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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation
  • Dog Doctor

    Thank you for the information, Mr. Marler. I am sure the raw milkers will jump on the one pasteurized outbreak and deny 12 raw dairy outbreaks. Even if you compared the investigations, I am sure the same methods were used and same epidemiologic tools but the raw milkers will again deny the 12 outbreaks. They will also ignore the fact that 95-97% of the milk consumed in the US was pasteurized while only 3-5% was consumed raw. http://www.ers.usda.gov/amberwaves/june03/datafeature/ “Trends in U.S. Per Capita Consumption of Dairy Products, 1909 to 2001“ In 2001 per captia consumption of fluid milk was 15 gallons of lower fat milk and 8 gallons of whole milk. Using US census data for 2001 285,102,075 which translated to 4.3 billion consumed as an estimate. Using 95% for pasteurized milk that results in about 4 billion gallons so that is 1 illness per 180 million gallons consumed. Using 5% for raw milk that results in about 214 million gallons of raw milk so that is 1 case per 1 million gallons consumed. Comparing the rates of cases per gallons that translate in rough risk of 121 times riskier to drink raw milk compared to pasteurized milk.
    We are can argue about the data and the analysis but the bottom line is that raw milk is significantly riskier to consume than pasteurized milk when it comes to potential of food borne illness. If you want to discuss issues please provide references you are using from a refereed journal not what is published by Westin A Price, or other non refereed sites

  • http://organicpastures.com mark mcafee

    Bill Marler,
    Nice scare tactics and warning to moms about raw milk. If it was fair information there would be some positive pitch to it…there is none.
    What I find most interesting is the complete lack of reference to substantiate the claims. Not one study or reference.
    Kids adapt to bacteria even pathogenic bacteria. Show me a “dairy farm family” with a sick kid from farm tank raw milk…it may occur but it is extremely rare. When a gut is young and healthy, a pathogen is not considered a pathogen….it is like any other bug. A childs immune system is adaptive and responds with an anti-body complex. When an immune system is weak becuase of damage or inexperience from lack of exposure to pathogens or biodiversity of bacteria then illness is more apt to occur. But it does seem to matter that Breast Milk is raw and can and does contain pathogens and their antibodies….that is how it was discovered that pathogens do not act the same in adaptive healthy babies GI tracts…
    Bill Marler, you have done a disservice to moms that can not breast feed. You have done a disservice to babies that can not drink pasteurized dairy products.
    I got an email from a mom years ago here in CA that told me that her child had a “head to toe” outbreak of hives after drinking raw milk whey. She said she had “cooked the whey” after making cheese and fed that cooked whey to her child. The child immediately had this bad reaction. I reviewed the email and then I reviewed and read it again….did she say that “she cooked the raw whey????”
    I called her and told her…that was “not raw whey you fed your child”. She said….oh…did I screw up. She did not realize that cooking the whey would change it some how.
    She tried feeding her child again using raw fresh whey…( not heated at all and kept cold ) the child had no problems and has been drinking OPDC for 6 years now. If the child ever drinks cooked or pasteurized milk or dairy products….guess what…epi stick and call #911.
    Raw proteins, enzymes, fats and bacteria are not the same as cooked proteins, fats, enzymes and bacteria. Bill, your suggestions about eating probiotic cooked stuff may be ok for some, but it is not ok for others.
    Moms will make the best decisions based on their experiences. When cooked dead stuff causes head to toe anaphylactic reactions and 911 has to be called…perhaps your ideas are not so great.
    Perhaps you should stick with what you are great at….scaring and screwing-over-insurance companies and leave nutrition and early human life GUT immunity to the experts and the raw milk community.
    Your advice stinks of sterile food processor protection and FDA mantra.
    Remember this Bill:
    There were 422,000 illnesses from pasteurized dairy and 17 deaths from 1973 to 2010.
    There were 1100 illnesses and zero deaths from raw milk from 1973 to 2010.
    If that matters….that means 29 illnesses from raw milk each year and more than 11,405 illneses each year from pasteurized milk and pasteurized milk is the top most allergenic food in America for kids. ( Cornell University and CDC Data )
    Your ethics committment as a lawyer is a bit bent right now. Please consider the math on this…raw milk is a food safety non-issue. Especially when done properly with a safety plan and standards. The more that you and the FDA say things like you say the easier it is to sell raw milk. Why…becuase your advice is hallow and does not ring true. It does not match the true to life experiences of the consumers.
    To them…your words are just more dead FDA-Food Inc-PMO-CAFO lies.
    Mark

