Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Additional Raw Milk Facts from FTCLDF

File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 1 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Support Access to Raw Milk
Consumers are increasingly seeking out raw milk as a natural, unprocessed food. Unfortunately,
some people in the conventional dairy industry and medical fields are seeking to restrict people’s
informed choices through banning or unreasonable restrictions on the sale of raw milk. We urge you
to reject such efforts and support consumer choice.
The justification for bans or severe restrictions on raw milk is that it is supposedly dangerous, but this
is not supported by the data. It is important to recognize that any food can be the source of foodborne
illness under the wrong conditions. When thousands of people became sick from spinach, peanut
butter, and cantaloupes, no one urged that we ban these products or severely limit consumers’ access
to them. The issue isn’t whether some people have become sick from raw milk on occasion –
the issue is whether raw milk poses such an unusually high level of risk that it somehow
justifies the government interfering with people’s choices.
All of the data discussed below is from the CDC for the 13-year period from 1998 to 2010, based on
the online database at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks. Nationwide, in that 13-year period,
there were 1,414 illnesses, 80 hospitalizations, and no deaths attributed to raw milk.a
To put these numbers in context, there were 2301,076 illnesses, 10,317 hospitalizations, and 223
deaths reported to the CDC in that time period from all foods. [wwwn.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks]
Consider the illnesses attributed to a few other foods:
Fruit salad: 1,323 illnesses, 29 hospitalizations, and 1 death;
Tuna: 1,415 illnesses, 41 hospitalizations, and 3 deaths (not including raw tuna or sushi);
Pizza: 1,614 illnesses, 20 hospitalizations, and 3 deaths.
The numbers of illnesses attributed to fruit salad, tuna, and pizza are similar to those attributed to raw
milk during this time period with the exception that, unlike these foods, raw milk has not caused
any deaths. While more people may consume these foods occasionally, few people consume these
foods day-in and day-out, in contrast to raw milk.
Consumption rates:
How many people drink raw milk? According to a CDC survey, an average of 3% of the population
has drunk raw milk within the last 7 days. Foodborne Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet)
Population Survey Atlas of Exposures (2006-2007), www.cdc.gov/foodnet/surveys/FoodNet
ExposureAtlas0607_508.pdf. That translates to approximately 9.4 million raw milk consumers
nationwide. So, out of 9.4 million raw milk drinkers, approximately 110 allegedly become sick each
year from raw milk, or 0.001% annually.
a A few of the larger outbreaks during this time period are listed as having multiple causes, such as “1% milk,
unpasteurized; sauces, unspecified” or “butter ; goat cheese/chevre, unpasteurized; goat milk, unpasteurized; whole milk,
unpasteurized”, making it unclear whether it was raw milk or some processed product that was truly the causative agent.
We have erred on the side of including these outbreaks, thus overestimating the number of illnesses properly attributable
to raw milk.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 2 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Pasteurized milk also carries some risk of foodborne illness
What about the numbers for pasteurized milk? In the same time period (1998-2010), 2,227 people
became ill, 27 people were hospitalized, and 3 died from pasteurized milk. A large number of people
drink pasteurized milk, so the relative risk is not high. But no food is risk-free.
In fact, a massive foodborne illness outbreak was linked to pasteurized milk in the 1980s. In 1985,
there were over 16,000 confirmed cases of Salmonella infection that were traced back to pasteurized
milk from a single dairy. Two surveys estimated that the actual number of people who became ill in
that outbreak were over 168,000, “making this the largest outbreak of salmonellosis ever identified in
the United States.”
[Ryan, CA et al. Massive outbreak of antimicrobial-resistant salmonellosis traced to pasteurized
milk. J. American Medical Assn. 258(22):3269-74 (1987),
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3316720?dopt=Abstract
Raw milk is a separate issue from fresh raw cheeses, which pose a higher risk
Some industry groups have presented higher numbers of illnesses allegedly due to raw milk,
including two deaths. But these numbers are not attributable to raw milk, but rather to all raw dairy
products. This is an important distinction because of the extensive problems reported from raw queso
fresco, often imported from Mexico or made under unsanitary conditions at home and therefore
nicknamed “bathtub cheese.” See Queso Fresco: Cheese with a reputation,
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/05/queso-fresco-cheese-with-a-reputation. Many of the
illnesses and all of the deaths that the industry attributes to raw milk were in fact linked to raw queso
fresco, which is an illegal product.
