Pouring milk in the glass on the background of nature.

Health Impact News Editor Comments:

David Gumpert recently published an insightful blog post demonstrating how the mainstream media treats outbreaks of illnesses due to milk. If there are illnesses due to drinking fresh raw milk, it is presented as a public health hazard and something that should be banned, even though there have been no recorded deaths due to drinking raw milk in the past 15 years.

When illnesses and deaths occur due to pasteurized milk, however, it is glossed over in the mainstream media, and the fact that the milk was pasteurized as commercial processed milk is not even mentioned in the story. The official position in the mainstream media is that fresh raw milk directly from the farm is dangerous, while store-bought pasteurized processed milk is safe. This is a false belief not supported by the data.

As we have previously reported, the raw milk debate is not a debate about food safety as the government, Big Dairy, and the pharmaceutical industry would like you to believe. The most dangerous foods in your local grocery store, causing the most outbreaks of deaths and illnesses, are in the fresh produce department, and the meat sections. And then if you want to include deaths due to FDA approved prescription drugs, the comparison becomes even more absurd. (Current estimates number raw milk drinkers in the U.S. at between 9 and 15 million.)


It is important to note that raw milk is not inherently safe either, just because it is fresh from the cow. Like any other raw food you purchase in the market place, there are risks with raw food.

It is also important to distinguish between raw commodity milk collected from CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) on the way to the commercial milk pools where it will be further processed into the commercial processed dairy products. Typically this is NOT the kind of raw milk one wants to consume, as it is meant to be pasteurized and further processed. Most people consuming raw milk today for health benefits are consuming it from smaller dairy operations, where the cows are not confined but have access to pastures and a more natural diet.

Our family consumes raw milk, but we never consume raw milk from a farm we have not personally visited. So if you are contemplating joining the millions of people already consuming fresh farm milk, it is best to do some research ahead of time and get to know the farm and farmer providing the milk. Dr. Amanda Rose has written a very handy Raw Milk Consumer Guide.

In Official Reports, You’d Never Know It Was Pasteurized Dairy Making People Sick

by David Gumpert
The Complete Patient


It seems that almost any outbreak of illnesses potentially involving raw milk products prompts handwringing by the media, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), not to mention state and local public health agencies. I have yet to see a mainstream media article about raw dairy that doesn’t include warnings from federal or local public health officials about its dangers.

Yet when people get sick from pasteurized dairy products, it’s a whole different ball game. We saw that in the article discussed following my previous post, about illnesses from bad milk among children at a Henrico County school in Virginia. There wasn’t even a mention that the milk was pasteurized. And can you imagine any media reporting on illnesses from raw milk, that the victims “exhibited ‘mild gastrointestinal symptoms’ that passed quickly”? Certainly if I said it, I’d be excoriated by raw milk opponents as totally insensitive and biased, especially since it was children who were sickened.

This minor example of the reporting double standard turns up repeatedly. I just examined official government reports  (one from CDC and the other from FDA) on two of the most recent pasteurized-dairy outbreaks, involving cheese, one from a Wisconsin producer and the other from a Delaware producer. Here are a few things I noticed:

-The reports never mention pasteurized milk. It’s just cheese that got the people sick. At the end of one of the reports, it mentions potential problems in the production facilities that could have led to the contamination.

-The illnesses, all from listeria monocytogenes, were very serious. In the case of the Wisconsin illnesses from Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, each of the six people sickened was hospitalized, and one of them died. In the case of the Delaware cheese illnesses, from Roos Foods, seven of the eight people made ill were hospitalized, and one died. Gee, two deaths in two pasteurized dairy outbreaks within the last year, and very little fuss.  And outbreaks in which more than 90 per cent of those made ill wind up in the hospital is highly unusual.

-They downplay illnesses involving children.  The description of the Roos Foods outbreak from the FDA is particularly interesting in its wordsmithing. The reality is that three infants became very sick, but here is how the FDA describes the eight illnesses: “Five of the illnesses were related to a pregnancy; two of these were diagnosed in two mother–newborn pairs, and one in only the newborn. The three other illnesses occurred among adults.  One death was reported in California.” So two illnesses in newborns are air-brushed as occurring in “mother-newborn pairs.” And how old was the individual who died? No word on that, so I suppose you have to use your imagination; my guess is that if it had been an adult, FDA would have said so.

One other thing: there’s no mention at all that illnesses from listeria in raw-milk cheese are quite rare. And there hasn’t been a listeria illness from fluid raw milk in at least a decade.

And can you imagine if there had been two deaths from raw dairy products within the last year? Why, you’d never hear the end of it.

Read the Full Article Here.

See Also:

Raw Milk Consumer Guide: How to Choose Your Raw Dairy Farmer


The Raw Milk Revolution
Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights
by David E. Gumpert

Raw Milk Revolution book cover Raw Milk Vending Machine Supplier in UK Targeted by Government

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