  • Bill Anderson

    Fortunately, propoganda such as this is not going to turn the tide on the millions of people who are increasingly seeking out fresh unprocessed farm-direct milk. However, there are ways to ensure food safety in raw milk. And contrary to what this pamphlet suggests, there actually are ways to taste and smell contaminated milk.
    For example, gross E. Coli contamination (of the type that would lead to an enterohemorrhagic infection) is very readily apparent to taste and smell. All coliforms (of which E. Coli is a part) in milk produce CO2 gas bubbles, and a distinctive putrid smell which includes acetic acid/vinegar.
    Or take the example of pseudomonas, which is a bacteria that causes premature spoilage of the milk in the fridge, and aids in the survival of campylobacter. (Normally campy will expire within 24 hours… a good case for fermenting into yogurt/kefir, or aging your milk for a day).
    Pseudomonas produces bitter pepties and an aromatic compound called cadaverin (smells like a dead mouse). Generally pseudomonas in milk is a sign that the milk harvest and storage equipment is not being properly cleaned. Because it consumes oxygen, pseudomonas helps to keep campy alive for upto 2 days in milk (campy is very oxygen sensative). Thus it is very important to let your milk “breathe” — leave a little head space in the jar for air.
    Unlike pasteurized milk, raw milk is a complete biological system with bio-diverse living benficial lactic bacteria. If produced and handled with proper sanitation and attention to detail, it is very safe. But it is important for consumers to be savvy about the quality of their milk — don’t buy raw milk that tastes bad and spoils quickly, or that doesn’t ferment well into yogurt, kefir, cheese, and clabber.

  • Doc Mudd

    The usual ‘raw milkies’ emit the standard reeking smoke screen of nonsense and prevarication.
    But huff and puff and break wind as they may, the plural of anecdote is never going to be data.
    Ask Mary McGonigle-Martin how some kids “adapt to bacteria even pathogenic bacteria”, McAfee.
    Sad, sick witchdoctors, egregious quacks engaged in lucrative malpractice.
    Man, there oughta be a law.

  • L.L.

    Mark,
    I second dog doctor. Can you provide a valid reference to the statistics you cite? A search on just a few reports in the 1970-1980′s show multiple deaths from Salmonella during the time frame you cite and claim no deaths. Fortunately, restrictions on raw milk sales implemented in the mid-1980′s, combined with advances in medical treatment, have reduced the number of deaths from contaminated raw milk.
    1. Invasive Salmonella dublin Infections Associated With Drinking Raw Milk
    Joshua Fierer, MD
    West J Med. 1983 May; 138(5): 665–669
    Salmonella dublin is a serotype of Salmonella that is host-adapted to cattle and rarely infects people. In one year (1980-1981) we diagnosed five cases of salmonellosis due to S dublin at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, San Diego. Four patients had positive blood cultures and one died. A sixth patient, diagnosed in 1978, had a mycotic aortic aneurysm but survived. Compared with nine patients who had Salmonella infections due to other serotypes, the S dublin patients were older, had a greater number of underlying chronic illnesses and were more seriously ill with their infections. Four of the six S dublin cases occurred in association with drinking “certified” raw milk from a commercial dairy.
    Two microbiologic features of S dublin strains circulating in San Diego were distinctive. They failed to ferment arabinose and could not be grown in a minimal medium using citrate as the sole carbon source. Chronically ill elderly patients should be cautioned against drinking raw milk, an increasingly popular “health food.”
    2. Assessment of the excess risk of Salmonella dublin infection associated with the use of certified raw milk
    Richwald GA, Greenland S, Johnson BJ, Friedland JM, Goldstein EJ, Plichta DT.
    Division of Population and Family Health, UCLA School of Public Health
    Public Health Rep. 1988 Sep-Oct;103(5):489-93
    The risk of serious illness attributable to infection with Salmonella dublin associated with the consumption of certified raw milk in California was evaluated. Data were derived from case reports of S. dublin isolations from persons in the State of California during the period 1980-83 and from production figures for raw milk from the major supplier. It is estimated that more than one-third of reported S. dublin infections in California in the first 4 years of this decade were attributable to raw milk consumption. Among raw milk consumers, it is estimated that more than 95 percent of reported S. dublin infections were acquired from raw milk; this proportion corresponds to a rate of reported S. dublin infections acquired from raw milk in the range of 8 to 35 cases per 100,000 users per year. It appears that immunocompromised persons are at exceptionally high risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from S. dublin exposure, and therefore raw milk is a particular health hazard for such persons.
    3. Association between raw milk and human Salmonella dublin infection.
    Werner SB, Humphrey GL, Kamei I
    Br Med J. 1979 Jul 28;2(6184):238-41
    Between 1971 and 1975 the mean annual incidence of human Salmonella dublin infection in California increased more than five-fold. Investigation of the increase showed an association with exposure to raw milk in 44 out of 113 cases. Of these 44 patients, 35 had used certified raw milk from a single dairy. Faecal swabs confirmed S dublin infection in the dairy herd and the milk, and so a pasteurisation order was issued. S dublin appears to be an unusually invasive and life-threatening salmonella serotype: 65% of isolations were obtained from non-faecal specimens (mainly blood cultures), 89 patients (80%) were admitted to hospital and 22 patients died. Almost three-quarters of the patients were aged 20 or over, and half had serious underlying diseases, particularly leukaemias and lymphomas. Five patients presented with infected vascular lesions that included aneurysms with abscesses and infections of previous arterial graft sites. The public’s increasing desire for a “health food” such as raw milk should be tempered with an appreciation of its attendant risk to health.