Conclusion
The data, as opposed to the rhetoric, shows that raw milk does not pose an unusually high risk of
foodborne illness.
There are multiple principles that support continued, reasonable access to raw milk:
Americans have a right to decide what they feed themselves and their families.
Direct sales of raw milk provide a reasonable income for small family farms, often making
the difference between being able to continue farming and going out of business.
Supporting family farms supports rural economies in general by promoting local businesses
and keeping money circulating locally.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 3 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Attachment 1: Scientific studies have documented benefits
from raw milk
The claim that raw milk has no benefits over pasteurized milk is, on its face, false. Does anyone
contend that cooked strawberries or spinach are no different than raw strawberries or spinach? It’s
well-accepted that heating foods not only changes the taste, but destroys enzymes and certain
nutrients.
In addition, there are published, peer-reviewed scientific studies showing health benefits from raw
milk.
Several recent studies in Europe have found that drinking “farm” (raw) milk protects against
asthma and allergies. [See Riedler, J. et al. 2001. Exposure to farming in early life and
development of asthma and allergy: a cross-sectional survey. Lancet 358:1129-33. Perkin, M.R.
and D.P. Strachan. 2006. Which aspects of the farming lifestyle explain the inverse association with
childhood allergy? J Allergy Clin Immunol. 117(6):1374-8. Waser, M. et al. 2006. Inverse
association of farm milk consumption with asthma and allergy in rural and suburban populations
across Europe. Clinical and Experimental Allergy 37:661-670. Perkin, M.R. 2007. Unpasteurized
milk: health of hazard? Clinical and Experimental Allergy 37:627-630.]
Raw milk retains higher levels of Vitamins A, B, C, and D than pasteurized. [See Haug, A., A.T.
Hostmark, and O.M. Harstad. 2007. Bovine milk in human nutritiona review. Lipids Health
Disease 6:25 (“Proteins and peptides are heat sensitive, and their bioactivity may be reduced by
pasteurization of milk. Heating of milk may also result in the formation of potentially harmful new
products, i..e. when carbohydrates in milk react with proteins.”). Wong, D.W.S. and W.M.
Camirand. 1996. Structures and functionalities of milk proteins. Critical Rev Food Science Nutr.
36(8): 807-844. Runge, F.E. and R. Heger. 2000. Use of microcalorimetry in monitoring stability
studies. Example: Vitamin A Esters. J Agric Food Chem 48(1):47-55. Kilshaw, P.J., L.M. Heppell,
and J.E. Ford. 1982. Effects of heat treatment of cow's milk and whey on the nutritional quality and
antigenic properties. Arch Disease Childhood 57: 842-847 (heat treatment destroyed all of the
Vitamin B12, about 60% of the thiamin and Vitamin B6, 70% of the ascorbic acid, and about 30% of
the folate). Gregory, J.F. 1982. Denaturation of the folacin-binding protein in pasteurized milk
products. J Nutr. 112: 1329-1338. Effect of several heat treatments and frozen storage on thiamine,
riboflavin, and ascorbic acid content of milk. J Dairy Sci. 66: 1601-6. Rajakumar, K. 2001. Infantile
scurvy: a historical perspective. Pediatrics 108(4):E76. Hollis, B.W. et al. 1981. Vitamin D and its
metabolites in human and bovine milk. J Nutr. 111:1240-1248. See also Levieux, D. 1980. Heat
denaturation of whey proteins: comparative studies with physical and immunological methods. Ann
Rech Vet. 11(1): 89-97 (“Nutritionists believe that high losses of nutritive value occur in heated
proteins following cross-linking since high cross-linked proteins cannot be degraded by digestive
enzymes.”).]
Moreover, there are numerous testimonials about the benefits of drinking raw milk. See
http://www.realmilk.com. While these do not provide scientific evidence of benefits, it is clear that
individuals choose to expend significant time and money to drink raw milk because they see a
benefit.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 4 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Attachment 2: Improving legal access to raw milk will not
increase foodborne illness outbreaks
Some groups have argued against allowing or expanding legal access to raw milk on the grounds that
if you make it easier to get raw milk legally, more people will drink raw milk, and more people will
get sick. While that argument is intuitively appealing, it is contradicted by the CDC’s data.
