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Pediatricians urge consumption of only pasteurized dairy products
Date:12/15/2013

ulting from consumption of raw milk or raw-milk products, causing 1,837 illnesses, 195 hospitalizations and two deaths. Most of those illnesses were caused by contamination of the product with E. coli or with species of Salmonella or Campylobacter. Infections by such bacteria can cause diarrhea, fever, cramps, nausea and vomiting. Some infections can become systemic.

A 2011 survey by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture determined that raw milk and raw-milk products were legal to sell in 30 states, though only a few allowed sales in grocery stores. California is among the states that allow such sales.

The FDA banned interstate shipment and sales of raw milk and some raw-milk products in 1987, but it has no jurisdiction over whether such products created in a state may be sold within that state's borders. An exemption in the FDA prohibition allows cheeses that have been aged at least 60 days to be transported across state lines for sale, provided the cheese is clearly labeled as unpasteurized. Before pasteurization was developed, one of the major causes of childhood disease and death was drinking milk because there was no way to decontaminate it. It was not uncommon for children to contract tuberculosis from milk.

Some advocates of raw-milk consumption argue that cows are healthier now than in the pre-pasteurization era, but Maldonado said that even in healthy herds, there are other organisms that can cause serious bacterial infections in children and pregnant women.

"There have been recent studies demonstrating that even healthy dairy animals in good facilities carry some of these organisms on their udders, or the organisms are somewhere in their environment, and the milk can be contaminated with them," Maldonado said. "When these organisms are ingested, especially by young babies or pregnant women, they can cause severe illness."

The academy's policy statement endorses a nationwide ban on the sale
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Contact: Erin Digitale
digitale@stanford.edu
650-724-9175
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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