Here’s an excerpt from the report in Health X-Pert.org:
“Despite mounting evidence of the health risks in unpasteurized milk, raw milk advocates continue to tout its alleged benefits, dismissing warnings about bacterial contaminants that can sicken or even kill adults and children, as I write in the Informed Patient column today.
The situation bedevils public-health officials and food-safety experts. “We know raw milk is hazardous, but we don’t know what it is that drives people to consume it anyway,” says Jeffrey LeJeune, a microbiologist and researcher at the Food Animal Health Research Program at Ohio State University.
Dr. LeJeune is conducting a study with funding from the USDA to learn more about how consumers make judgments about milk safety. “There are tacit webs of belief that drive behavior, and everyone acts in what they believe to be a rational way,” Dr. LeJeune says.
“We need to learn more about where they seek information, and how they decide to reject or accept it.” One problem, he says, is that physicians often have gaps in their knowledge and therefore don’t warn patients about the risks. Farmers who sell raw milk also may not be aware of the scientific data about risks.
And for consumers who decide to research the issue online, typing “raw milk” into Google returns mostly links to sites run by raw milk advocates. Such sites attempt to debunk scientific evidence presented by the CDC and the FDA, offering up reams of data allegedly showing the benefits of raw milk.
Some raw milk advocates also claim that pasteurization is harmful and destroys milk’s vitamins and minerals (false, according to Dr. LeJeune, the CDC and FDA) and that raw milk contains natural enzymes that kill bacteria on their own (also false, according to the experts)….”
Some pertinent background from an essay titled “The Information Arms Race” by Douglas Rushkoff*
“After World War II, Air Force Brigadier General Edward G. Lansdale emerged as the preeminent “counterinsurgency” strategist for the CIA. Over a period of three decades, he developed a wide range of intelligence and propaganda theories that were employed and refined in the field. His principle strategy was to first engage in qualitative anthropological research to discover a target audience’s underlying belief systems, and then exploit these beliefs mercilessly in pursuit of military gains.
For example, in the 1950s as part of his counterinsurgency campaign against the Huk rebels of the Philipines, Lansdale began by conducting research into local superstitions. He learned that the Huk battleground was believed to be inhabited by an “asuang” or vampire figure. To capitalize on this mythology, his psywar units would follow Huk patrols and then quietly ambush the last man on the trail. They would kill the soldier by means of two punctures on the neck, drain him of his blood, and then leave him to be found the next morning. On encountering the victim, the Huks in the area would retreat for fear of further vampire attacks….”
Rushkoff goes on to compare this strategy with that used by “target marketers” against consumers today.
*from the book: “You are being lied to — the Disinformation guide to media distortion, historical whitewashes and cultural myths”