk products…I would like to change to unpasteurized goat milk.
    Will this also be addressed in the new farm bill draft? Hopefully so…Goat milk would seem like a healthier choice. Thank you…


  34. While I agree completely with the orientation of this article, I think it is important to realize that not every private small dairy is conscientious about handling of milk just as not every large dairy is not conscientious. I am curious too about the numbers of cases of pasteurized vs raw milk product illnesses. Given that there is considerably more pasteurized milk consumed than raw milk, then the raw milk illness cases may actually be relatively rather high. I would also think it important to cite sources of the contaminated product, such as whether it was a domestic product or imported.

    I live in California and I love having raw milk when it available from a source I trust. When it isn’t, I stick with Strauss Family non-homogenized but pasteurized milk.


  35. Our family cow provided raw milk for an elderly couple in south Texas in the 1960’s. They insisted that it was raw. whole, and the cream “the heavier, the better”. They lived to 93 and 88years. They swore that when they switched to store bought homogenized milk, their health spiraled down and would be the death of them both. The health department told mom she could’nt sell unpasteurized milk, so we gave it to them. They never got colds or flus and never needed to use antibiotics mom said. Because of moms fear that the health dept may possibly be right, she pasteurized the milk we used, lest one of us kids became ill and the health dept blame it on our cow, then we would lose our source of healthy dairy products. Mom continued to provide the raw milk until 1969 when we moved from the area.


  36. Bob says:

    With the information provided in this article, I would have to say raw milk is very dangerous. As I read the article, it speaks to the total numbers affected negatively from each type of milk. While the numbers would indicate pasteurized milk is more dangerous, the real issue or statistic to be extracted should consider how much of each is consumed. I believe pasteurized milk is consumed at a ratio of probably 1000 to 1 or more to raw milk which makes pasteurized milk substantially safer. I think you owe a more concise explanation based on the above because it seems you are using the numbers to your advantage as you accuse the goverment agencies of doing..


    • Jan Steinman says:

      Yet another person using “I believe” to criticize this article.

      @Bob, the US CDC estimates that about 3% of the population consumes raw milk, so your “belief” is off by a factor of 33 or so.


  37. Bill says:

    I drank raw milk when I was a kid by the gallons. Never got sick from drinking it and my mom making butter from the cream. If raw milk is so bad how come for hundreds of years people
    drank it and we have the amount of people on the planet today? Milk was not pasteurized
    till modern times!



  38. Kat says:

    Interesting topic. I was hoping there was a link to the original article included here, but I couldn’t find one. I googled the paper, and saw that references were listed at the end of the study, so some of the data is there. I did a little more searching, and it turns out CDC has the data from their surveillance system that they used for the study online, for public use. From what I understood, state health departments submit the reports to the system. Here is the website for anyone who is interested.
    I wonder how the pasteurized dairy products became contaminated (although I bet you could find out by more searching). I also think that there aren’t all that many people that drink raw milk because of some of the state laws. I wonder if the number of people who drank raw milk was equal to the number of people who drank pasteurized dairy (there are many more), if we would see more outbreaks and illnesses from raw milk. The smaller number of illnesses from raw milk compared with pasteurized milk might just be due to the fact that less people drink raw milk. Food for thought.


    • Jan Steinman says:

      Thanks for pointing out where the data come from.

      Coming from public health departments, it is highly skewed by “observer bias.” In short, state health departments *require* doctors to ask things like, “Have you visited a farm lately, or consumed raw milk?” when encountering intestinal problems. The doctors are then *required* to report that information.

      Doctors are NOT required to ask, “Have you consumed any luncheon meat or raw seafood?” So naturally, more reports of illness “from raw milk” get reported.

      Looking more closely at the data, it is only fair to demand that all but “culture confirmed” cases be screened out. That means that unless a culture was taken and matched to pathogens found in a food, it doesn’t count. This is precisely what Dr. Ted Beals did when he found an average of only 42 culture-confirmed cases of raw milk illness annually in the US, corresponding to an incidence rate of 0.4 per 100,000 raw milk consumers.


  39. Bill says:

    The issue here is with Raw Milk. The larger issue is why the government thinks it has the right to say what I can eat or not eat. I want the government to stay out of my body all together. I will take responsibility for my own health. The government is not my parents, if my parents had acted like the government I would have left them many years before I did. Each individual has to take responsibility for their own health and their own finances and their own education and frankly any other thing that they care about. The government is there to protect use from other nations and individuals who would attempt to take away our constitutional rights. Our rights come from nature, i.e. the process of being alive and able to act like a human being, any rights coming from the government can be taken by that same government. The governments cannot be trusted to be in our best interest.