  • http://www.marlerblog.com Bill Marler

    Can raw milk be produced safely – perhaps by some producers – but only those who deal with fact not fiction. But, like all things in business, there will be those that cut corners – because of money or simply being lazy – and consumers will be hurt. This brochure is simple and lays out risks so parents can be informed. The reality is the raw milk has sickened kids:
    http://www.realrawmilkfacts.com/real-life-stories/

  • http://organicpastures.com mark mcafee

    Bill,
    You are right, not all producers can or will produce safe raw milk. That is why tough effective raw milk standards are essential for production. That is why in CA there are 1715 dairies and 1.8 million cows and 2 legal raw milk dairies that serve the state under strict rules.
    As far as CDC data is concerned…the CDC has admitted to combining pasteurizer failures and raw cheese data into raw milk data. That is why a careful study had to be done to decipher and segregate the information into appropriate categories. Combined and commingled data is not very useful or accurate.
    Mark McAfee

  • Donna Byrne

    Bill, I remain solidly on the fence about mandatory pasteurization.
    But the one piece of information that doesn’t seem to get enough ink is that the shiga-toxin-producing bugs we have now are NEW. This is not the same world we grew up in. E coli O157:H7 was first identified in 1982, according to the CDC. That’s not even 30 years ago.
    To me, this means that any argument based on generations of raw milk drinking, on growing up on farms before the 80s, or on anything along those lines simply is not addressing the issue. The germs are MORE DANGEROUS now, and it only takes a few molecules — not enough to have spoiled the milk.
    What scares me is that I think this same danger may extend to ANY raw farm product.
    Donna Byrne
    Professor of Law
    William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN

  • Dog Doctor

    As usually Mr. McAfee, your information is less than factual perhaps you should at “Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement” at the end of each entry. As far literature , Mr. Marler has provided significant amounts both pro and con trying to be balance
    Pro Raw Milk
    Raw Milk Pros: Review of the Peer-Reviewed Literature
    http://www.marlerblog.com/lawyer-oped/raw-milk-pros-review-of-the-peer-reviewed-literature/
    Pro Food Safety and health
    CDC Weighs in on Raw Milk Debate
    http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-questions-and-answers.html
    Raw Milk, a potentially risky elixir
    http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/raw-milk-a-potentially-risky-elixir/
    Comparing the Food Safety Record of Pasteurized and Raw Milk Products – Part 2
    http://www.marlerblog.com/lawyer-oped/comparing-the-food-safety-record-of-pasteurized-and-raw-milk-products—part-2/
    Comparing the Food Safety Record of Pasteurized and Raw Milk Products – Part 3
    http://www.marlerblog.com/lawyer-oped/comparing-the-food-safety-record-of-pasteurized-and-raw-milk-products—part-3/
    Comparing the Food Safety Record of Pasteurized and Raw Milk Products – Part 4
    http://www.marlerblog.com/lawyer-oped/comparing-the-food-safety-record-of-pasteurized-and-raw-milk-products—part-4/
    The Raw Milk Beat Goes On: A Look at the Literature and the 60-Day Raw Milk Cheese Aging Rule – UPDATE
    http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/the-raw-milk-beat-goes-on-a-look-at-the-literature-and-the-60-day-raw-milk-cheese-aging-rule—updat/
    Raw Milk Cons: Review of the Peer-Reviewed Literature
    http://www.marlerblog.com/lawyer-oped/raw-milk-cons-review-of-the-peer-reviewed-literature/
    So Mr. McAfee to this statement “Nice scare tactics and warning to moms about raw milk. If it was fair information there would be some positive pitch to it…there is none. “adding “Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement” would be appropriate.
    I am going to work on several of your statement that fit into the “not intended to be a factual statement”

  • Dog Doctor

    Mr. McAfee, Google has a new feature called Google scholar where you can search scientific literature to find articles like the following:
    A Point-Source Outbreak of Campylobacteriosis Associated with Consumption of Raw Milk
    http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/152/3/592.abstract
    Escherichia coli O157:H7 diarrhea associated with well water and infected cattle on an Ontario farm
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/3864256
    Foodborne Pathogens in Milk and the Dairy Farm Environment: Food Safety and Public Health Implications
    http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/fpd.2005.2.115
    Vero Cytotoxigenic Escherichia coli Infection in Dairy Farm Families
    http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/174/5/1021.short
    A Survey of Foodborne Pathogens in Bulk Tank Milk and Raw Milk Consumption among Farm Families in Pennsylvania
    http://www.journalofdairyscience.org/article/S0022-0302(06)72318-9/abstract
    A COMMON-SOURCE OUTBREAK OF CRIMEAN-CONGO HAEMORRHAGIC FEVER ON A DIARY FARM,
    http://archive.samj.org.za/1985%20VOL%20LXVIII%20Jul-Dec/Articles/04%20October/2.5%20A%20COMMON-SOURCE%20OUTBREAK%20OF%20CRIMEAN-CONGO%20HAEMORRHAGIC%20FEVER%20ON%20A%20DIARY%20FARM,%20R.Swanepoel,%20A..pdf?bcsi_scan_1CFAD6D3D20A37D6=0&bcsi_scan_filename=2.5%20A%20COMMON-SOURCE%20OUTBREAK%20OF%20CRIMEAN-CONGO%20HAEMORRHAGIC%20FEVER%20ON%20A%20DIARY%20FARM,%20R.Swanepoel,%20A..pdf
    A milk-borne outbreak due to Salmonella Dublin
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2130119/pdf/jhyg00046-0102.pdf
    Use of Phenotyping and Genotyping to Verify Transmission of Escherichia coli O157:H7 from Dairy Farms
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/1653ejf9nyrfj6wp/
    Long-lasting Campylobacter jejuni contamination of milk associated with gastrointestinal illness in a farming family
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2870394/
    after a page reference, Mr. McAfee we can see that your statement
    “Kids adapt to bacteria even pathogenic bacteria. Show me a “dairy farm family” with a sick kid from farm tank raw milk…it may occur but it is extremely rare. When a gut is young and healthy, a pathogen is not considered a pathogen….it is like any other bug. A childs immune system is adaptive and responds with an anti-body complex. When an immune system is weak becuase of damage or inexperience from lack of exposure to pathogens or biodiversity of bacteria then illness is more apt to occur. But it does seem to matter that Breast Milk is raw and can and does contain pathogens and their antibodies….that is how it was discovered that pathogens do not act the same in adaptive healthy babies GI tracts…” is also “Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement”
    Early exposure may act like a vaccine and decrease severity but from the articles above, it doesn’t prevent illness

