Health Canada Vs Unpasteurized Milk
The following news releases are a transparent attempt by the vested interests to discredit the small gains that are underway regarding unadulterated milk.
Can it just be a coincident that in less than 2 weeks after a strong presentation made to Health Canada (April 4, 2005 - see meeting summary below) that thoroughly debunked their stance and at the same time, provided strong evidence on health advantages of raw milk that these unsubstantiated and biassed news releases suddenly should appear?
It is enlightening to see some data on raw vs pasteurized incidences of illness:
RAW MILK: Incidence of food-borne illness from raw milk 1.9 cases per 100,000 people, 1973-1992. (American Journal Public Health Aug 1998, Vol 88., No 8)
PASTEURIZED MILK: Based on CDC website, incidence of food-borne illness from all foods including pasteurized milk 4.7 cases per 100,000 people, 1993-1997. (US Census Bureau 1997 population estimate 267,783,607)
OTHER FOODS: Based on CDC website of reported food-borne illness from other foods 6.4 cases per 100,000 people, per year from 1993-1997.
THEREFORE, the incidence of food-borne illness from consuming raw milk is 2.5 times lower than the incidence of food-borne illness from consuming pasteurized milk; and 3.5 times lower than the incidence of food-borne illness from consuming other foods.
On a case-by-case basis, persons consuming milk from ANY source (raw or pasteurized) are:
30 times more likely to become ill from fruits and vegetables
13 times more likely to become ill from beef
11 times more likely to become ill from chicken
10 times more likely to become ill from potato salad
2.7 times more likely to become ill from non-dairy beverages
Given, from the above, that "Of All Foods, Milk has the Lowest Incidence of Reported Food-Borne Illnesses (0.2%)" ; and that the actual milk in question was never tested for bacteria as the source still was only alleged - the jump to the conclusion that the milk was the source for these illnesses by the so called experts is nothing short of hearsay masquerading as "expert science".
Instead of doing some research on the issue Dr. Sarah Wilson, of University of Guelph, has the audacity to parrot the party line and then added insult to injury by stating, on April 15, 2005, CBC Ontario Today radio interview that except for Vitamin C pasteurizing essentially does not damage milk...
From the above, pasteurization not only destroys vitamin C but also the B complex, D (a questionable version of synthetic D is often added), the minerals Zinc, Iron, Copper, enzymes and whey proteins.
This struggle is about our health and not pseudo science to protect the status quo. It should be imperative to for all to study and follow up on the excellent presentation:
Health, Safety, Economic and Legal Issues
We continually hear from the so called experts particularly HC that their decisions are based on science and risk reward ratios. This example demonstrates it is anything but science and risk is higher than reward - clearly what they aspire and what they do is totally opposite! Typically these publicly paid experts behave as though they are representing the industry instead of the their constituents. A clear demonstration how vested interests and status quo is maintained though self serving regulatory bloat and inbred lack of accountabilities. The only recourse left it seems is via the courts unless they too are bought!
It is truly a disgrace that, lay unpaid health conscious, citizens can research and find information central to their health while the so called experts who we pay handsomely to protect our health (Health Canada, Ontario's chief medical officer of health and a Food Safety Network) seem to be so inept in looking after their constituents with the very services they where hired to provide...
Feb 23, 2005 Letter from Paul Mayers,
pasteurization kills the organisms that cause disease
Pasteurization does NOT kill all the organisms that cause disease.
Fails to define acceptable risk nor apply it to both raw and pasteurized milk.
Listeria monocytogenes may contaminate between 1 and 10% of the raw milk supply
These figures apply to regular bulk tank milk destined for pasteurization; they do not apply to Grade A certified milk for raw milk consumption.
It can result in still birth or miscarriage if pregnant women become infected.
Pregnant women are much more likely to become infected from other foods than from raw milk.
Paragraph 3 lists outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with raw milk.
Most occurred in farms where there are many sources of infection. In a recent incident at a petting zoo in Florida, 15 school children became infected with virulent E coli (but not drinking raw milk).
Most incidents were guilt by association, without proven links.
On Vancouver Island, five children from different families were diagnosed with an infection of E.coli O157:h7 after drinking raw goats milk (http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/02vol28/dr2801eb.html)
BIAS: This report provides an excellent example of bias. The title, Escherichia Coli O157 Outbreak Associated with the Ingestion of Unpasteurized Goats Milk in British Columbia, 2001 does not reflect the possible sources of infection presented in the report.
SAMPLES: One milk sample found presumptively positive after enrichment with a testing substance; No E.coli found in samples before enrichment; no E.coli found in second bottle.
OTHER SOURCES: First child infected had also visited a petting farm (a common source of infection); all children lived on a cooperative farm (where contact with animals was the likely source of infection.)
In the USA, where certified raw milk is allowed within certain States, foodborne outbreaks happen regularly.
There has been NO proven cases of foodborne illness from certified raw milk in the US, but many cases of foodborne illness from pasteurized milk.
For example, in 2002, an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium was caused by the consumption of raw milk purchased at a dairy producing certified milk in Ohio.
According to the CDC report : The source for contamination was not determined; however, the findings suggest that contamination of milk might have occurred during the milking, bottling or capping process.
There were many possible of vectors of illness on the dairy besides raw milk.
The dairy, which had been in business for decades without incident, caved in to health department pressure.
While some milk protein may be mildly denatured by pasteurization, denaturation does not affect the nutritional quality of the protein and in fact tends to make it more digestible.
Pasteurization completely inactivates these proteins, many of which are needed for protection against pathogens and for mineral metabolism.
