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Story understated raw milk's risks

Published October 3, 2013 1:01 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Tribune's story on raw milk ("Raw milk is the draw at new Real Foods in Salt Lake City," Oct. 1) gave scant attention to the risks and overstated benefits of this product. People have a right to consume what they please, but they should be aware of the risks, even if those risks are not huge.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states on its website: "Among dairy product-associated outbreaks reported to CDC between 1998 and 2011 in which the investigators reported whether the product was pasteurized or raw, 79 percent were due to raw milk or cheese. From 1998 through 2011, 148 outbreaks due to consumption of raw milk or raw milk products were reported to CDC. These resulted in 2,384 illnesses, 284 hospitalizations, and 2 deaths." Many victims are children.

The CDC also says 60 percent of dairy-related outbreaks reported to the CDC were linked to raw milk products: "Three-quarters of these outbreaks occurred in states where the sale of raw milk was legal at the time."

The Food and Drug Administration's web site lists raw milk and raw milk products as "unsafe to eat."

And contrary to claims by some raw milk advocates, the FDA says: "Pasteurizing milk does not cause lactose intolerance and allergic reactions. Both raw milk and pasteurized milk can cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to milk proteins. ... Pasteurization does not reduce milk's nutritional value."

Lee J. Siegel





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