STANFORD, Calif. Pregnant women, infants and young children should avoid raw or unpasteurized milk and milk products and only consume pasteurized products, according to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The statement whose lead author is Yvonne Maldonado, MD, professor of pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine will be published online Dec. 15 in Pediatrics.
In issuing this statement, the academy takes the same position as the American Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the International Association for Food Protection, the National Environmental Health Association, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Association.
Whether from cows, goats or sheep, raw milk and milk products are a continuing source of bacterial infections that are especially dangerous to pregnant women, fetuses, the elderly, young children and people with compromised immune systems, the statement says.
The popularity of raw milk and raw-milk products, such as soft cheeses, has been growing in recent years, in part due to claims of health benefits. But those claims have not been backed up by science.
Studies have shown repeatedly that raw milk and pasteurized milk contain equivalent levels of nutrients, such as proteins, carbohydrates, calcium, vitamins and enzymes. Claims that raw milk is not associated with lactose intolerance have not been substantiated by independent studies.
"We have no scientific evidence that consuming raw milk provides any advantages over pasteurized milk and milk products," said Maldonado, an infectious disease expert who also is a pediatrician at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. "But relative to the amount of raw-milk products on the market, we do see a disproportionately large number of diseases and illnesses from raw milk."
From 1998 through 2009, there were 93 recorded outbreaks of disease res
|Contact: Erin Digitale|
Stanford University Medical Center