Sobering Facts Debunk The Raw Milk Myth

Regular readers will know that I do not condone the raw milk hysteria. To read the holistic press, you’d think it was the best food ever invented. In fact I’m on record with the BBC (1986) as saying that if there was one food on Earth I would ban it would be milk. I would make hundreds of millions of people well within a week. I’d be famous!

Seriously, though, milk is DEADLY. I don’t care what Joe Mercola says. And please don’t write and tell me YOU can drink raw milk and you are fine. That’s like saying you live in a pit of snakes and you haven’t been bitten so far!

New and sobering statistics show that raw, or unpasteurized, milk causes 150 times more dairy product-related disease outbreaks than pasteurized milk. And states where the sale of raw milk is legal have twice as many outbreaks as states where it is illegal, according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study (CDC).

The 13-year review looked at more than 120 dairy product-related outbreaks that occurred between 1993 and 2006. The outbreaks caused more than 4,400 illnesses, 239 hospitalizations and three deaths. Raw milk products — including cheese and yogurt — caused 73 of the outbreaks (60 percent) and most of the 239 hospitalizations.

Unless milk is pasteurized — heated to kill harmful bacteria — bacteria can accumulate in collected milk, multiply and cause illness, the researchers said.

The study found that 13 percent of patients in what they called the “raw milk outbreaks” were hospitalized, compared with 1 percent of those made ill by pasteurized milk products. That’s 1300% more dangerous, if you want to play at silly statistics.

Against that, pasteurized milk and cheese tended to cause milder outbreaks, such as norovirus and Staphylococcus aureus.

During the study period, about 2.7 trillion pounds of milk was produced in the United States. By comparing that amount to the estimated 27 billion pounds (1 percent) consumed raw, the study authors determined that raw milk products cause 150 times more outbreaks proportionately than pasteurized milk.

The study appears Feb. 21 in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, published by the CDC.

Study co-author Barbara Mahon, deputy chief of the CDC’s Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, said in the news release: “While some people think that raw milk has more health benefits than pasteurized milk, this study shows that raw milk has great risks, especially for children, who experience more severe illnesses if they get sick.

“Parents who have lived through the experience of watching their child fight for their life after drinking raw milk now say that it’s just not worth the risk,” she added.

I my view, milk is such a crappy food, why take the risk? Why drink the stuff at all? It seems to cause osteoporosis, as I have said often. In the USA, with the highest per capita intake of milk in the world, fractures of the femur run highest; in China, where the traditional diet was milk-free, osteoporosis was unknown (God help them; I hear they have now got McDonalds).

For (hundreds) more reasons not to consume milk at all, see www.notmilk.com

34 COMMENTS

  1. It is also very interesting if you ever caught the news several months ago with the FDA literally fabricating data on raw milk injuries. Literally made it up. No sources at all.

  2. There’s a wonderful saying: “You know what you know but that’s all you know. Everything else, you only think you know.” Just because somebody said it or you read it, doesn’t make it true. When it comes to research, you have to ask: Who did it? Why did they do it? What were they trying to achieve? Who paid for it? The quality of research is sadly tainted. Unless you did the research yourself, there’s little point talking or writing about it as if it’s fact. If god made it, eat it. If man made it, don’t eat it.

  3. Regardless of your views on raw milk (and all studies can be manipulated), it should be our choice whether we want to consume it or not (I don’t)……….not be dictated to by a tyrannical government. Our health…our choice! Don’t get me started on vaccinations!

    • It’s funny – all studies are “manipulated” when they don’t say what people want them to say!
      I’ll continue to go by clinical experience (VAST clinical experience, that is…)

  4. If the raids were legit, they would have also closed down all milk producers, not just the raw milk producers.

    People choose to drink it. That is their right, just like it is their right to eat Twinkies.

    In the Rawesome case, two of the principles were hit with a one-million and two-million dollar bails. Those should raise red flags. Courts don’t demand that much from drug dealers or alleged murderers.

