Increase in raw milk-related illnesses

raw milk

A new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that as more states allow the sale of raw milk to consumers, more people are getting ill. The study, which will appear in the January issue of the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases says the number of foodborne illnesses related to drinking unpasteurized milk has more than quadrupled in the last five years.

From 2007 through 2012 there were 81 raw-milk-related illness outbreaks for an average of 13 per year. That compares to an average of 3 outbreaks per year linked to raw milk from 1993 to 2006.  The study also notes the increase was concentrated in states which have legalized the sale of raw milk.

Retail sales of raw milk are now legal in 30 states, while 10 more states allow consumers to obtain raw milk by paying a farmer to help care for a cow in return for a percentage of the milk the cow produces.

National Milk Producers Federation vice president for dairy foods and nutrition, Beth Briczinski says the connection is crystal-clear: “The more raw milk that is available to people, the more people become sick.”

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