The attached chart shows the consumption of raw milk in 10 states, the raw milk laws in each state,
and the incidence of foodborne illnesses.
First, note that in every state, the number of illnesses attributed to raw milk is a very small
percentage of the total number of foodborne illnesses.
Second, there is no pattern indicating that making raw milk legally accessible increases
consumption. Maryland (where raw milk sales are illegal) had the exact same percentage of people
who had drunk raw milk within the last 7 days as California (where raw milk can be sold in grocery
stores). And Georgia, where raw milk can only be sold as pet food, had the highest consumption
rates of all.
Third, there is also no pattern of increasing rates of consumption correlating to increasing
illnesses. The two states with the highest rates of consumption -- Tennessee and Georgia -- had
lower rates of raw milk illnesses than the three states with the lowest rates of consumption --
Minnesota, Colorado, and Connecticut.
How can this be true? The most likely reason is that the risk of foodborne illness from raw milk is
low enough that the outbreaks are sporadic and occasional. Because raw milk is not a high-risk food,
the incidences of illness are too low to show a pattern.
The data directly contradicts the assertion that increasing legal access to raw milk will increase the
number of people who get sick.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 5 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Chart of Raw Milk Consumption, Legal Status, and Illness Rates
State Percentage of
population
consuming
raw milkb
Legal state of
raw milk
# outbreaks
allegedly
traced to raw
milk, 1998-
2010c
# illnesses
allegedly
traced to raw
milk, 1998-
2010
Total # foodborne
illnesses, 1998-
2010, excluding
multi-state
outbreaksd
% of foodborne
illnesses
allegedly traced
to raw milke
Minnesota 2.3% Farm sales
legal
4 16 10,021 0.16%
Colorado 2.4% Herd shares
legal
5 143f 8,330 1.71%
Connecticut 2.7% Retail sales
legal
1 14 3,023 0.46%
Oregon 2.8% Farm sales
legal
1 0-18g 7,514 0 0.23%
California 3.0% Retail sales
legal
4 45h 35,313 0.12%
Maryland 3.0% No legal
salesi
0 0 7,883 0
New Mexico 3.4% Retail sales
legal
1 20j 1,017 1.96%
New York 3.5% Farm sales
legal
5 66k 14,802 0.44%
Tennessee 3.5% Herd shares
legal
2 7 6,464 0.1%
Georgia 3.8% Legal only as
pet food
1 8 8,515 0.09%
10 State total 3% 24 299-337 102,882 0.29 0.32%
b Foodborne Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) Population Survey Atlas of Exposures. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2006-2007 (identifying
the percentage of people who had consumed raw milk within the last 7 days)..
www.cdc.gov/foodnet/surveys/FoodNetExposureAtlas0607_508.pdf
c Note: an "outbreak" according to the CDC can involve as few as 2 people.
wwwn.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks/Default.aspx
d The total foodborne illnesses are actually higher than listed in this chart because all data attributed to multi-state
outbreaks was excluded for these purposes because the CDC table does not indicate how many illnesses were attributed to
each state.
e Because of the undercounting of the total number of foodborne illnesses (see note 2), the true % of illnesses allegedly
traced to raw milk is lower than indicated.
f In the same time period in Colorado, there was an outbreak linked to pasteurized milk that sickened 200 people
g Oregon was part of a multistate outbreak allegedly traced to raw milk in Nov. 2005. The total number of illnesses in
that outbreak were 18, but we cannot determine how many occurred in Oregon.
h In the same time period in California, there were two outbreaks linked to pasteurized milk that sickened 1,744 people.
i Note that even though raw milk sales are illegal in Maryland, 3% of the Maryland residents surveyed stated that they
drank raw milk. Prohibition doesn’t work.
j The New Mexico illnesses are from a single outbreak listed as being from "1% milk, unpasteurized; sauces, unspecified"
in a restaurant.
k In the same time period in New York, there were two outbreaks involving pasteurized milk that sickened 18 people.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 6 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Attachment 3: Raw milk does not pose a threat to
conveFile: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 1 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Support Access to Raw Milk
Consumers are increasingly seeking out raw milk as a natural, unprocessed food. Unfortunately,
some people in the conventional dairy industry and medical fields are seeking to restrict people’s
informed choices through banning or unreasonable restrictions on the sale of raw milk. We urge you
to reject such efforts and support consumer choice.