    Previously the police came in with guns drawn as if they were looking for someone who had committed a grievous crime. On their second visit, the government thugs took a truck full of vegetables that were not on the list of ‘suspect’ foods.

    Meanwhile, Rawesome had met all the requirements for selling food.

    Something stinks to high heaven, and it’s not just the cheese.

      • If a person has an experience (better health because they consume raw dairy) – who are you or anybody else to dispute their experience? especially a study – if the cause of stubbing our toe is having the toe in the 1st place – why not just cut them off?

        In the health & wellness (including exercise) there’s an endless supply of contradicting info.

        Truth being treason in an insane world – I’ll have to side w/ the raw milk people. There are plenty of examples in our society that causes more death than raw dairy & no 1 ever questions their right to own/do that thing.

        To say that no 1 should ever consume raw or any kind of dairy is in fact a limiting belief that you believe to be true for everybody. I tend to go w/ the truth almost always lies in the minority.

        • Here are 2 stories I can think of that fly in the face of what most people believe to be healthy advice. If it’s true for them & worked for them – scientific study or not – it doesn’t really matter now – does it? someone else’ opinion that is.

          I remember a story of a cancer patient who was undergoing conventional therapy & did their best to eat clean & healthy & organic. After a long time of suffering – the only thing they could keep down was fast food.

          I also just listened to an interview w/ a guy who had another weird type of health challenge that got no positive results from conventional or alternative therapies – he tried many. He had a synchronicity happen to him – he bumped into some guy who he resonated w/ & they talked – the guy told him to eat red meat, smoke a few cigarettes, drink some red wine… basically enjoy life & in like 2 months he was a new man following the advice – I think part of the advice was to go easy on himself (self love/acceptance/forgiveness type of stuff).

          • You are the one operating on opinions and beliefs, Russ.
            I quoted a legitimate scientific study and almost 40 years of my own personal clinical experience.
            Can YOU top that?
            Prof.

      • It’s not about topping. It’s about what someone experiences reguardless of what some study or you say.

        To say that you’re not operating from a place of belief (you believe the study) is complete denial.

  5. It may be true that bovine milk is not compatable with our human bodies, which would certainly contribute to disease formation – but, the sterilization process certainly makes it all that more incompatible. I occasionally use raw milk – just for the great taste & nutrition. Also, believing that anything the FDA or the CDC tend to proclame is true, in lew of their monetary connections to corporations who’s prime directive is to make as much money as possible and not our health and wellbeing…….is foolhardy!

    • There is one important improved property in goat’s milk: the curds are much smaller and babies are able to digest them far better.

  6. Hi,
    Now I am totally confused.
    The Maasai tribe from Africa have been drinking raw milk for thousands of years and they don’t suffer outbreaks and or western disease.
    They are nomadic people, Cattle are grass fed, no vaccines and they only make use of herbs if the cows get sick.

    My Dad was born and raised in India for about 15 years, thereafter he came to South Africa. Organic Cattle farming was a part of lively hood for them. They drank raw milk, made ghee and made rooti and food from the ghee on a daily basis, they never had any outbreaks or disease directly related to milk.

    Prof Scott-Mumby, am I missing something?
    Regards
    Omar Ebrahim

    • Are you kidding me Omar!?? The Masai are crawling with syphilis!
      Their life expectancy is 43 years of age.
      They are in TERRIBLE health.

  7. Prof Keith, you have given no evidence in this article about the dangers of milk, as I understand it, most milk studies have been done on pasturised milk, and the assumption that is applied to raw milk too.
    The statement:-
    “Unless milk is pasteurized — heated to kill harmful bacteria — bacteria can accumulate in collected milk, multiply and cause illness, the researchers said”
    is confusing. Obviously this can still happen with pasturised milk, as the study shows that 40% of cases were from pasturised milk!!

    Do you know of any research on raw milk that has undergone uv sterilization, thereby avoiding the effect of high heat on milk?