  • Dog Doctor

    Mr. McAfee writes “Your ethics commitment as a lawyer is a bit bent right now. Please consider the math on this…raw milk is a food safety non-issue. Especially when done properly with a safety plan and standards. The more that you and the FDA say things like you say the easier it is to sell raw milk. Why…because your advice is hallow and does not ring true. It does not match the true to life experiences of the consumers. “
    As to this comment Mr. McAfee, it should have kept your entire statement from being published since this was an unfounded attack on Mr. Marler, I have notice that Mr. Gumfruit doesn’t allow personal attacks against himself on his blog although he allows and makes them on others.
    If you talk to industry folks like Con Agra, Jack in the Box, etc., Mr. Marler’s efforts on protecting consumers has done more to get them to improve their food safety efforts than either FDA or USDA so again very much so your statement is “Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement”
    Also how much have you donated to health departments, schools, or research instuites like Mr. Marler has to improve food safety? Mr. Marler hasn’t sold milk from someone else, etc. So look in the mirror before you talk about someone’s ethics being bent.

  • http://www.marlerclark.com/wmarler.htm Bill Marler

    I am not bothered by the personal attacks (that much). I am comfortable that I know why I do what I do. I sleep well at night knowing that I am trying to give consumers good information and holding producers of poisoned products accountable.

  • Dog Doctor

    Bill as hard working and as generous with your time as you are. I am sure you don’t have any problems sleeping. It just bothers me when people attack good folks for doing good things when they are not like McAfee or the Koch’s

  • Bill Anderson

    How you link McAfee and the Koch’s is beyond me, DD. Mark’s dad was a socialist. The Koch’s dad was a founder of the John Birch Society.
    Get your head on straight DD!! Stop eating all those dead sterile chemically laced foods, and start eating real farm-fresh food. Maybe you will be able to avoid obvious errors like trying to equate Mark McAfee with the Koch Bros. Big difference there!!!!

  • Bill Anderson

    Seriously DD? Comparing Mark McAfee to the Koch brothers? What low levels must you stoop to? Or perhaps I should ask — what chemicals, synthetic hormones, and GMO’s are in your dead sterile “FDA approved” phood that makes you draw ridiculous hair-brained comparisons like that?
    McAfee’s father was a socialist who helped out the Black Panthers. The Koch’s dad was a founding members of the John Birch Society. BIg difference there!!! Stop smoking all those Monsanto drugs!!

  • L. L.

    Mark said: “Remember this Bill: There were 422,000 illnesses from pasteurized dairy and 17 deaths from 1973 to 2010. There were 1100 illnesses and zero deaths from raw milk from 1973 to 2010.”

    From Mark’s earlier post, I’d still like to see documentation regarding these statistics. Careful examination of data on dairy-related illnesses does not support these numbers for pasteurized and raw milk illnesses/deaths.

    Parents should be given the opportunity to review factual data, not numbers fabricated by raw milk advocates and their lawyers for “Mark-eting” purposes.

  • Dog Doctor

    Mr. Anderson, I never said Mr. Mcafee was or wasn’t a socialist but I would point out that Mr. McAfee and Koch both want to eliminate Federal regulations and the Federal Government. Both feel companies should be able to do what they want and sell what they want. So I feel it is a valid comparison.
    Both attack federal regulation with groundless and baseles information and claim the world would be a better place if we adopted their view points.
    It has nothing to do with diet but observing and reading comments made by both people.

  • Sharon

    I would just like to know who did the taste test for e-coli? Really? As a food inspector, not a message I want anyone at the local markets to use to promote raw milk. “Just taste it?” If it was only that easy, we would not have e-coli outbreaks.

