“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control have long claimed that between 1998 and 2008, there were two deaths from raw milk.
This number is often used in media reporting about raw milk.
But those illnesses actually appear to have come from a form of cheese that isn’t legal under current FDA regulations, called queso fresco.
In December, Mark McAfee, the owner of Organic Pasture Dairy, challenged claims on the Centers for Disease Control web site stating that raw milk is dangerous.
The agency actually agreed to make some slight changes to its language on the site, but did not change a reported death from Salmonella Typhimurium in California.
But the state was not reporting that death.
He did not receive a response from the CDC until he threatened to file a Freedom of Information Act request. At that time, he discovered the death was from that same form of cheese mentioned above, queso fresco.
“Why is this important? Because statistics have become important weapons in the war over food rights. When the CDC says there have been two deaths from raw milk between 1998 and 2008, that statistic carries a powerful message: you can die from drinking raw milk…
If it turns out that the two people it says died from drinking raw milk didn’t, in fact, die from drinking raw milk, then the CDC has lost an important weapon in the government’s campaign of fear around raw milk. If no one died in that 11-year period, suddenly, raw milk isn’t quite the danger it has been made to appear. “
What the CDC is telling you about the dangers of raw milk is completely upside down from the truth. The truth is that the risk of foodborne illness from many other foods (such as pasteurized milk, mass-produced meat and poultry, and bagged greens) is much greater than from raw milk, provided the raw milk comes from a dairy that adheres to proper standards. The CDC and the FDA both continue to misuse, manipulate and suppress data in order to frighten the public.
Secrets, Lies, and Raw Propaganda
The CDC’s bias against raw milk is not new. A 2007 press release by A Campaign for Real Milk (part of the Weston A. Price Foundation) shines a light on the CDC’s concealment of the truth. The article came on the heels of a cautionary reminder to the public by the FDA and CDC that raw milk is “dangerous.”
The article states:
“The joint FDA /CDC reminder claims that between 1998 and 2005, raw milk was implicated in 45 outbreaks, 1007 cases, 104 hospitalizations and 2 deaths. Yet the reference cited, CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for the week of March 2, 2007 (MMWR for 03-02-07), provides no such information; nor is any such information found in any other FDA or CDC document. Numerous requests to the FDA for clarification have not been answered.”
So, not only were the two deaths NOT due to drinking raw milk, but according to Sally Fallon (president of the Weston A. Price Foundation), the FDA and CDC have never provided a single reference to support the claim of widespread illness from raw milk during that seven-year period. Fallon stated:
“Reports of individuals becoming ill after drinking raw milk do exist, although none were cited in the recent CDC and FDA Reminder. But even these reports do not usually provide proof that raw milk caused illness. When someone who drinks raw milk becomes ill, these agencies immediately report an ‘association’ with raw milk, ignoring other vectors of disease and subsequent tests showing the milk to be clean. FDA and CDC definitely have a double standard when it comes to raw milk.”
Pasteurized milk is responsible for far more illnesses and deaths. For example, according to RealMilk.com, the United States’ largest recorded outbreak of Salmonella resulted from pasteurized milk, but alarmingly, the CDC never issued a specific Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for this outbreak.
The incident, occurring between June 1984 and April 1985, resulted in 200,000 illnesses and 18 deaths. This and other outbreaks of illness resulting from the consumption of pasteurized milk somehow evade the public’s eye, escaping warnings from both the CDC and FDA. In fact, they have never issued a warning against commercially pasteurized milk! So, it isn’t terribly surprising that Mark McAfee was given the cold shoulder by CDC. This is just one more example of the CDC’s ongoing bias against raw dairy products.”…”