    • You’re not following a straight line Keith. I quoted a whole study which answers to your first sentence.
      If the milk is sterilized (pasteurized), then there are no bacteria to multiply.
      The only way bacteria can arrive is contamination (handled badly in the kitchen).
      Without pasteurization, or in the days before pasteurization, people died in large numbers, from brucellosis and TB etc.
      That’s stopped and I don’t see how it is arguable that pasteurization is what brought about that improvement. Raw milk remains bacterial and potentially dangerous.
      My pain point remains that milk is a BAD food, it causes inflammatory bowel disease, migraines, arthritis, osteoporosis and a host of complaints.
      Just don’t drink milk is my message, I don’t care whether it’s raw or cooked.
      The myth that raw milk is somehow magically safe, whereas pasteurized isn’t, is a deadly folly.

  8. There are 3 people that researched milk properly and intensly for their intire lives and I trust them. One is Hypocrates who treated gastrointestinal diseases with nothing but raw milk. The other two wrote this report http://www.karlloren.com/aajonus/p15.htm in 2001. The forth is me – since 2007 when I’ve first used (fermented) raw organic milk for my autistic vaccine damaged child, he slept peacefully after 3 years of nightmares. Today he’s almost comletely healed and not autustic any longer, thx also to mega doses of raw fermented milk, butter and cream on a daily bases. The other kids prosper, too. Not convinced, dr. Kieth, sorry. Look at mother’s milk – why is it so much more (up to 60-times more!)decay-proof than any non-raw milk? Why does it not let salmonella or coliform bacteria grow in it even if it stands unrefrigerated for hours or days? Why do babies on donnor milk (pasteurized) often develop the same kind of colic or alergic reactions as babies on formula milks? There are studies done about it. I’ve been studying it for over ten years now. We need bacteria rich food to be healthier. Those fear mongering CDC reports are propaganda lies.

    • Well Mojca, every time a study contradicts a prejudice it’s a “propaganda lie”. What can I do?
      Just stick with your beliefs and I’ll stick with the science.
      Well done on your child’s recovery. But you see 95% of autistic children improve when taken off milk, so one case doesn’t prove anything.

      • I’m sure they improve when taken off milk……pasteurised milk, that is! Any “scientific” study that lumps raw and pasteurised milk in together will obviously have skewed findings. We’re talking about two different products. Pasteurised milk has had all the essential enzymes killed off for a start.

        • That’s the case with my soon as well. He started to sleep 100% taken off pasteurised milk and put on raw fermented organic milk. I’m a scientist, too, and I love to debunk flaud studies. There are many such on milk, nutrition, autism, vaccines,… Autism cannot be healed only regarding this milk issue. Brains have to be detoxified and then nerves regrown and restored with the help of certain foods (not milk, but milk helps in all the processes, especially unprocessed butter). Prof. Keith, I’m not saying it’s all propaganda lie, I admire your work, I have your Diet Wise book and many other of your writtings, I agree it’s prudent to take a child off milk at first to see the effect, but then to informe onself about raw milk and its possiblities regarding healt. I’m LLL Leader and I see kids, alergic to milk, become non-alergic over night when there mothers start using raw fermented organic milk for their use or for the early solid introduction.

  9. When I was growing up on the family farm in the 50s and 60s we lived on raw milk. I can only speak for myself since I know everyone is different, and I believe there is no size that fits all. But I suffered a great deal from ear infections, strep, colds, allergies, and the list goes on. I even believed that it contributed in part to the IBS I contracted as a teenager. It wasn’t until later that we switched to pasteurized milk. I didn’t notice that the problems I had lessened. On top of it all, I was given plenty of antibiotics, (yes, even for colds!). It wasn’t until years later I learned about milk being a culprit to my health problems. I immediately went off of it and my over-all health improved greatly. Although I still had to work through issues of yeast overgrowth and other nasty side effects from all those antibiotics that took a toll on my health, I’m much better off for dumping the milk out of my diet.