  • Dog Doctor

    Mr. Anderson, I noticed you jump on me about “like McAfee or the Koch’s” which did make a specific link between the two but you didn’t say anything about Mr. McAfee incorrect statements like” Nice scare tactics and warning to moms about raw milk. If it was fair information there would be some positive pitch to it…there is none.” Which I clearly demonstrated in my previous comment was wrong.
    In the discussion between Mr. McAfee and Koch’s views, here is comparison
    Mr. McAfee (taken from his blog’s and comments)
    “Keep on talking like that and you will find yourself leading a revolution…one we all need badly. I got your back…keep on teaching and preaching!!”
    Sound anti government to me.
    “It is time to start a public outcry. Who wants to go sit in the FDA offices in DC and pour raw milk on ourselves and decry these bastards for what they are.”
    “What the FDA is doing is an intentional act of intentional poisoning of Americans by denial of access to food that does not cause severe allergies or severe GI upset. This is a sustained commercial bioterrorism attack by our own tax paid for FDA.”
    “I am not for heavy government regulation at all. In fact I think that it is a fairly burdensome process and can be expensive. I like what RMAC has done privately yet professionally.”
    “Its a war. Period…nothing else. And wars are fought scorched earth, no holds barred. We will fight to win, or we don’t have a chance. Forget playing nice.”
    “The Vietcong didn’t win by taking on the French and American empires head-on. They fought an asymetrical war, because they knew their own terrain far better than their conquerers. It is the same reason that George Washington was able to defeat one of the most powerful empires in the world.
    Koch’s reported views.
    The anti-government fervor infusing the 2010 elections represents a political triumph for the Kochs.
    The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation.
    So Mr. Anderson, I would say that Mark and Koch would like to see an end to the federal government, the end of FDA, and the end of regulation of their industries.

  • L.L.

    Bill Anderson said: “For example, gross E. Coli contamination (of the type that would lead to an enterohemorrhagic infection) is very readily apparent to taste and smell.”
    Do you have any factual evidence to support this statement? Suppose it was ethical to conduct an experiment where a toxic strain of E. coli (for example, the 2006 spinach outbreak strain) and a non-toxic strain of E. coli were inoculated into 2 separate baby bottles of raw milk. Do you really believe that a mom could taste and smell the difference and choose the “safer” bottle to feed her infant?

  • Doc Mudd

    Let’s do that taste test for pathogens!
    I’ll create a bunch of blind samples and Bill A. can drink them and tell us how much feces and e. coli I put in each of them and predict their relative toxicities.
    Excuse me – I gotta go create the first sample. Be back in a few.

  • Mary McGonigle-Martin

    Bill (Anderson) and Mark,
    There isn’t one thing written in this safety guide that isn’t true. Any person making the choice to consume raw milk, especially if they are going to give it to their children, should be intimately aware of the risks when making this choice. Let’s reexamine the headings on this brochure. Anyone promoting or selling raw milk should not be afraid to discuss of these points. If you are, something is terribly wrong.
    1. What is raw milk?
    2. Is raw milk safe for babies?
    3. What illnesses can occur if raw milk is contaminated with a pathogen?
    4. How does raw milk become contaminated?
    5. Alternatives to raw milk.
    Bill A., it is irresponsible to make this statement, “For example, gross E. Coli contamination (of the type that would lead to an enterohemorrhagic infection) is very readily apparent to taste and smell.” How would you know? Have you consumed off tasting/smelling raw milk and personally experienced an enterohemorrhagic infection? This is BS talk and there is no place for it. If it is so easy to recognize raw milk contaminated with pathogenic E.coli, then why did all the people in Colorado consume it and get sick? Why didn’t the farmer notice something was wrong with his milk? Why didn’t the cowshare owners notice something was wrong if it is so readily apparent in taste and smell? They didn’t notice because it is NOT readily apparent in taste and smell.
    You throw out this big word “enterohemorrhagic infection”. Do you even have the slightest understanding what it means? Let me give you the simple English interpretation: you shit your brains out for 5 to seven days. The pain is so excruciating (the feeling that glass is cutting you) that you will vomit with each bowel movement, which occurs every 15 minutes to half an hour. The diarrhea is unrelenting and is accompanied with an endless stream of tears. You will learn how to sleep in a bedside commode, because there is no use to even try to lie in bed. And when you no longer have the energy to sit on the bedside commode, you will be put in diapers or just lay there and defecate on a blue bed pad, with blood and mucus oozing out your rectum. At some point you may even experience rectal prolapse, where you rectum comes out of your anus from over use. The lucky only experience this; the unlucky ones move on to HUS.
    By the way, it doesn’t take gross contamination to make someone ill. Illness can result in as few as 10-50 E.coli 0157:H7 cells. 250,000 cells can fit on the head of a pin. If you are going to be talking about E.coli contamination and enterohemorrhagic infection, you better get the facts correct. Here is an educational video explaining how an enterohemorrhagic infection begins http://www.ecoliblog.com/e-coli-information/video—how-e-coli-attacks-the-human-colon/

  • http://www.marlerblog.com Bill Marler

    Mark, you really want to question my ethics? This is simple factual brochure that helps parents make an informed decision. I certainly do not benefit from people not drinking raw milk. In case you forgot, you have a bit of history that I hope you do not forget:
    http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/organic-pastures—where-there-is-smoke-there-is-fire/
    http://www.marlerblog.com/lawyer-oped/organic-pastures-dairy-e-coli-o157h7-raw-milk-product-outbreak-2006/
    As for Bill A – really? You can smell pathogens in milk? The US Government and many business will pay you for that skill. Give me a break.

