I also had the chance, sitting here at the Seattle Airport on my way to a status conference in the E. coli outbreak from the summer of 2006 involving a Wendy’s restaurant in Utah, to read again the full report on the Organic Pastures raw milk outbreak from the fall of 2006. It is an interesting read. I wonder if any of the proponents of raw milk and/or the California State politicians have even read it. Here is the Link. The Summary is illuminating:
Six children had E. coli O157:H7 infections and/or HUS. The five available E. coli O157:H7 isolates had identical and unique PFGE patterns supporting a common source of exposure. Five patients consumed raw dairy products from one dairy, and one patient could have consumed raw milk from the same dairy. The environmental investigation at the dairy identified E. coli O157:H7 from three cows but the PFGE patterns of these isolates did not match that of the children. Despite not finding the outbreak strain at this dairy, the source of infection for these children was likely raw milk products produced by the dairy.
I certainly understand in the court of “raw milk public opinion,” blaming raw milk for poisoning children is considered heresy – something like burning a copy of “Fast Food Nation” or the “Omnivore’s Dilemma.” However, the bottom line in a court of law is that raw milk, organic spinach, a Big Mac or a jar of Peter Pan are all treated equally.