by Nadine Ijaz
It is healthy that we are seeing some vigorous conversation about raw milk safety this week. In an earlier post, I responded to some inaccurate depictions of my work on this front. The discussion continues across social media, with the twitterverse circulating a position paper to reproduce some of the raw milk science myths which I debunked in my recent presentation to the BC Centre for Disease Control here in Canada. That position paper gives some historical context for pasteurization, cites some accurate evidence, and describes one family’s story of raw milk induced illness; it also makes some important errors. While one is entitled to express an opinion online, it is important to differentiate what is scientific evidence.
Of course it is terribly unfortunate that a beautiful young child would and did become severely ill from consuming unpasteurized milk contaminated with E. coli 0157 as the paper’s author reports; and I feel certain that raw milk producers and consumers would agree that it is regrettable. One would certainly wish Ms. McGonigle-Martin, her son Chris, and their entire family well; and wish to do the utmost to prevent any such future occurrence. These stories are absolutely worth telling, to honour the family’s experience. Continue reading