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Pediatricians Endorses Nationwide Ban on the Sale of Raw Milk

Update Date: Dec 16, 2013 09:39 AM EST

A recent study conduced by a team from the Minnesota Department of Health reported that unpasteurized milk, also known as raw milk, contains roughly 530 cases of infections. These infections can cause illnesses that could potentially be fatal. Due to the dangers behind consuming raw milk, the American Academy of Pediatrics has published a new policy statement. In the statement, the authors recommend pregnant women, newborns and young children to consume only pasteurized diary products.

In the statement, the authors stressed the dangers of consuming raw milk regardless of which animal it comes from. Products that are made with cow, goat or sheep's milk can increase one's risk of getting a bacterial infection. These types of infections are the most fatal for pregnant women, infants and young children. In recent years, the popularity of eating raw milk and raw milk products has increased due to the belief that these items are healthier. However, the authors of the statement stressed that there is no scientific evidence that this is true.

"We have no scientific evidence that consuming raw milk provides any advantages over pasteurized milk and milk products," said lead author Yvonne Maldonado, MD, a professor of pediatrics from Stanford University School of Medicine. Maldonado is also an infectious disease expert and 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."

In 2011, researchers found that raw milk and raw milk products are sold legally in 30 states with access to the products varying in every state. Between 1998 and 2009, there were a total of 93 outbreaks tied to raw milk and raw milk products. These recorded outbreaks were tied to 1,837 illness, 195 hospitalizations and two deaths. The medical data revealed that the majority of the cases were due to E. Coli.

The statement takes the same stance against unpasteurized products 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 (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

"We invented pasteurization to prevent these horrible diseases," Maldonado said according to Medical Xpress. "There is really no good reason to drink unpasteurized milk."

The statement, which was published in Pediatrics, endorses a nationwide ban on the sales of raw milk and raw milk products.

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