    I can understand the dilemma one can face when their livelihood is at stake. It is only human nature to defend for survival purposes something they’ve depended on for years, even if a ton of good, solid research is thrown at them. Take for example, the tobacco farmers who for many years maintained an existence on what is now known to be a toxic, profit-making weed.

    By the way, the book my husband bought from you on How to Survive in a World Without Antibiotics is a gold mine! I can’t thank you enough for the research you put into that marvelous book! We’ve already stocked up on the protocols that were recommended. Also, the book Diet Wise has also been an excellent investment to our health. Again, many, many thanks!

  10. 95% of the autistic children improve when taken off “PASTEURIZED” Milk that has killed everything in it that would help you.You may as well drink distilled water.

  11. Wile doing my internship in internal medicine in Caracas I remember a case of a girl of 15 yrs of age that was given raw milk, directly from the udder of the cow to a cup for only 2 times, according to her parents. The girl was hospitalized to find out why she was not growing at all. On the studies, was found that she had brucellosis. Antibiotics were given and the girl started to gain height and weigth. The infectious disease specialist in that time said that the antibiotics would help but would not cure the disease completely .
    I agree that if you want to drink raw milk or by an emergency, you should at least boil the milk for quite some time. Better do no take any risks. Brucellosis and Tuberculosis are tough dideases even in times werw we have antibiotics.

  12. I post this as a link from the Weston Price foundation in the defense of raw milk, used for centuries as a healing medicine. It is only part of the article so please go to the link for the rest of the article.

    http://www.realmilk.com/documents/ResponsetoMarlerListofStudies.pdf
    Raw Milk: What the Scientific Literature Really Says
    A Response to Bill Marler, JD Prepared by the Weston A. Price Foundation

    Bill Marler’s blog post, “Raw Milk Cons: Review of the Peer-Reviewed Literature,” cites 102 references from scientific journals purporting to implicate raw milk in disease. Of these, 73 report a total of 70 outbreaks or isolated incidences of foodborne illness, eight report on the presence of pathogens in the milk of bulk holding tanks, and 21 are reviews, editorials, or letters to the editors of scientific journals. Marler provides very little commentary or analysis and thus leads the reader to conclude that this massive list of references must support the few remarks he has made on the supposed dangers of raw milk. In reality, very few of these papers provide convincing evidence that raw milk causes foodborne illness. In fact, a number of these citations are reports of outbreaks traced to pasteurized milk, reviews focusing on the dangers of pasteurized milk, or letters to the editor supporting the right of consumers to purchase raw milk.

    Aside from these exceptions, however, most of the cited literature does purport to implicate raw milk. A few of these are convincing. However, most of them represent a rush to judgment in which the investigators blamed raw milk without sufficient evidence or even in the face of contrary evidence. Some of them even provide evidence that certain pathogens such as Campylobacter jejuni can hardly survive in raw milk or that other pathogens, such as Coxiella burnettii, cannot cause disease by ingestion even when raw milk is contaminated with it. The fact that investigators often conclude in the face of this evidence that laws should be enacted to strengthen prohibitions against the consumption of raw milk betrays an unfortunate politicization of the raw milk literature. The occasional use of derogatory phrases, boasts of interference with the commercial success of raw milk farmers, and praise for the centralization and commercial exploits that the pasteurization movement has brought to the dairy industry constitute further evidence that the raw milk literature is often dominated by politics instead of science.

    Go to the link to the rest of the article.

    • No I am not Eliezer. People DIE of raw milk for Christ’s sake.
      Brucellosis and TB are NOT eliminated by feeding cows on nice sweet grass. That’s naive. Read all the comments. There are good people, like you, on this blog who wouldn’t touch the stuff.
      Drop the propaganda and emotional reaction and go read http://www.notmilk.com
      My whole point is that nobody should swallow ANY milk. The idea that leaving it raw protects from inflammation, food allergy, ADD/ADHD, Crohn’s, colitis, etc is just absolute nonsense. I’m talking from over 30 years of clinical experience, not with wishful thinking of the alternative field.

