We have recently learned of individuals in Northern California who have become seriously ill after consuming raw cow’s milk tainted with the bacteria campylobacter. At least one person remains hospitalized after consuming the milk and developing Guillain-Barré (ghee-yan bah-ray) syndrome (GBS). GBS is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system includes the cranial nerves (except the optic [eye] nerve), the spinal nerves, and the autonomic nervous system that governs involuntary actions. This woman remains hospitalized on a ventilator.
Campylobacter jejuni (pronounced “camp-e-low-back-ter j-june-eye") is a bacterium that was first recognized as a cause of human gastrointestinal illness in 1975. Since that time, the bacterium has been identified as the most common cause of bacterial foodborne illness in the U.S., ahead of Salmonella – the second most common cause.
Got “Raw” Milk?
OK, before the raw milk folks get out their pitchforks – again – I want you to know that I have also been retained by the family of one of the people who died after drinking Listeria-tainted "pasteurized milk" (contaminated post-pasteurization during the bottling) in Massachusetts late last year. See, it is not that I am against raw milk per se, I am just against poisoning people for money – raw or not so.
I learned today that the dairy under investigation is the Alexandre EcoDairy. The raw milk appears to have been sold under a "cow share" arrangement. Rumor has it that raw milk sales have been stopped. The local paper confirmed the outbreak and that the illegal raw milk sales have been halted – "Illness halts raw milk program" Also, according to www.localharvest.org:
Alexandre EcoDairy Farms is a family grass-based organic dairy on the northern California Coast, producing organic milk in Crescent City, Smith River and Ferndale. Blake & Stephanie Alexandre have a farm store where our local community has access our own meat from grass-fed steers, eggs from pastured poultry, raw milk, and many other hard to find nutrient dense foods.
For some additional profiles on the dairy: