The Portland Oregonian reported that raw milk from cows at Foundation Farm in Wilsonville has sickened at least 11 people (two children with acute kidney failure or HUS) with E. coli O157:H7 in Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah counties, Oregon health officials said Friday. The farm has sold raw milk to 48 families through a herd-sharing program in which families buy part of a herd or a cow.
As I said to Lynn Terry:
Bill Marler, a Seattle attorney specializing in food poisoning cases, has represented 25 people sickened by raw milk since 2005. A year later, he was hired by the family of two boys 9 (sic children) — 6 and 9 — who fell ill after drinking organic raw milk from a farm in Fresno, Calif. He said their families have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on medical bills.
“They had acute kidney failure and are at risk of having kidney transplants when they’re in their teens,” he said.
Another one of his cases, a woman who drank raw milk from a farm in northern California, is paralyzed, he said.
“There is anecdotal evidence that (raw milk) tastes better and cures allergies but on balance when you have kids who suffer kidney failure or a woman who’s a quadripalegic, to me it doesn’t seem that any possible benefits outweigh the risks,” he said.
I also spoke to Northwest Cable News:
Attorney William D. Marler, who has worked as a food safety lawyer, said most E. coli outbreaks have been reported in products from large restaurant and grocery chains over the past 20 years. The only ones he’s seen from small, local farms came from raw milk.
The bacteria is found in fecal material from cows.
“There’s so much (information) out there where people are told ‘It’s healthier for you — everything from exema to erectile disfunction.’ There’s some confusion with the risks (of raw milk) and you know, it’s serious.”
State of Oregon laws allow goat or sheep milk from only disease-free herds. Herds with more than nine goats or sheep or more than two cows must be from a “Grade A” licensed and inspected dairy, according to Marler’s site:
“People have become so incredibly disgusted by mass-produced food, from that they go to organic, then farmers’ markets. I think people are trying to be healthful, safer and they lose a little bit of perspective,” he said. “The risks sort of get ignored.”
“Local producers of food, on average, are doing a hell of a lot better job creating a safe product – but I’m not sure you’re ever going to be able to get around the raw milk issue,” Marler said.
The above picture says it all.