“My dear friend, David Gumpert (“The Pope of Raw Milk”), suggested that I may have jumped the gun on linking Twin Rivers Farm raw milk to the Brucella illness. Mixed into his typical lawyer bashing and incorrect suggestions about why I do what I do, I certainly can concede his point that the Brucella illness might well be linked to other farm-related practices. So, despite the health department’s suggestion to discard the milk due to the risk, I have added “Possibly” to the headline. I hope that satisfies the “Holy See.”
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a consumer alert on Friday after learning that a local farm’s raw milk could be contaminated with Brucella. Brucellosis, also called Bang’s disease, Crimean fever, Gibraltar fever, Malta fever, Maltese fever, Mediterranean fever, rock fever, or undulant fever, is a highly contagious zoonosis caused by ingestion of unpasteurized milk or meat from infected animals or close contact with their secretions….”
“”Did Massachusetts Man Contract Brucella Infection from Raw Milk?” asks Fred Pritzker’s Food Poisoning Law Blog. It reports that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued an alert Friday that a man who drank raw milk from Twin Rivers Farm in Western Massachusetts received a preliminary diagnosis of brucellosis. “The patient purchased raw milk from a Twin Rivers Farm in late December.”
(From the Veterinary Public Health AssociationIt turns out the situation isn’t as clear-cut as the law firms might like to believe. Here are a few facts that weren’t in any of their accounts:
* The person who became ill was the dairy’s owner, Robert Kilmer, not just someone who happened to have “contact with the farm” or who “purchased raw milk…”
* The dairy in question, Twin Rivers Farm, is primarily a conventional dairy, which sells the vast majority of its milk from about 120 milking cows to processors for pasteurization and other processing.
* The dairy sells a small amount of milk unpasteurized to local residents of the area–maybe 20 gallons a week–and none of them have reported symptoms of illness. “A few local people wanted me to sell raw milk,” Kilmer told me. So he obtained a state permit about three years ago.
* The dairy has for many years vaccinated its calves against brucella.
* The dairy has long maintained a closed herd to guard against the introduction of disease….”