  40. Greg Duncan says:

    Interesting numbers but they really don’t provide the whole picture. You have not provided the relationship between the amount of raw and processed milk products consumed. If they are equal, then raw milk looks good. If 1000 times more processed milk is consumed then the raw milk numbers don’t look to good. Please be careful to present the whole picture so your articles can’t be dismissed easily.


  41. Joy Daymon says:

    I grew up on grade A raw milk. My dad and grandfather had a dairy during the Depression. We used milk for everything- we paid our rent with it, bought a few groceries with it, used furniture, music lessons, but mostly we drank it–sweet milk, buttermilk, cottage cheese, ice cream. I am 84 now and in very good health except for some unrelated problems. I am still working- just not for pay since Aug. 1. Babies had breast milk- and fewer allergies and other problems.


  42. cl barton says:

    I grew up on unpasteurized milk when I was a child in Pennsylvania. I’m healthier than most people my age. I am a doctor and do not buy the idea that it is completely unsafe to drink. It’s only unsafe when cattle are cooped up in their stal and poop where they eat and stand. Maybe disease is a consequence of overcrowding, poor nutrition and poor husbandry which is only covered up by pasturization. Why can’t there be raw milk from cows that are raised more haturally and normally and are healthy and happy.


  43. kathleen croddy says:

    I believe i remember something in the constitution about being able to over throw our government if they become too overbearing as they are obviously doing about how they are trying to make us sick with their law making against raw milk. I was raised on a farm with raw milk in the 50’s and I have only been sick 4 times in 40 years. excepting the normal child hood sicknesses. So big government watch out!


  44. William Zirkle says:

    My wife and I have been drinking raw milk for over a year at four gallons per month. We have yet had any health problems associated with dairy products. Our government is out to kill us off.


  45. Rett says:

    If push comes to shuve, I guess I’ll have to stop drinking real milk. I refuse to call it raw just as I refuse to call drugs, prescription or otherwise, medicine. Food is our medicine and medicine is our food, Our food should come from grass fed beef that is hormone and antibiotic free as well as grain and soy free, free range poultry, wild caught fish that has fins and scales as the rest clean the earth and should not be considered food, correctly grown produce that the world today calls organic. Our world is in serious trouble because of the so called college graduate scientists/scholars. These so called college graduates are risking our very lives by their ignorance. Milk that has not been pasturized or homogenized is far superior to the milk that has been contaminated and devoid of nutritional benefit. May God have mercy on this corrupted world.


  46. JULIE KORN says:



  47. Bruce says:

    I grew up on a small farm, Southlake Tx. 24 acres, my dad, repaired an old tractor plowed up an acre and a half of the land and put in several fruit trees, grew all the vegtables he could and fertilzed it all with straw and manure from our one Jersey milk cow, we had a herd of 5 to 6 Angus we raised for beef steers also, but we had the one milk cow for fresh raw milk. The milk was the sweetest in the spring when the clover was growing well, but you could tell when the cow was eating like stink weed or something and the milk would be kinda bitter. But for the most part Mom, dad 4 kids, we never got sick with alergys, nothing, I personally went from kindergarden thru 8th grade with perfect attendance not one day of absents. An all organic farm was the way to go, no pharma. Best cure for a headache was two or three plums, and a glass of water, then nature took it’s course, and well. We enjoyed fresh sweet cream, to make all natural home cranked ice cream, and home make sweet butter, just add a little salt. Wow spread some of that on a saltine cracker, now that was a country orderb you wouldn’t forget, unlike the bland pasturized, homogenized, deflavorized malnutritious yuk they serve up now. Boy I miss that good life what a blessing to have lived it.


  48. Richard says:

    It is so sad to have to say this, but people will continue to ignore the truth to their own
    destruction !!!


  49. Dr. Richard Edlich says:

    As a physician, I am strongly in favor of drinking raw milk. I do not like pasteurized milk.


Leave a Reply

Comment Policy:
ANH-USA provides a comment forum for our readers to share their constructive thoughts and criticisms about our newsletter articles and engage in civil debate with other readers. All comments are pre-moderated regardless of author. We never censor comments based on political or ideological point of view. We only remove those comments that are abusive, off-topic, use foul language, include personal attacks, or are otherwise discourteous and uncivil. Please do not post comments in ALL CAPS; on the internet this is considered "shouting."

 characters available

Follow us on...