  • Bill Anderson

    Ok folks, simple lesson in milk microbiology here:
    The bacterial makeup of milk has a very real and direct affect upon the the way that the milk taste and smells, especially in a fermented product. You forget. I am a cheese maker. This is what cheese makers do. If I use L. diacetylactis culture instead of S. thermopholis when making cheese, my cheese is going to taste differently. All bacteria have metabolic pathways and byproducts which produce different compounds, many of them which have consequences for the taste and smell of a dairy product.
    Coliform (generic coliform, which are a sign of contamination, oftentimes of fecal origin) consume lactose and produce acetic acid and CO2 gas. Coliform also consume the butterfat and produce a very specific putrid flavor. It is not a very pleasant taste, and is readily apparent to a trained judge if present in more than trace amounts.
    Again this is what coliform do in milk. It is not specific to E. Coli O157:H7. ALL coliform do this.
    Yes. The bacterial makeup of milk has a very direct and real impact on its taste and smell. This is especially true in a fermented product.

  • http://www.marlerclark.com/wmarler.htm Bill Marler

    Bill, I have no doubt that you can smell E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Salmonella, etc., in fresh raw milk as an expert cheese maker, but what about the rest of the “millions’ that you claim drink raw milk who do not have your finely tuned nose?
    Are you really saying that the people who became ill from drinking raw milk should have smelled the pathogen?

  • Bill Anderson

    Note that I did not say that you could identify E. Coli O157H7 specifically. I said you could identify coliform contamination, which could potentially include pathogenic strains such as O157H7. The same with Campy — it is not the campy that you can smell/taste, it is the pseudomonas which helps keep campy alive that produces very obvious changes in smell/taste.
    The changes which take place because of these contaminations are very very obvious. I agree that they are not perfect indicators, but an educated consumer can tell when something is wrong with a certain source of raw milk. We ought to encourage this kind of savviness in the consumers.
    Also, I do not know of any organolpetic indicator of salmonella. Most salmonella outbreaks associated with raw dairy, that I am familair with, date back to Alta Dena in the 1980s and before. They were a very conventional industrial dairy farming model, so this is not a surprise to me. When cows lack good fresh green grass in their diet, their milk is much more likely to carry pathogens, no matter how well you clean and sanitize the teats.
    This is why it is very important for raw dairy to be produced using natural organic types of dairy farming — cows need green grass and sunshine. If you keep them locked up in a barn, it doesn’t matter how clean you keep the barn, there is just no way you can produce safe raw milk. Only organic and pasture-based methods of dairy farming can consistantly produce safe raw milk. Of course, there is more to raw milk safety than just this, but it is an important starting point.

  • http://www.marlerclark.com/wmarler.htm Bill Marler

    Re the Grass vs. Grain issue – I wish grass fed, sunny, happy cows did not produce E. coli, Campylobacter, etc in their shit – but they do.
    http://www.marlerblog.com/lawyer-oped/grass-fed-vs-grain-fed-beef-and-the-holy-grail-a-literature-review/

  • Doc Mudd

    Does anyone out there know, is there a heat-denatured natural enzyme in raw milk that, when ingested makes some people loopy? One that makes them hallucinate and think…no, believe, really believe superpowers and magic exist. And, if so, is this fragile enzyme odorless and tasteless?
    You know, it’s kinda like breathing in too much paint fumes or airplane glue when working in an unventilated area. These ‘raw milkies’ barricade themselves into their exclusive little echo chambers where they exchange and embellish dumb ideas, permeating their atmosphere with raw stupidity improperly ventilated by common sense, fact and reason. Then they occasionally step out into the fresh air to regale the rest of us with their hallucinatory vision…oh, and to introduce legislation, sometimes.
    It would be endlessly amusing if it were harmless. The ridiculous notion that milk drinkers can sense the presence of pathogenic bacteria and avoid them, well, that silly idea is tasteless but not odorless.

  • Bill Anderson

    Really Bill?
    Distillers’ Grain In Cattle Feed May Contribute To E. Coli Infection
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080122102428.htm
    Besides, my point was about Salmonella, not E. Coli and Campy. And like I said… natural pasture-based systems are merely a starting point for raw milk safety. They are by no means the entirety of a raw milk safety program.

  • http://www.marlerclark.com/wmarler.htm Bill Marler

    I assume you did not read my link? Of course not, why fill your brain with facts.

  • Minkpuppy

    Bill A.:

    You really expect the average run of the mill consumer to be able to detect something is off with their raw milk? You have more faith than I do. I can’t even get my dingy Surfdude to not eat stuff that smells off to me so I don’t expect your average city dwelling raw milkie to listen to that advice.

    And really, Only one article linking distiller’s grains to increased E. coli O157:H7? I’ve got several links to studies that show that there is no definitive link between distiller’s grains and E. coli O157:H7. Apparently, you didn’t bother to look past the first link on the google search results.

    Feeding Distillers Grains and E. coli O157:H7- http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1515&context=animalscinbcr&sei-redir=1#search=“distillers+grains+in+cattle+feed,+e.+coli”

    Conclusion clearly states “Results of E. coli O157:H7 research in general and specifically with DG feeding are inconsistent. To date, no
    consistent effect of DG feeding on E. coli O157:H7 shedding has been shown…At this point, there is contradictory evidence that feeding DG, at least at levels being used commercially, increases E. coli O157:H7 shedding. Additionally, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that the feeding of DG is the cause of the 2007 recalls.”

