News and Information from RealMilk.com
The Safety of Raw Milk
PROTECTIVE COMPONEN TS: Raw milk contains numerous components that assist in:
Killing pathogens in the milk (lactoperoxidase, lacto-ferrin, leukocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, antibodies, medium chain fatty acids, lysozyme, B12 binding
protein, bifidus factor, beneficial bacteria);
Preventing pathogen absorption across the intestinal
wall (polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, mucins, fibro-nectin, glycomacropeptides, bifidus factor, beneficial
Strengthening the Immune System (lymphocytes,
immunoglobulins, antibodies, hormones and growth
PASTEURIZATION HARMFUL: Many of these antimicrobial and immune-enhancing components are greatly
reduced in effectiveness by pasteurization, and completely destroyed by ultra-pasteurization.
DANGERS EXAGGERATED: Although raw milk, like any
food, can become contaminated and cause illness, the
dangers of raw milk are greatly exaggerated. In an
analysis of reports on 70 outbreaks attributed to raw
milk, we found many examples of reporting bias, errors
and poor analysis resulting in most outbreaks having
either no valid positive milk sample or no valid statistical association.
USDA/FDA S TATIS TICS: Based on data in a 2003 USDA/
FDA report: Compared to raw milk there are 515 times
more illnesses from L-mono due to deli meats and 29
times more illness from L-mono due to pasteurized
milk. On a per-serving basis, deli meats were 10 times
more likely than raw milk to cause illness.
OU TBREAKS DUE TO PAS TEURIZED MILK: Due to high-volume distribution and its comparative lack of
anti-microbial components, pasteurized milk when
contaminated has caused numerous widespread and serious outbreaks of illness, including a 1984-5 outbreak
afflicting almost 200,000 people. In 2007, three people
died in Massachusetts from illness caused by contaminated pasteurized milk.
ANCIEN T HIS TORY: Claims that raw milk is unsafe are
based on 40-year-old science and century-old experiences from distillery dairy “factory farms” in rapidly
urbanizing 19th-century America.
MODERN ADVANTAGES: Compared to 30–50 years
ago, dairy farmers today can take advantage of many
advancements that contribute to a dramatically safer
product including pasture grazing, herd testing,
effective cleaning systems, refrigeration and easier,
significantly less expensive, more accessible and more
sophisticated milk and herd disease-testing techniques.
UNIQUE FOOD: Raw milk is the only food that has extensive built-in safety mechanisms and numerous components to create a healthy immune system.