  13. Being critical is a right!!! Being honest is a moral obligation…Being in denial is a mental illness….Just a thought!!!

    • Love it! I don’t think we eat enough of it for it to be a health issue.
      It’s foods like milk and wheat that we eat by the ton/gallons that add up to harm.

  14. I agree with you that milk, in any form, is a crappy food and I haven’t touched the stuff in many years. However, I’m wondering what you think I should feed my 2-month old son. He’s allergic to my milk and I’m giving him infant formula for lack of other options, but if you have suggestions, I’d like to know what they are, because I’m not comfortable with giving him anything that’s dairy-based.

  15. I stopped drinking pasteurised milk and drastically reduced my gluten intake (mainly bread) over 3 years ago and found within no time that the acne on my back that had plagued me for years virtually disappeared overnight. My latest hair analysis showed my mineral ratios within the normal range. These ratios were way out of kilter 3 years ago. I found eating more magnesium rich foods helped my health tremendously.

  16. Hi, Prof Mumbi,
    With great respect to all of those that contributed to this post. As mentioned I am even more confused.
    I am not a doctor, scientist or medical proffesional.
    Just an ordinary guy trying to make sense of how I can live a healthy life. I do my own reaserch, and often look at real examples by that I mean looking at communities or groups and how they manage to overcome disease. In South Africa part of our country is industrialized but in some rural areas, communities are still living off the land without the use of chemicals and factory farms etc.
    You say that the Maasai are crawling around with syphillis.
    I agree with you, but then we must also take into account what brought about this tragic state.
    Land was forcibly taken from them. Livelyhoods was destroyed and vast numbers are know living on western diets and in extreme poverty. These factors greatly contribute to disease and lifespan.
    I was refering to the Maasai Nomads, that lived hundreds of years ago. Maasai that lived from the land, before industrialization, land grabs, vaccines and factory farming methods.
    In South Africa we also have the Xhosa, Zulu and San tribes that were catlle farmers, outbreaks were unheard of. Until The displacement of huge quantities of people that resulted in economies and food production systems being wrecked, and even till today a diagonal line can be drawn across Africa from the Atlantic Ocean on Angola’s southern border to Sudan’s border on the Red Sea. Not even taking into account wars elsewhere on the continent or natural disasters such as drought and floods.

    I have steered clear from all forms of milk, until I have my own cows that eat and live from the land, house and milked in 100% clean facilities.

    My 2 cents worth, If a cows milk can do so much harm then should we not look at why the milk of these animals are so full of pathogens? Could it be farming methods, the food they are fed, the vaccines, the environment and unhygienic conditions they live in, The facilities and methods of milking and storage of the products, food additives etc. Mad cow disease etc.
    Dr Bill Deagle once said he would close down every single hospital in the USA because they are riddled with virus and disease.
    Now imagine what he would do with the milk industry and present day cattle farmers .
    Is this not case of shooting down the cow to hide our own ignorance.
    Here in my country South Africa on the Cape Flats and townships, where unemployment is extremely high, where people have no land, living on pennies a day, living in subeconomic housing, we have the highest rate of TB in the world.
    These people can least afford milk and very seldom if ever consume milk, 70% of daily diets consist of bread and maize meal, this I have seen with my own eyes.

    Then we have women in rural areas that runs orphanages. Because of lack of funding they decided to cultivate the land bring in livestock that also feed from the land. Feed these orphans, organic veggies, raw milk and poultry and in turn reversed many if not all forms of disease from these orphans. Yes and they do drink raw milk with cereals for breakfast.

    What about goat and camels milk consumed by the Taureg tribe and many other nomadic peoples on the African continent.
    Lastly colostrum, cows, goat and camel?
    Any views scientific literature welcome.

    I come in Peace
    I leave in Peace.

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