    Update On Distillers Grains – E. coli Link Not Established http://www.foodliabilitylaw.com/2008/06/articles/distillers-grains/update-on-distillers-grains-e-coli-link-not-established/

    Evaluation of feeding dried distiller’s grains with solubles and dry-rolled corn on the fecal prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella spp. in cattle. Jacob ME, Fox JT, Drouillard JS, Renter DG, Nagaraja TG. Jacob et al. were not able to duplicate their previous research results regarding distiller’s grains in this research project. “Lack of an association between E. coli O157:H7 prevalence and feeding DG or DRC is contrary to previous observations. Further research is needed to understand inconsistencies between studies of E. coli O157:H7 prevalence and potential associations with DG and grain-processing methods.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19245338

    If I had the time, I could probably find a ton more. However, I do have a job to do and lunch break is about over.

    One study is not conclusive, especially when the researcher cannot even duplicate his own results. That’s one of the big rules of scientific research. You and other researchers have to be able to duplicate the results repeatedly in subsequent studies. This has not been done in regards to distiller’s grains and their effect on E. coli O157:H7.

  • Bill Anderson

    Yes, I did read your link, Bill. I have read it numerous times in the past. This doesn’t negate the importance of sun shine and green grass for healthy cows and healthy people. And I don’t need a scientist to tell me this.
    Your obsfucating on this issue reminds me of a study:
    Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials
    Conclusions: As with many interventions intended to prevent ill health, the effectiveness of parachutes has not been subjected to rigorous evaluation by using randomised controlled trials. Advocates of evidence based medicine have criticised the adoption of interventions evaluated by using only observational data. We think that everyone might benefit if the most radical protagonists of evidence based medicine organised and participated in a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, crossover trial of the parachute.
    http://www.bmj.com/content/327/7429/1459.abstract

  • Dog Doctor

    Mr. Anderson, I have cited numerous articles about wildlife with Salmonella, E. coli, and Campyfactorbacter being the source of outbreaks. Wildlife by definition lives in “an organic environment” and articles from developing countries where the farms are small and organic. You still cling to this myth that organic pastures can somehow magically protect people and animals from pathogenic bacteria.
    You seem to believe that bacteria can judge people and decide to whom they infect or where they will colonize.
    I hate to break it to you that bacteria will grow any where they find nutrients, appropriate atmosphere, and temperature. If these conditions are not ideal, you may not be able to detect them but they are still, see the article about salmonella in unpasteurized orange juice. Prior to this outbreak it was believe that orange juice was too acidic for Salmonella to survive. See “Outbreak of Salmonella Serotype Hartford Infections Associated with Unpasteurized Orange Juice” JAMA, November 4, 1998—Vol 280, No. 17 page 1504 -1509.
    Also, you think that if we point out that organic pastures are not magical that we somehow are supporting CAFO, and other practices that damage the environment or big corporations which isn’t true. In my career as a federal regulatory, I have been asked to leave facilities when I pointed out violations of regulations and have never own or been allowed to own stocks in large agro businesses so you can stop the crap about being in the pocket of big ag or dairy. Frankly my concern and drive is to protect public health to the best of ability whether it is from raw milk or corporations taking short cuts for a variety of reasons. My personal politics are probably closest to those stated by Thom Hartmann (http://www.thomhartmann.com/ (progressive)) and in some ways we agree on some issues politically on what you post on David’s blog. But, you seem to confuse belief, political, and science; believing something is true doesn’t make it scientifically valid which is why I provide references for your education.
    I wish the world was as simple as you see it that for safe food all we have to do is return to organic farming and everyone will have safe and nutritious food. Unfortunately the real world isn’t that simple. I wish it was.
    To have fresh produce in the winter, it has to be imported which means “organic” is enforced by the local government and most the people that harvest that food and work in the facility will work a year to earn in dollars what you make in day or a week and don’t complain about it. Which doesn’t make it right but it is the way it is.
    These people are doing the best they can with the tools and resources they have but sometimes fall short, so illnesses will happen. Yes, it would be great if we could buy local all year long but unless you have a green house or live in California, Texas, or Florida, it will not happen if you want fresh produce, so we have to have a global view of food safety which means our regulations have to have that outlook as well.
    Below are list of additional articles that cite wildlife or non CAFO dairy herds with pathogenic organisms.
    Outbreaks linked to deer
    An Outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Infection from Unpasteurized Commercial Apple Juice; Annals of Internal Medicine 2 February 1999 • Volume 130 pg 202 -209
    Environmental finding in other countries
    UK
    Frequency and Spatial Distribution of Environmental Campylobacter spp. APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, Nov. 2004, p. 6501–6511 Vol. 70, No. 11 “bird feces, there was evidence of significant variation in the prevalence of C. jejuni-positive cattle feces between grazing fields but no evidence of spatial clustering beyond this resolution.”
    Netherlands
    Molecular Epidemiology of Coxiella burnetii from Ruminants in Q Fever Outbreak, the Netherlands Emerging Infectious Diseases • http://www.cdc.gov/eid • Vol. 17, No. 4, April 2011 668-675
    Republic of Georgia
    Risk Factors for Diphtheria: A Prospective Case-Control Study in the Republic of Georgia, 1995–1996. The Journal of Infectious Diseases 2000; 181(Suppl 1):S121–9
    Globally
    http://www.eldis.org/vfile/upload/1/document/0708/DOC23314.pdf
    http://www.fao.org/es/esa
    The Economics of Food Safety in Developing Countries
    Page 11 “follow-up survey of 175 foods from slaughterhouses, supermarkets and farmers’ homes detected E. coli 0157 in six percent of unpasteurized milk, six percent of fresh retail beef, four percent of boneless chicken, and four percent of lamb meat samples.”

