Is raw milk as dangerous as say, prescription pharmaceuticals?

The latest, from David E. Gumpert at The Complete Patient blog:

“….I’m not especially enamored of the public employees in Wisconsin. Remember, they include bureaucrats with the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, who have been going after dairy farmers with a vengeance during the last couple of years. I wouldn’t mind seeing their budgets cut so far back that many of them would have to find real jobs. But I dislike even more the scapegoating that is driving the Wisconsin budgetary situation.

It’s a situation not unlike what we face with the regulation of raw dairy. We see the regulators jump on any indication of illness, while sanctioning huge numbers of illnesses and deaths from prescription drugs and all kinds of lifestyle problems.

That’s been a frequent theme in comments on this blog, and now at long last, the discrepancies are being pointed out to the federal judge in Iowa hearing the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund’s case against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and its Food and Drug Administration.

According to Gary Cox, the lawyer for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, the judge in the case last September ordered that “the parties were to file status reports each month.  Our strategy was to file with the court reports that contained evidence of how irrational 1240.61 [ban on interstate shipment of raw milk] is.”

The two most recent reports pick up on arguments made frequently by raw milk advocates here that raw milk, comparatively speaking, isn’t much of a public health problem.

The report for January included announcements from pharmaceutical companies about side effects for nine different commonly prescribed drugs; for example, that Ambien and Ambien CR “may cause a special type of memory loss…dependence…withdrawal….hallucinations, worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts.” Symbicort, a drug for people with bronchitis and emphysema, “may increase the chance of death from asthma problems.”

Concluded the FTCLDF filing: “These are all drugs that are approved by the FDA. It is irrational for the FDA to ban the interstate shipment or distribution of raw milk that does not have any of these symptoms or side effects yet allow these drugs to be sold in interstate commerce given the dangers they present.”
The report for February cites 2005 data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which report deaths from various public health problems. For example…4,649 deaths from obesity, 684 from sleep disorders, and 4,596 from motor vehicle deaths, among many others….”

Read it all on The Complete Patient blog.

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