Dangers of Raw Milk

The consumption of raw milk over the last few years has increased due to the feeling that it has many benefits from good bacteria over pasteurized milk and milk products.  Pasteurization while not changing the milk does kill bad  bacteria like Tuberculosis,  Brucellosis and Listeria which will make people sick.

Stay safe and feel free to share.

Dr. Mundschenk



Texas raw milk Brucella contamination hits 7 states

By Coral Beach

Food Safety News

September 15, 2017



Although it is against federal law to sell unpasteurized milk across state lines, the CDC and state health departments are investigating illnesses in at least seven states in relation to Brucella bacteria found in raw milk from a Texas dairy.

 One woman in Texas has been in the hospital for weeks with a lab-confirmed case of brucellosis. A sample from her matches antibiotic-resistant Brucella bacteria found in raw milk from K-Bar dairy in Paradise, TX, according to Texas officials and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 “It’s very important for people who drank raw milk from this dairy to seek treatment to prevent infection with Brucella RB51,” said Dr. William Bower who is leading the CDC’s brucellosis investigation group.

 “Even if people don’t have any symptoms now, they can develop a chronic infection that can impact their health for years to come.”

 Full text: http://tinyurl.com/yath4gfk



Raw Milk

Recently I was asked to speak about raw milk at the US Public Health Services Commission Officers Symposium being held in Glendale this year. So I thought I’d share some of that discussion.

An Abridged History of Humans and Milking Cows

  • Aurochs (forerunners to modern cattle) – domesticated 8,000 to 10,000 years ago in Fertile Crescent
  • 3000 BCE – Egyptian stone carving of person milking cow with calf nearby
  • 1796 CE – In England, Jenner notices milk maids with cow pox are immune to small pox; begins inoculating people
  • 1860s – In France, Pasteur demonstrates basis for germ theory; subsequently develops pasteurization to eliminate germs from medium
  • Late 19th Century US – unhygienic production facilities serve as a medium to spread diseases like typhoid and tuberculosis in cities; public health crisis led to skyrocketing infant mortality
  • 1889 Henry Coit, MD began campaign for Medical Milk Commission to oversee or certify production of milk for cleanliness (son died 1891 from contaminated milk)
  • Commission formed in 1893
  • 1895 commercial pasteurizing machines for milk were introduced
  • “Bad Milk Causes Typhoid,” Sep. 19, 1913 edition of The New York Times – large typhoid epidemic in New York City attributed to contaminated milk
  • 1917 Mandatory Pasteurization begins in many places
  • 1999 Dr. John Leedom, M.D, physician representative – board of directors at California’s Alta Dena Dairy’s certified raw milk operation; discontinued raw milk production and distribution in 1999
  • Today raw milk regulation varies from one extreme to the other across the 50 states; some ban it totally while others allow the sale

Here are Dr. Leedom’s words that I find very clarifying.

“Raw milk and raw milk products should be avoided, unless the consumer believes that the improved taste of the product warrants the risk. Warning labels should appear on all raw milk and raw milk products that clearly spell out the possible dangers, so the consumer can make an informed choice: caveat emptor.”

There are many other aspects that I want to share on this topic. But that will have to suffice for the moment because I am out of time. So next time: raw milk part 2; until then enjoy the ride.

Feral Swine

I received a question recently that I thought I’d share.

Subject: Feral pigs/hogs

Does the Arizona Department of Agriculture have anything to do with feral pigs/hogs? Such as management control or hunting of such animals? Thank you.

Feral swine are specifically excluded from the definition of livestock by state statute. They also do not fall under the jurisdiction of AZ Game and Fish Department. As such there is no regulated hunting season. So by default they are “free game” – provided you are operating within any other pertinent matters of law (e.g. discharging firearms within certain areas, etc.)

Now for some elaboration on subject and the problems feral swine present.

Nature’s own rototillers can do some serious landscaping (as my mother’s yard and garden often bore witness to). Feral swine can be very destructive – a special concern for those folks charged with maintaining areas of riparian habitat within Arizona.

Additionally they present a huge potential for spreading certain diseases (primarily pseudorabies (PRV) and brucellosis). The public, through various state and federal agencies over the course of a few decades, has spent several millions of dollars to control and/or eradicate these diseases from our domestic/commercial swine herds.

A cooperative program among industry, state and federal agencies to eradicate PRV was begun in 1989. PRV was declared eliminated from the commercial herd in USA in 2005. Total cost of the disease was estimated to have been $30 million annually through that period. Obviously this is not something anyone wants back into commercial swine in the USA. But because the feral swine population does harbor the disease, the risk is real; and the threat to the commercial herd grows with the growing presence of feral swine.

There are monitoring programs of feral swine that are on-going for these diseases.

For more than 15 years, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has provided feral swine management and support at the state and local level.  While these efforts have helped alleviate localized damage, the overall feral swine population has continued to increase exponentially, and the problems they cause have become national in scope.

And concern is growing as the populations of feral swine have grown and spread. So efforts are being launched to figure out what best to do.

To more effectively address the damage and disease risks associated with this invasive species, APHIS is considering implementing a nationally coordinated feral swine damage management program in partnership with States and Tribes.

An open meeting will be held in the near future, details can be found here.

You can also find more information here as to the problem they present, along with its scope and cost.

And don’t forget to enjoy the ride (even on a hog – my uncle did often as a child!)