Doctors on raw milk — YMMV

That’s right, your mileage may vary. Meaning that contrary to some people’s belief, not all doctors are agreed when it comes to the dangers and or benefits of raw milk. Although most North American doctors, to be sure, toe the party line.

Two doctors, two opinions. Left: Dr. Daniel H. Gervich, MD (click image for source) Right: Dr. Lindy Woodard of Pediatric Alternatives (via The Complete Patient blog)

I’ve heard from some raw milk drinkers that their doctor has refused to have them as a patient if they were going to insist on continuing with raw milk for their family.

Such a choice seems to be viewed by your typical doctor as something of a medical heresy, which can also be said for parents exercising their option of not vaccinating their children with the standard regimen of an ever increasing number of injections.

The following excerpt from a letter from a midwest American doctor is perhaps typical of the how the medical establishment views raw milk:

“… The risk of serious food-borne illness from unpasteurized milk is 150 times greater than from pasteurized products. The risk of illness requiring hospitalization for dehydrating dysentery, hemorrhagic colitis, renal failure, ascending paralysis, Listeria meningitis, septic shock and death is substantial, and the risks are far higher in infants, children and pregnant women than in others.

There is no medical evidence of a favorable risk-benefit ratio of unpasteurized milk over the vitamin-enriched pasteurized products. Feeding unpasteurized milk to infants constitutes child endangerment.”

— Daniel H. Gervich, M.D., board certified infectious diseases and critical care medicine, Des Moines

Pretty strong stuff. No wonder so many people, at least those who take the advice of medical authority figures such as this man, tend to view raw milk with a jaundiced eye. You can read the whole letter on the Des Moines Register.

On the other hand, there ARE doctors who take a more open minded view towards the use of raw milk by their patients. Such a practice was recently featured by David E. Gumpert on his “The Complete Patient” blog, which is a wonderful resource for raw milk news and views. Here’s a bit of what he said there:

“A suburban San Francisco pediatric practice says there is ever-more evidence connecting an outbreak of campylobacter among nine of its young patients to Claravale Farm, a producer of raw milk.

What’s been the pediatric practice’s response? Well, it emailed an alert to all the 700 or so families on its patient list a week ago, and gave them a calm heads up. Calm, because this four-physician practice, Pediatric Alternatives, is unusual among pediatricians in that it actually recommends that parents feed their families raw milk.

“We know that many of you give your children raw milk at our recommendation,” the alert began. “Unfortunately, we have several children in the practice who have recently come down with a gastro-intestinal infection we suspect is associated with raw milk from the Claravale Dairy. So, as a precautionary measure, we are asking you not to give your children Claravale milk until this issue is resolved…”

Read the whole story on The Complete Patient blog.

I guess the awakening point for some people who achieve health improvement through raw milk in spite of what their doctor tells them, is the realization that if their doctor was wrong about raw milk, what else might they be wrong about? Lucky people who have more enlightened doctors. It would be interesting to know how those raw milk doctors view other controversial issues such as vaccination and the use of allopathic drugs.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Doctors on raw milk — YMMV

  1. Pingback: Milk Cure 2012: Day 13

  2. Pingback: RAW MILK | Amanda – SA Mother to One

  3. Pingback: raw milk and defining government relationships « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

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