raw milk.jpgThe Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WIAAP) issued a press release today to “again voice[s] its opposition to pending legislation that would legalize the sale of unpasteurized (“raw”) milk.”

WIAAP states that “Raw milk is known to expose consumers to food-borne illnesses caused by bacteria capable of causing numerous illnesses and even death, and miscarriage in pregnant women.”

The bills, AB 1531/2 and SB 306/2,  would legalize the sale of ‘raw milk’ in Wisconsin.  As would be expected, WIAAP’s concerns focus on childrens’ health: 

“Simply put, this legislation would endanger kids,” worries Jeff Lamont, MD, FAAP, President of the WIAAP. “Pasteurization is viewed worldwide as a significant public health breakthrough. As pediatricians we care for and protect children who cannot choose their own diets.” He added, “The financial benefit to a small group of people is not worth the risk and higher health care costs to taxpayers.”

In recent years, raw milk has been traced to outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and Campylobacter.

There is abundant factual support for WIAAP’s stance:

Jim Conway, MD, FAAP, chair of the WIAAP Infectious Disease and Immunization committee, said “Pasteurization has prevented countless cases of infection in children and individuals with compromised immune systems, as well as the general public. There are no scientific reasons to oppose pasteurization, but there are significant risks associated with the practice of drinking raw milk.” He added, “States that permit the sale of raw milk run nearly three times the risk of having raw milk-related outbreaks.” The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported 1,600 illnesses, 202 hospitalizations and two deaths between 1993 and 2006 linked with unpasteurized dairy products. In 2010 alone there were 16 documented disease outbreaks caused by raw milk products in 11 states that do permit these products. “Most importantly,” said Conway, “There is no scientific evidence of any health benefits to raw milk, while there are countless publications in peer-reviewed journals clearly proving the benefits of pasteurization.”

Most of the time we post about raw milk here, or at Marler Blog, we hear about the conspiracy to stamp out raw milk from “Big Agriculture.”   Are we to believe that these pediatricians are in on it too?