The justification for bans or severe restrictions on raw milk is that it is supposedly dangerous, but this
is not supported by the data. It is important to recognize that any food can be the source of foodborne
illness under the wrong conditions. When thousands of people became sick from spinach, peanut
butter, and cantaloupes, no one urged that we ban these products or severely limit consumers’ access
to them. The issue isn’t whether some people have become sick from raw milk on occasion –
the issue is whether raw milk poses such an unusually high level of risk that it somehow
justifies the government interfering with people’s choices.
All of the data discussed below is from the CDC for the 13-year period from 1998 to 2010, based on
the online database at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks. Nationwide, in that 13-year period,
there were 1,414 illnesses, 80 hospitalizations, and no deaths attributed to raw milk.a
To put these numbers in context, there were 2301,076 illnesses, 10,317 hospitalizations, and 223
deaths reported to the CDC in that time period from all foods. [wwwn.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks]
Consider the illnesses attributed to a few other foods:
Fruit salad: 1,323 illnesses, 29 hospitalizations, and 1 death;
Tuna: 1,415 illnesses, 41 hospitalizations, and 3 deaths (not including raw tuna or sushi);
Pizza: 1,614 illnesses, 20 hospitalizations, and 3 deaths.
The numbers of illnesses attributed to fruit salad, tuna, and pizza are similar to those attributed to raw
milk during this time period with the exception that, unlike these foods, raw milk has not caused
any deaths. While more people may consume these foods occasionally, few people consume these
foods day-in and day-out, in contrast to raw milk.
Consumption rates:
How many people drink raw milk? According to a CDC survey, an average of 3% of the population
has drunk raw milk within the last 7 days. Foodborne Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet)
Population Survey Atlas of Exposures (2006-2007), www.cdc.gov/foodnet/surveys/FoodNet
ExposureAtlas0607_508.pdf. That translates to approximately 9.4 million raw milk consumers
nationwide. So, out of 9.4 million raw milk drinkers, approximately 110 allegedly become sick each
year from raw milk, or 0.001% annually.
a A few of the larger outbreaks during this time period are listed as having multiple causes, such as “1% milk,
unpasteurized; sauces, unspecified” or “butter ; goat cheese/chevre, unpasteurized; goat milk, unpasteurized; whole milk,
unpasteurized”, making it unclear whether it was raw milk or some processed product that was truly the causative agent.
We have erred on the side of including these outbreaks, thus overestimating the number of illnesses properly attributable
to raw milk.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 2 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Pasteurized milk also carries some risk of foodborne illness
What about the numbers for pasteurized milk? In the same time period (1998-2010), 2,227 people
became ill, 27 people were hospitalized, and 3 died from pasteurized milk. A large number of people
drink pasteurized milk, so the relative risk is not high. But no food is risk-free.
In fact, a massive foodborne illness outbreak was linked to pasteurized milk in the 1980s. In 1985,
there were over 16,000 confirmed cases of Salmonella infection that were traced back to pasteurized
milk from a single dairy. Two surveys estimated that the actual number of people who became ill in
that outbreak were over 168,000, “making this the largest outbreak of salmonellosis ever identified in
the United States.”
[Ryan, CA et al. Massive outbreak of antimicrobial-resistant salmonellosis traced to pasteurized
milk. J. American Medical Assn. 258(22):3269-74 (1987),
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3316720?dopt=Abstract
Raw milk is a separate issue from fresh raw cheeses, which pose a higher risk
Some industry groups have presented higher numbers of illnesses allegedly due to raw milk,
including two deaths. But these numbers are not attributable to raw milk, but rather to all raw dairy
products. This is an important distinction because of the extensive problems reported from raw queso
fresco, often imported from Mexico or made under unsanitary conditions at home and therefore
nicknamed “bathtub cheese.” See Queso Fresco: Cheese with a reputation,
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/05/queso-fresco-cheese-with-a-reputation. Many of the
illnesses and all of the deaths that the industry attributes to raw milk were in fact linked to raw queso
fresco, which is an illegal product.
Conclusion
The data, as opposed to the rhetoric, shows that raw milk does not pose an unusually high risk of
foodborne illness.
There are multiple principles that support continued, reasonable access to raw milk:
Americans have a right to decide what they feed themselves and their families.
