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Research report
30 June 2016

Raw milk

Is raw milk natural goodness or food safety Russian roulette?

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Llyvonne B.
25 Nov 2018
Raw Milk - Dangers are overstated

I was one of the people who submitted in the Public Consultation for raw milk. I also have sources that indicated that the MPI had an agenda. The overwhelming response in favour of raw milk sent the MPI back to the drawing board and farmers ended up with costs that for many shut them down.
I went through all of the data regarding food borne illness that was notified and there was little actual proof that raw milk was responsible. At best it was a risk factor. However, every processed food has a risk factor including pre packaged vegetables. No one is talking about banning them - even though overseas there have been many deaths associated with contaminated vegetables from first-world countries.
Many who drink raw milk are aware there are risks, but feel that the risk level has been overstated and that the MPI are deliberately trying to be panic mongers.
I acknowledge that the evidence states that raw milk is not perfect for those who are lactose intolerant, however there are many who can drink raw milk, but not store purchased milk. They may believe that they are lactose intolerant for this reason, but may have misdiagnosed themselves. I do not think that the clinical studies have covered this aspect.
From a personal point - my dog vomits if he is fed store bought milk, yet has no ill reaction from raw milk. This tells me that there is a definitive difference between the two substances.

Paul W.
10 Jul 2018
Freedom of making informed choices

As with everything, consuming raw milk should be a matter of everybody's free and informed choice. The government has no right to restrict this. Especially since our politicians have no hesitation in freely promoting the consumption of other well-known toxins to human health, like the class A cancer promoter alcohol via advertising, both via all sorts of media and sports events like rugby matches, to name just a few.

Dawn N.
07 Jul 2018
A Nanny State?

My brothers, cousins and I all grew up on dairy farms and thrived. We would collect a bucket of milk from the cowshed every morning for Mum to use in the kitchen, and cream was skimmed off the top. We also roamed the farm and cowshed, had pet cows, dogs, cats and whatever else was around. We went barefooted as often as possible, ate everything we found growing wild, and grew up strongboned and healthy. When I was post menopause a bone scan was repeated because my bone density was so far above the expected level for my age. I see our grandchildren living what is to us a weird lifestyle. No bare feet, no exploration of strange places, heaven forbid they went near a cowshed, and as for eating anything not pasteurised, sterilised and closely inspected - never happens! My conclusion is that we have over regulated everything and a few germs never did anyone any harm. However we have reached a stage where a germ has the same effects that the introduction of european disease like measles had on isolated tribes. We are wrapped in plastic clingfilm from birth and not allowed to build natural resistance to so many common things. Can we go back to a natural state? I shouldn't think so because that woud result in unemployment for the gazillions of health and safety officials would be out of work. I would love to see 'raw' produce become the norm and children become more adventurous in food and life. Not going to happen though in my lifetime.

Paul W.
10 Jul 2018
Well said, Dawn

I wholeheartedly second your opinion.

Previous member
12 Nov 2016
Raw milk is very low risk

So how many confirmed cases of people getting ill from raw milk??? The data presented suggests the risks of contamination are very low, and if the milk is handled correctly the risk is extremely low. Our family have been consuming raw milk from three different farms for the last 6 or more years, and no problems. We know many other families who do the same without problems. It is only a small sample size but it's real data. The Consumer article over plays the risks.

Previous member
15 Nov 2016
Re: Raw milk is very low risk

Hi Peter,

The data we published is for the number of foodborne illness cases associated with raw milk and is collected by ESR, the agency responsible for collecting foodborne illness statistics for the Ministry of Health. The confirmed number of people getting sick from drinking raw milk is not available because, for most outbreaks, raw milk is not the only risk factor, and sometimes the suspected batch of milk has already been consumed so it can’t be tested. There are real risks associated with drinking raw milk. Some medical and science organisations recommend people only drink pasteurised milk, and in some countries, such as Australia, Canada and Scotland, the sale of raw cow’s milk is banned.

Regards,
Belinda - Consumer NZ staff

Peter S.
30 Jul 2016
Excuse me.

What is the case for pasteurised milk?

All milk is unhealthy? I doubt it.
Check unindurtrialised milk, milk product, consuming communities. Wholesale ill health. Where?