  • Dr. Dairy

    Seriously, you may know your cheese, but there is no way you could ever smell 10 cells of E.coli O157:H7… it can take less than that to cause an infection.

  • Mary McGonigle-Martin

    Bill Anderson,
    The raw milk movement targets children as their consumers. There is no other food source that is being systematically advertised as a cure for asthma, allergies, autism, ADD, and digestive disorders. Parents of sick children are vulnerable. Who wouldn’t want to believe that there could be an end to their child’s suffering.
    The raw milk movement’s rhetoric gives people a false sense of safety. It is immoral to tell people that raw milk can’t harbor pathogens if a cow eats grass, or if the milk is tested, or that raw milk itself has properties that kill pathogens. People believe this information, buy raw milk for their families and then both children and adults are becoming ill. All of the videos that are posted on the Real Raw Milk Facts website have similar stories. We all believed the rhetoric and all, but my son, became ill the very first time they drank raw milk? Talk about a shocker! You think you are making a choice to improve your health and you almost kill yourself or your children. Bill, you will never be able to comprehend the suffering my child and the others have endured. For what? Because we believed raw milk would be good for us.
    Who is morally responsible for their illnesses? Is it the leaders in the raw milk movement for BS they spread on the WAPF website and books? Is it anyone in the raw milk movement that advocates it use? How would you feel Bill if you convinced someone to feed their children raw milk and they became severely ill?
    This movement preys on desperate farmers and naïve people looking for healthier food choices. Both are victims when there is a raw milk outbreak. Again, who is morally responsible for this type of tragedy?

  • Dog Doctor

    Mr. Anderson, you can’t be serious. You can’t be that uninformed. I take you have never heard of crash test dummies which is what they use to test parachutes, seat belts, helmets, etc.

  • Doc Mudd

    Hmmm…
    Parachute is to skydiving as pasteurization is to:
    A) Safe dairy products for children
    B) Safe dairy products for the elderly and immune compromised
    C) Cutting the cheese
    D) A and B
    E) none of the above
    Correct response is D.

  • Theresa Kentner

    If we leave our email address, could we sign up when new comments are added? This is an interesting discussion (after taking out the petty, personal slams, of course)
    I am also firmly on the fence here. The personal attacks displayed undermine each one of your arguments, IMO.

  • http://www.marlerclark.com/wmarler.htm Bill Marler

    I agree – I will talk with my tech folks.

  • L.L.

    Mary said: “Who is morally responsible for their illnesses? Is it the leaders in the raw milk movement for BS they spread on the WAPF website and books?”
    Mark McAfee never did come back on this blog and answer the question about where he obtained his dubious statistics on outbreaks/illnesses and raw milk drinkers. A little digging suggests the numbers came from this group:
    http://www.farmtoconsumerfoundation.org/rawmilksymposium/
    They claim “millions” of people are drinking raw milk. At the same time, they say there are “two milks:” CAFO and grass fed. It appears that they removed raw milk related illnesses/outbreaks from the numerator if linked to farm workers drinking raw milk from CAFOs, but kept the population-based denominator from CDC FoodNet that includes immigrant and Hispanic populations drinking from the bulk tank at CAFOs. Double standard?
    Bottom line, they have only one physician who supports the raw milk nonsense. It’s a fact, not a grand conspiracy, that virtually every other scientist and medical professional across the world agrees that raw milk should not be fed to children or infants due to the risk of pathogen exposure. The reason that there is a consensus worldwide that raw milk is too dangerous to give to children is because the data supports this conclusion.
    If the raw milk movement was truly onto something interesting with regard to raw milk health benefits, there would be more than one physician (a retired pathologist) supporting it. Morally, it could be asked whether these advocates defending unsanitary conditions at farms like Dee Creek and Hartmann where children were put in the hospital should be held responsible.

  • Dog Doctor

    Ms. Kenter has interesting idea. Can I suggest a slight modification? If possible develop a repository and discussion threads on various farm to fork issues.
    I can find it but there was article out of canada that demonstrated the valuable asset a dairy could have was a good manager. It compared management to rBST and other practices. It would be great if there was repository for such articles.
    But back to my suggestions.
    One section would be farm practices
    Another section on milking practices – machine vs hand and include milk standards somatic cell counts, bacterial counts, etc
    Another section on dairy processing – cheeses, yogurt
    Another section on nutrient studies/ health claims
    Another section on food borne outbreaks and epidemioogic investigations
    Another section on local, state, national, and international regulations
    Just a thought since any one of these areas could generate a master thesis of information. I am sure others would have other niches to suggest as well.
    The excellent idea of just information would work for each section except regulations. Rule would be to provide a summary or an abstract and post the article. Follow up discussion counter articles and validity of the study. For example some of the cat studies were done before the discovery that cats have a requirement for taurine (amino acid) so on a milk diet they do not thrive because of this deficiency.
    Just a suggestion