Direct sales of raw milk provide a reasonable income for small family farms, often making
the difference between being able to continue farming and going out of business.
Supporting family farms supports rural economies in general by promoting local businesses
and keeping money circulating locally.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 3 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Attachment 1: Scientific studies have documented benefits
from raw milk
The claim that raw milk has no benefits over pasteurized milk is, on its face, false. Does anyone
contend that cooked strawberries or spinach are no different than raw strawberries or spinach? It’s
well-accepted that heating foods not only changes the taste, but destroys enzymes and certain
nutrients.
In addition, there are published, peer-reviewed scientific studies showing health benefits from raw
milk.
Several recent studies in Europe have found that drinking “farm” (raw) milk protects against
asthma and allergies. [See Riedler, J. et al. 2001. Exposure to farming in early life and
development of asthma and allergy: a cross-sectional survey. Lancet 358:1129-33. Perkin, M.R.
and D.P. Strachan. 2006. Which aspects of the farming lifestyle explain the inverse association with
childhood allergy? J Allergy Clin Immunol. 117(6):1374-8. Waser, M. et al. 2006. Inverse
association of farm milk consumption with asthma and allergy in rural and suburban populations
across Europe. Clinical and Experimental Allergy 37:661-670. Perkin, M.R. 2007. Unpasteurized
milk: health of hazard? Clinical and Experimental Allergy 37:627-630.]
Raw milk retains higher levels of Vitamins A, B, C, and D than pasteurized. [See Haug, A., A.T.
Hostmark, and O.M. Harstad. 2007. Bovine milk in human nutritiona review. Lipids Health
Disease 6:25 (“Proteins and peptides are heat sensitive, and their bioactivity may be reduced by
pasteurization of milk. Heating of milk may also result in the formation of potentially harmful new
products, i..e. when carbohydrates in milk react with proteins.”). Wong, D.W.S. and W.M.
Camirand. 1996. Structures and functionalities of milk proteins. Critical Rev Food Science Nutr.
36(8): 807-844. Runge, F.E. and R. Heger. 2000. Use of microcalorimetry in monitoring stability
studies. Example: Vitamin A Esters. J Agric Food Chem 48(1):47-55. Kilshaw, P.J., L.M. Heppell,
and J.E. Ford. 1982. Effects of heat treatment of cow's milk and whey on the nutritional quality and
antigenic properties. Arch Disease Childhood 57: 842-847 (heat treatment destroyed all of the
Vitamin B12, about 60% of the thiamin and Vitamin B6, 70% of the ascorbic acid, and about 30% of
the folate). Gregory, J.F. 1982. Denaturation of the folacin-binding protein in pasteurized milk
products. J Nutr. 112: 1329-1338. Effect of several heat treatments and frozen storage on thiamine,
riboflavin, and ascorbic acid content of milk. J Dairy Sci. 66: 1601-6. Rajakumar, K. 2001. Infantile
scurvy: a historical perspective. Pediatrics 108(4):E76. Hollis, B.W. et al. 1981. Vitamin D and its
metabolites in human and bovine milk. J Nutr. 111:1240-1248. See also Levieux, D. 1980. Heat
denaturation of whey proteins: comparative studies with physical and immunological methods. Ann
Rech Vet. 11(1): 89-97 (“Nutritionists believe that high losses of nutritive value occur in heated
proteins following cross-linking since high cross-linked proteins cannot be degraded by digestive
enzymes.”).]
Moreover, there are numerous testimonials about the benefits of drinking raw milk. See
http://www.realmilk.com. While these do not provide scientific evidence of benefits, it is clear that
individuals choose to expend significant time and money to drink raw milk because they see a
benefit.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 4 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Attachment 2: Improving legal access to raw milk will not
increase foodborne illness outbreaks
Some groups have argued against allowing or expanding legal access to raw milk on the grounds that
if you make it easier to get raw milk legally, more people will drink raw milk, and more people will
get sick. While that argument is intuitively appealing, it is contradicted by the CDC’s data.
The attached chart shows the consumption of raw milk in 10 states, the raw milk laws in each state,
and the incidence of foodborne illnesses.
First, note that in every state, the number of illnesses attributed to raw milk is a very small
percentage of the total number of foodborne illnesses.
