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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

More Campylobacter Cases Reported from Point MacKenzie’s Raw Milk Cow Share

I was off to Wisconsin (I think it still is the dairy state) this morning for the IAFP conference when another raw milk issue landed in my inbox – I need to update my chart at www.realrawmilkfacts.com.

Alaska state health officials updated the June report of Campylobacter illnesses on what appears to be an ongoing Campylobacter outbreak connected to consumption of raw milk from Point MacKenzie’s cow share with seven confirmed cases and 11 more that are suspected, according to the new report.

Screen Shot 2011-07-30 at 7.21.20 AM.pngAccording to the state report and the news, the outbreak connected to unpasteurized milk began in May and has continued into July, the report said. The same rare strain of the Campylobacter pathogen was found in all seven cases confirmed in laboratory tests. And, it also was confirmed in manure samples from the Mat-Su farm.  The lab report, combined with the fact everyone who got sick drank raw milk from the same dairy, affirms the conclusion that this outbreak is due to consumption of Farm A (Point MacKenzie Dairy) raw dairy products, the state bulletin said.

Tests didn’t find the pathogen in milk from the farm’s bulk tanks.  That’s not surprising, said state epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin. Campylobacter jejuni “is notoriously difficult to culture from environmental specimens other than raw stool,” Thursday’s epidemiology report said.

Raw milk samples collected in May and June did test positive for a different pathogen, called listeria, which can cause life-threatening meningitis in children and people with compromised immune systems, the state report said.

  • Doc Mudd

    Not to be outdone by commercial offerings of good old wholesome pasteurized milk – 2%, chocolate, skim, strawberry, 1%, vanilla – the “raw milkies” also feature a catchy variety of raw milks: listeria, campylobacter, e. coli, salmonella, cryptosporidium…
    Raw milk: for when you don’t already have enough stupid, risky ideas.
    http://www.realrawmilkfacts.com/
    .
    .
    .
    Cue the denials, start spinning the woo…

  • J Joscely

    But don’t forget the long term effects of drinking “wholesome” pasteurized skim milk full of added processed sugars:: osteoporosis, cancer, losing your teeth, cataracts. But that’s OK because you cannot prove that these diseases of “old age” are actually due to mans’ artificial processing using chemicals. So a smart attorney can make a lot of money prosecuting cases for children allegedly sickened by some form of bacteria. This smart attorney also knows he cannot prove that diseases caused by over processing of natural foods are even worse, even though children now are being affected by cancers and rotting teeth at a young age. No money there. Such an attorney can come across as holier than thou, protecting young children against the evils of raw milk. Perpetuating the Nanny state. Where to people start taking responsibility for their own lives and the lives of their own children. We have truly lost our way.

  • We know that some states (or Commonwealths) aren’t real good at getting their outbreak information out. At least in WI we hear about some of the problems.

  • Doc Mudd

    Uhhh, Alaskan?

  • Minkpuppy

    Hey, J Jocely, Have you ever read a pastuerized milk label? After I read your comment, I went to my fridge and pulled out our gallon jug of 2% wholesome and safe “dead” milk and checked the ingredients. Just milk, vitamin A and vitamin D. No processed sugars. Since the law requires that all ingredients be listed I’m pretty sure the label was truthful.
    Only flavored milks add sugars and preservative and are labelled as such.I don’t buy those. Hershey’s syrup makes a damn fine glass of chocolate milk for much cheaper so I don’t see the need.
    Stop the lies that pastuerized milk is the cause of diabetes, cancer etc etc etc. It’s scientifically unsupportable as are all your claims that raw milk magically cures and prevents all ailments. Its also a lie that somehow raw milk contains magical properties that protect you from getting foodborne illnessess. The diarrhea you get when you start drinking raw milk is not your digestive tract “adjusting” to the microflora. IT’s foodborne illness for god’s sake!!

  • J Joscely, what would you like as proof that raw milk results in illness?
    We have cases where the organism was found in the child and the milk, organism was found in the child and the farm what specific evidence do you want? You can go to http://www.realrawmilkfacts.com for additional information
    As to issues with processed foods, what proof besides belief and websites making these claims to you have? How much of the disease is result of lack of access to adequate health care? How much is due to a medical system that doesn’t pay for and promote preventive measures like a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress reduction? How much there issues are related to the food deserts in this country where you can’t buy fresh fruits and vegetables?
    You make many accusations but you bring not proof, yet Mr. Marler has to bring proof to court to convince a judge and/ or jury of the correctness of his accusations. He has provided preponderance of evidence in these cases. He also brought cases against Con Agra and other large food producers when their activities have resulted in food borne illness. So where is your evidence of accusations? When they survive a day in court?
    Maybe you should
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1508307/pdf/amjph00020-0077.pdf
    The Epidemiology ofRaw Milk-Associated Foodborne Disease Outbreaks Reported in
    the United States, 1973 Through 1992.