No proof exists whatsoever that pasteurized milk is more digestible.
losses [of vitamins] not considered significant in the context of the Canadian diet.
These losses can be very significant for children with digestive problems or whose families cannot afford a diet high in meat and seafood.
there is no evidence that raw milk is better than pasteurized milk
We have presented abundant evidence that raw milk is better than pasteurized milk.
The attitude of health officials does not take into consideration those individuals who cannot tolerate pasteurized milk but do well on raw milk.
Health Canada Meeting of April 4, 2005
Attendees for Health Canada:
Attendees for Natural Milk Coalition of Canada
Sally Fallon (president, Weston Price Foundation)
Marcus Koenig (organic farmer, Weston Price local chapter leader)
John Sorchen (consumer who home pasteurizes raw milk)
James McLaren (president, Natural Milk Coalition of Canada)
Location Building 7, Tunneys Pasture, Ottawa from 2:30p to 4:45p
Introductions were made by all in attendance.
Sally Fallon presented her PowerPoint presentation on a projected screen. She covered the following topics:
- Health benefits of raw versus pasteurized milk
- Safety of raw versus pasteurized milk and milk products
- Legal issues
- Trends in various US states and overseas
- Comments on Paul Mayers letter of Feb 23/05 to Dr. Gould
Marcus Koenig then described the ready availability of raw milk in Switzerland and Austria. He was a Swiss national before immigrating to Canada. He presented a picture of a consumer raw milk vending machine, which are in common use there and described its operation.
John Sorchen grew up in Austria where he pasteurized raw milk for family consumption. He firmly believes in pasteurization but wants to do it himself rather than commercially because the milk tastes much better. He finds it difficult to buy raw milk in Canada, unlike in his native Austria because of farmers fear of the present law. He presented a $30 double-walled aluminum pot that he uses for home pasteurization. It is designed specifically for home pasteurization and heats to the correct temperature without risk of boiling over.
James McLaren presented a 1-page summary of the major aspects of raw milk distribution that would need to be addressed for thorough regulation in a Canadian context. He then restated his earlier proposal for Health Canada to study a Canadian dairy farm that distributes 70.000 litres annually of raw milk and dairy products.
Mr. Mayers advised that if he knew of such an operation he would be obliged to notify the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for enforcement action. Mr. McLaren advised that this raw milk distribution was done legally under a cow sharing program. Mr. Mayers asked if the consumers under this program actually owned a cow or a share of a cow because Health Canadas interpretation was that the former was legal but not the latter. Mr. McLaren said he was not sure.
Health Canada inquired about the sources for the Canadian epidemiological data that was presented.
The prevalence and trends of consumer raw milk consumption was discussed.
At one point, Ms. Fallon inquired how Health Canada ensured the public safety of raw oysters. Mr. Mayers responded that it was through public education. Mr. McLaren inquired how effective that was and Mr. Mayers said that public education was an effective risk management tool.
Mr. Mayers assured that Health Canadas regulatory policies and procedures were based on science and that any changes would be so based.
Through discussion and inquiry, Health Canada indicated that the introduction of raw milk for consumer sale would have to follow their standard procedures for the introduction of a novel food into the marketplace. The framework for this application could be developed in one of two ways either wait for Health Canada to develop it, which might take some time given their priorities, or the Coalition could propose a framework for Health Canadas review and comment which would be an iterative process until satisfactory to both sides.
It was suggested that the framework could be developed first before any money was spent on the study itself. A primary concern for Health Canada was microbial hazards and tests would have to be submitted to prove safety. Health Canada made it clear that they would not base a decision on epidemiological data, but wanted analyses of raw milk for pathogens.
Mr. Mayers then left the meeting at 20 minutes beyond its original conclusion time.
Discussion continued around further details of the framework elements. The Coalition suggested comparative tests with pasteurized milk and soy and juice products, as well as challenge test with raw and pasteurized milk. Based on the discussions, Ms. Fallon also suggested that the direct sales model contained in the Pennsylvania regulations might serve as a favorable regulatory model. Health Canada felt that the inclusion of both of these suggestions in a proposed framework or study would not be viewed unfavorably.
Friday April 15, 2005
A number of people in the Barrie area have become ill after drinking unpasteurized milk. They were all infected with e-coli. One of them, a child, was hospitalized. Ontario's chief medical officer of health is warning people NOT to drink unpasteurized milk. Investigators are looking for the person who's allegedly selling it. Here to talk about the hazards of unpasteurized milk is Dr. Sarah Wilson. She's the information centre co-ordinator for the Food Safety Network at the University of Guelph. Listen to the Item
Friday, April 15, 2005 Page A11
Ontario's chief medical officer of health reiterated a warning yesterday about drinking unpasteurized milk after a fourth case of E. coli was detected, this time in a seven-year-old.
The child, from Toronto, has been treated in hospital and is recovering at home.
Officials are monitoring the child's sibling for possible infection.
Sheela Basrur issued a warning Monday after it was discovered that three people contracted E. coli after drinking unpasteurized milk.
All cases involved the consumption of milk distributed in Barrie.
Disease-causing bacteria associated with unpasteurized milk include E. coli O157, as well as salmonella and campylobacter.
Symptoms of E. coli O157 include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea.
E. coli 0157 is the same bacteria that caused the Walkerton water tragedy that left seven dead and 2,500 sick.
Drinking unpasteurized milk can result in mild illnesses, long-lasting serious diseases, and even death.
It is illegal to sell, deliver or distribute unpasteurized milk, also known as raw milk.
All milk sold in grocery stores is pasteurized. CP
posted by Chris Gupta on Monday April 18 2005
updated on Saturday September 24 2005
URL of this article:
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