Second, there is no pattern indicating that making raw milk legally accessible increases
consumption. Maryland (where raw milk sales are illegal) had the exact same percentage of people
who had drunk raw milk within the last 7 days as California (where raw milk can be sold in grocery
stores). And Georgia, where raw milk can only be sold as pet food, had the highest consumption
rates of all.
Third, there is also no pattern of increasing rates of consumption correlating to increasing
illnesses. The two states with the highest rates of consumption -- Tennessee and Georgia -- had
lower rates of raw milk illnesses than the three states with the lowest rates of consumption --
Minnesota, Colorado, and Connecticut.
How can this be true? The most likely reason is that the risk of foodborne illness from raw milk is
low enough that the outbreaks are sporadic and occasional. Because raw milk is not a high-risk food,
the incidences of illness are too low to show a pattern.
The data directly contradicts the assertion that increasing legal access to raw milk will increase the
number of people who get sick.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 5 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Chart of Raw Milk Consumption, Legal Status, and Illness Rates
State Percentage of
population
consuming
raw milkb
Legal state of
raw milk
# outbreaks
allegedly
traced to raw
milk, 1998-
2010c
# illnesses
allegedly
traced to raw
milk, 1998-
2010
Total # foodborne
illnesses, 1998-
2010, excluding
multi-state
outbreaksd
% of foodborne
illnesses
allegedly traced
to raw milke
Minnesota 2.3% Farm sales
legal
4 16 10,021 0.16%
Colorado 2.4% Herd shares
legal
5 143f 8,330 1.71%
Connecticut 2.7% Retail sales
legal
1 14 3,023 0.46%
Oregon 2.8% Farm sales
legal
1 0-18g 7,514 0 0.23%
California 3.0% Retail sales
legal
4 45h 35,313 0.12%
Maryland 3.0% No legal
salesi
0 0 7,883 0
New Mexico 3.4% Retail sales
legal
1 20j 1,017 1.96%
New York 3.5% Farm sales
legal
5 66k 14,802 0.44%
Tennessee 3.5% Herd shares
legal
2 7 6,464 0.1%
Georgia 3.8% Legal only as
pet food
1 8 8,515 0.09%
10 State total 3% 24 299-337 102,882 0.29 0.32%
b Foodborne Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) Population Survey Atlas of Exposures. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2006-2007 (identifying
the percentage of people who had consumed raw milk within the last 7 days)..
www.cdc.gov/foodnet/surveys/FoodNetExposureAtlas0607_508.pdf
c Note: an "outbreak" according to the CDC can involve as few as 2 people.
wwwn.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks/Default.aspx
d The total foodborne illnesses are actually higher than listed in this chart because all data attributed to multi-state
outbreaks was excluded for these purposes because the CDC table does not indicate how many illnesses were attributed to
each state.
e Because of the undercounting of the total number of foodborne illnesses (see note 2), the true % of illnesses allegedly
traced to raw milk is lower than indicated.
f In the same time period in Colorado, there was an outbreak linked to pasteurized milk that sickened 200 people
g Oregon was part of a multistate outbreak allegedly traced to raw milk in Nov. 2005. The total number of illnesses in
that outbreak were 18, but we cannot determine how many occurred in Oregon.
h In the same time period in California, there were two outbreaks linked to pasteurized milk that sickened 1,744 people.
i Note that even though raw milk sales are illegal in Maryland, 3% of the Maryland residents surveyed stated that they
drank raw milk. Prohibition doesn’t work.
j The New Mexico illnesses are from a single outbreak listed as being from "1% milk, unpasteurized; sauces, unspecified"
in a restaurant.
k In the same time period in New York, there were two outbreaks involving pasteurized milk that sickened 18 people.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 6 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Attachment 3: Raw milk does not pose a threat to
conventional dairy sales
Another unsupported assertion is that, if there were an outbreak of foodborne illness linked to raw
milk, consumers might avoid buying pasteurized milk, hurting conventional milk sales and retailers.
The example provided is the drop in spinach sales when a nationwide outbreak of E. coli was linked
to spinach in 2006.
The claim is wrong because it fails to recognize the difference between mass-distributed goods and
direct-to-consumer transactions. The spinach that caused the 2006 outbreak was being sold in the
grocery stores around the country under 34 different brand labels. See Safe at any scale?, Agric.
