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Opposition to raw milk isn’t about health

Published: Monday, March 24, 2014 10:52 a.m. CST

To the editor:

Regarding the article by Ty Rushing, “Raw milk sales divide Iowans” (page 11, Tuesday, March 11), I assure you health concerns are not the main reason for opposing raw milk. I believe it to be a tax-supported industry that hopes to wipe out a competitor, that has been known to wipe out the livelihood of small producers by conducting raids and etc.

It is claimed that the location of the cow’s fecal and urine area is so close that bacteria would contaminate the milk. But, it so happens that raw milk contains latic acid, producing bacteria that protects against pathogens and in time will let the raw milk turn pleasantly sour, which is good for baking, while pasteurized milk in time will rot and stink.

All outbreaks of Salmonella from contaminated milk in recent decades have occurred in pasteurized milk, this includes the 1985 outbreak in Illinois that struck 14,316 people with one death. The Salmonella strain found in that batch of pasteurized milk was found to be genetically resistant to both penicillin and tetracycline, according to Dr. Epstein of  the University of Illinois school of Public Health.

Dr. Epstein, who is chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, also found that the growth hormone (rBGH) given to cows to increase production as much as 30 percent brings on more cases of mastitis (infection of teats), which is left in the milk. Also found in the milk is the hormone IGF-1, which has been found to be a major cause of breast, colon, and prostrate cancers.

With modern milking machines and stainless steel tanks , along with efficient packaging and distribution, raw milk producers can truthfully say as Mrs. McIntyre of Jasper Farms says, “Our milk starts out clean, and stays clean,”  just as when I was a kid on the farm. I sometimes got milk strait from the cow, and I do mean strait.

Norma Borchert


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