  • jjoscely

    Dear Mink Puppy,
    I was referring to Doe Mudd’s comment: “Not to be outdone by commercial offerings of good old wholesome pasteurized milk – 2%, chocolate, skim, strawberry, 1%, vanilla”. In fact the milk offered in schools is pasteurized milk with sugar flavoring in it. Of course, it is obvious that regular pasteurized milk does not have sugar added to it. I am not denying that raw milk produces illness in children at times and very serious illness at that. But what I am stating is that pasteurized milk (and flavored pasteurized milk) also causes illness in children and adults. More often, the illness from pasteurized milk and processed foods in general and foods containing chemicals, produces what is called long term illnesses, like cancer, cataracts bad teeth, allergies, asthma, etc. But these long term illnesses are harder to link back to the denatured food. So because these long term illnesses are harder to prove the causes of, that’s why they are not successfully brought to court. Oh yes, and there is the most recent post on the pasteurized milk food borne illness case.
    It proves that any food, raw or processed is potentially dangerous in the short term. In my opinion, all industrial processed foods will lead to health problems in the long term.. I don’t know of a study which proves that, but I know I have reversed health conditions by changing my diet to traditional foods versus the SAD American diet.
    JJ

  • Doc Mudd

    “…cancer, cataracts bad teeth, allergies, asthma, etc….But these long term illnesses are harder to link back to the denatured food”
    I should say so, JJ. And that would be due to the fact there is no causation, no link. Hence the difficulty you are experiencing linking unrelated entities.
    “In my opinion, all industrial processed foods will lead to health problems in the long term.. I don’t know of a study which proves that…”
    At least, JJ, you’re admitting this is your opinion. This is America, where you are welcome to your own opinion, no matter how foolish or “denatured” it is…as long as you don’t hurt anybody with it.
    .
    Oh, and for the record, Minkpuppy is absolutely correct (usually is) that milk labeled “skim” does not contain added sugar. That’s the law of the land, policed & enforced. There are flavored milks, of course, and they are so labeled – once again, by the law of the land. Doesn’t require a degree in rocket science to know that, just the ability and willingness to read the label.

  • Minkpuppy

    JJ,

    If that’s what you were referring to then say so in the first place.

    I am confident that the most recent outbreak in pastuerized milk will be found to be due an equipment malfunction and is will be easily corrected. Other pastuerized milk outbreaks were caused by contamination AFTER adequate pastuerization. Outbreaks in pastuerized are always due to human error not the inherent nature of the milk. Raw milk always has the potential to carry pathogens where pastuerized milk does not.

    As far as the claim “…cancer, cataracts bad teeth, allergies, asthma, etc….But these long term illnesses are harder to link back to the denatured food” goes: Where do pesticides, herbicides, plain old age, poor dental hygeine, and poor air quality ad infinitum come in? Do you actually believe it’s processed food to blame for all the health problems in the country? Explain to me how it is that all these diseases existed BEFORE processed foods then because they did you know.

    These cases can’t be brought to court because there’s no scientific basis for it. A multitude of things factor into these diseases, not just diet. I live near a multitude of oil refineries and chemical plants. I don’t kid myself into thinking my constant watery eyes and stuffy nose is my diet. It’s the damn air that I breathe.

    A common mistake is to read a study that finds a “correlation” between a certain food and cancer for example, then immediately jump to the conclusion that correlation means cause. It doesn’t. It means that there appears to be some sort of link but what that is and if it is legitimate is still undetermined and needs further study. It’s just so dang convenient to ignore those statements in the literature.

    We have unbiased scientific study going on in this country. That’s what science is about. The problem is that the research gets twisted by lay people with an agenda or by media types that blow everything out of proportion by distorting the findings to make the story more dramatic. We need some honest media folks that will present the information as intended, not to entertain or frighten the masses.

  • Daniel

    This is a complex issue. Any food can become contaminated if not handled, stored, and transported in a proper manner. I personally have never had the opportunity to drink raw milk. If it came from a person I knew(local), it came from only one cow that has been tested for disease, and it was handled and stored without contamination I would try it. I have been drinking fat-free organic milk for years because I think it is the best option for the consumer in the regular grocery stores. Is there a risk in drinking raw milk? I would say yes. Is there a risk in consuming regular pasteurized milk where the milk from hundreds to thousands of cows is mixed together. Even with government testing and standards, I would say yes there is a risk. Risk is involved with any food we buy in a store.
    The bigger issue is, “should people be able to purchase and sell raw milk.” I say yes. What I put in my body should be none of the government’s business. Let people make informed decisions. Remember, the government regulates and allows the purchase of all types of foods and drugs that have great potential to do us harm. The government is also responsible for following policies that weaken the quality of our food supply and they also often allow chemicals, preservatives, and artificial colorings into our foods that are banned throughout Europe due to great concern.
    The answer to all these problems is consumer knowledge. Allow people to become informed and know what is in their foods and where they come from and we will all be better off in the long-run. Most of our problems in this country are caused by mis-information and a lack of an educated (not necessarily school education) population. In a world where we have such great access to information we still suffer from ignorance. In the meantime, allow people to decide what they put in their bodies but still encourage scientific research and debate.