Hum. Values 25:301-317 (2008). There was no realistic way for consumers to know which spinach
was contaminated and which was not. Similar confusion was present in the outbreaks linked to
tomatoes/ jalapenos and peanut butter. In contrast, if there were to be illnesses linked to raw milk,
the source of the milk would be identified immediately. The transparent, accountable nature of
direct-to-consumer sales empowers both the State and consumers to know exactly who has caused the
problem and how to avoid it, without any repercussions for other products.
In addition, when there have been illnesses attributed to raw milk in other states, the health
departments have been very explicit (even repetitive) about the fact that the problem lay with raw
milk and not with pasteurized milk. As a result, even in states where raw milk is sold side-by-side
with pasteurized milk in the grocery stores, there has been no evidence that alleged raw milk illnesses
have had any impact at all on pasteurized milk sales.
Ten states allow the sale of raw milk in grocery stores, so that raw milk is sold side-by-side with
pasteurized and the potential for negative repercussions is greatest. We were able to find data on
milk sales and prices for four of these states: California, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and
Washington.
An analysis of the data shows that there is no pattern of reduced sales/production or reduced
prices in conventional milk at the time of, or after, the alleged outbreaks. Consumers do not
avoid pasteurized milk in reaction to reports of outbreaks linked to raw milk.
A chart with the data is available on request.
Sources:
University of Wisconsin Dairy Marketing and Risk Management Program
Prices: http://future.aae.wisc.edu/data/monthly_values/by_area/6?tab=prices
California sales: future.aae.wisc.edu/data/monthly_values/by_area/2115?area=California&tab=sales&grid=true
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Services, Milk Cows and Production Final Estimates 1998-2002,
http://future.aae.wisc.edu/collection/MilkProduction/milk_cow_fin/milk_cow_final_estimates_1998_2002.pdf
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Services, Milk Cows and Production Final Estimates 2003-2007,
http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/nass/SB988/sb1022.pdf

National dairy sales
Another unsupported assertion is that, if there were an outbreak of foodborne illness linked to raw
milk, consumers might avoid buying pasteurized milk, hurting conventional milk sales and retailers.
The example provided is the drop in spinach sales when a nationwide outbreak of E. coli was linked
to spinach in 2006.
The claim is wrong because it fails to recognize the difference between mass-distributed goods and
direct-to-consumer transactions. The spinach that caused the 2006 outbreak was being sold in the
grocery stores around the country under 34 different brand labels. See Safe at any scale?, Agric.
Hum. Values 25:301-317 (2008). There was no realistic way for consumers to know which spinach
was contaminated and which was not. Similar confusion was present in the outbreaks linked to
tomatoes/ jalapenos and peanut butter. In contrast, if there were to be illnesses linked to raw milk,
the source of the milk would be identified immediately. The transparent, accountable nature of
direct-to-consumer sales empowers both the State and consumers to know exactly who has caused the
problem and how to avoid it, without any repercussions for other products.
In addition, when there have been illnesses attributed to raw milk in other states, the health
departments have been very explicit (even repetitive) about the fact that the problem lay with raw
milk and not with pasteurized milk. As a result, even in states where raw milk is sold side-by-side
with pasteurized milk in the grocery stores, there has been no evidence that alleged raw milk illnesses
have had any impact at all on pasteurized milk sales.
Ten states allow the sale of raw milk in grocery stores, so that raw milk is sold side-by-side with
pasteurized and the potential for negative repercussions is greatest. We were able to find data on
milk sales and prices for four of these states: California, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and
Washington.
An analysis of the data shows that there is no pattern of reduced sales/production or reduced
prices in conventional milk at the time of, or after, the alleged outbreaks. Consumers do not
avoid pasteurized milk in reaction to reports of outbreaks linked to raw milk.
A chart with the data is available on request.
Sources:
University of Wisconsin Dairy Marketing and Risk Management Program
Prices: http://future.aae.wisc.edu/data/monthly_values/by_area/6?tab=prices
California sales: future.aae.wisc.edu/data/monthly_values/by_area/2115?area=California&tab=sales&grid=true
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Services, Milk Cows and Production Final Estimates 1998-2002,
http://future.aae.wisc.edu/collection/MilkProduction/milk_cow_fin/milk_cow_final_estimates_1998_2002.pdf
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Services, Milk Cows and Production Final Estimates 2003-2007,

http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/nass/SB988/sb1022.pdf

Pages

LUCAS FARM

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27




"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington