The Low Risk of Raw Milk

The unfortunate truth is that, no matter what we eat, all food has some inherent risk.  The question is of course, comparative risk.  At a conservative estimate, there are at least 10 million raw milk drinkers in the United States (no similar survey was done for Canada), based on a 2006 consumer survey (this estimate does not even take into consideration any increase over the last 7 years, and we all know that consumer demand has vastly increased).  But for these 10 million raw milk drinkers, we do not see thousands or millions of them dying each year. In fact, there have been two raw milk related deaths since 1997, and at least one of these two was actually linked to illegal raw queso fresco cheese.

In its report “Outbreak Alert!  2008. Closing the Gaps in our Federal Food Safety Net, The Center for Science in the Public Interest (2008) published this chart (page 21), showing that when adjusted for consumption, dairy, including the consumption of fluid raw milk, had a lower risk than even produce.

CSPI-Appendix-C-Relative-Rates-of-IllnessRaw milk consumers across Canada ask our federal and provincial governments to acknowledge the truth, that fresh, whole, unpasteurized milk can be safely produced and consumed.  It is time to update our laws so that raw milk is legally and readily available to all interested consumers across Canada.

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