Disease free milk producing animals, robbed of healthy milk provide healthy food, otherwise their offspring die.

Then there are no more milk producing animals.

Milk is SO dangerous.

Farmers who have to have their milk pasteurised are admitting that their production methods are unhygenic and unsafe.

The only reason that Fonterra (they are the only player in this country) insists on pasteurisation is market share and scare tactics.

OBTW I have been drinking and fermenting raw milk for the last 14 years.

The milk bought from shops is made from reconstitued milk powder. Pasteurisation is unnecessary.

Even if milk was unreconstitued pasteurisation is unnecessary if external organisms are denied access. The lactic acid production from "soured" milk generally sterilises the milk from antaganostic and /or possiblle unfriendly bacteria.

Nicola M.
30 Jul 2016
Raw Milk Rocks!

I have been consuming raw milk from a local organic dairy farmer for a couple of years now. I am deeply concerned by the MPI's decision to increase compliance costs for farmers which will ultimately result in farmers either deciding to no longer supply raw milk to customers or to have to pass on the increased costs to customers making it too expensive to purchase.
Raw milk, when purchased from clean responsible suppliers, and when stored and used in a hygienic manner by customers, is an extremely healthy product. During the pasteurization process a number of heat sensitive vitamins are either destroyed or their levels are significantly decreased, despite what one person in this article may suggest. This process also destroys natural immune boosters, good bacteria, and beneficial enzymes . This dairy property has also been breeding with A2 bulls for a number of years now as it is suggested that milk from A2 cows may be more easily digested and nutrients may be delivered more efficiently. It may be that the cows mentioned in the article's trial were A1 cows, and that this is the reason for little to no difference observed.
I choose to consume a live, raw product, loaded with beneficial nutrients every day over a dead, pasteurised and homogenised product that contains very little benefit because I have chosen to do my own research on the matter. Even whilst undergoing chemotherapy, which severely suppresses the immune system, I still chose to consume raw milk because I knew that I was purchasing from a good supplier, I am sensible with regards to storage and use, and I understood the importance of good nutrition in order to support my body during a stressful time. As a result I have survived chemotherapy, remaining relatively healthy throughout, and I have also received a clear result when last scanned.
It is disappointing that such a healthful product should be demonised while other more harmful foodstuffs are loaded onto supermarket shelves. How many more people are falling ill or dying each day because of those foods?? I understand that it is important to ensure food is safe, and that in the case of raw milk if it contains bacteria can result in illness or worse, but there are many foods and additives on supermarket shelves that also put people's health at risk, some just take longer for the results to become obvious. Why should we not have the right to choose what we consume when it comes to raw milk, yet these other more harmful products are not only allowed to line shelves, but are able to be freely advertised? While MPI are not banning raw milk at this stage they are doing their best to price it out of the market and this is wrong. And who is really pushing this we have to wonder? Follow the money.. Are the large dairy companies and supermarkets really that scared of a little competition from the farm-gate and drop-off point sales?
You decide...


References
Mercola.com (nd.) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/03/08/switching-to-raw-milk.aspx [accessed 28/05/16].
Mercola.com (nd.) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/02/09/raw-milk-asthma-allergies.aspx [accessed 28/05/16]

Kat
09 Jul 2016
Raw milk helped me regain my health

After the Christchurch earthquakes I got very sick and the digestive troubles I'd had all my life got a lot worse. I lost a lot of weight. At one stage a blood test indicated I probably had leukaemia but luckily further tests showed I didn't. However, the doctors couldn't work out why my blood was showing signs of serious immune issues. I had lost so much weight that they tried me on things like Fortisip, which contain UHT milk plus vitamins and minerals. I was unable to tolerate it and in the end I turned to complementary medicine to work out how to build my health back up. I researched the risks of raw milk and talked to farmers who sold it about their hygiene practises and tuberculosis testing etc. Then I went for it. I drank 400ml every morning and it was so much easier to digest. It was the turnaround I needed to start getting better and I was able to return to work and continue on with my life. Oh, and all the weight came back on, which was a big relief.

Eva P.
06 Jul 2019
Good to hear

Glad you are better, and thanks for letting us know about your experience.

I hope it will help people do their own research (as I have done) and make their own decisions.