Letter to the Editor: Raw milk legislation in Alaska

– OPINION –

The Division of Environmental Conservation, a authorities company in Alaska chargeable for ensuring residents have entry to secure meals on the grocery retailer, has put out a proposed regulation change that may enable the sale of unpasteurized, just about unregulated milk, in Alaskan grocery shops. 

Presently, uncooked milk in Alaska is simply allowed to be bought by herd shares. This legislation permits the small share of people who find themselves fascinated with uncooked milk the chance to eat it by shopping for a portion of a cow and due to this fact technically they’re consuming their very own uncooked milk.  It has by no means been unlawful in Alaska for individuals who personal cows to eat the milk uncooked from these cows in the event that they selected to take action, understanding there are pathogen dangers (unhealthy germs) when ingesting uncooked milk. http://www.akleg.gov/basis/get_documents.asp?session=31&docid=23171 

Alaska now needs to open up the uncooked milk market to all its shoppers by permitting on-farm and retail gross sales. This can be a harmful thought! Folks would have entry to uncooked milk with out understanding the risks, particularly in the event that they purchased it for his or her kids. There have been uncooked milk outbreaks of meals poisoning in Alaska. They had been contained as a result of a smaller variety of folks consumed the milk. These outbreaks would have been a lot bigger, affecting many extra folks, if the uncooked milk had been bought within the grocery shops:

The elephant within the room when discussing the problem of uncooked milk is a company that passionately believes that uncooked milk is extra nutritious than pasteurized milk. This grassroots group is behind advancing uncooked milk laws on the state degree. The professional uncooked milk camp believes uncooked milk has therapeutic advantages that buyers have been prevented from understanding about. Although there have been some research exhibiting a profit to ingesting uncooked milk, each single one of many scientists included an announcement within the literature that extra analysis ought to to be accomplished to discover potential advantages as a result of the hurt of ingesting uncooked milk is far larger than any perceived profit, particularly in kids. The literature additionally exhibits that heat-treating — also called pasteurization — milk doesn’t diminish the dietary advantages of milk. 

Contemplate this, an individual who smokes tobacco is as much as 30 instances extra prone to develop most cancers than an individual who doesn’t smoke. An individual who drinks uncooked milk is sort of 100 instances extra prone to get sick than somebody who drinks pasteurized milk. Info on uncooked milk outbreaks will be discovered on the CDC’s web site. https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/rawmilk-outbreaks.html 

In two years, the U.S. Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) will rejoice 100 years of implementation. It’s simple to overlook that previous to pasteurization of milk (warmth remedy to kill the unhealthy germs) sicknesses and deaths attributable to exploit have decreased from about 25 p.c of all sicknesses simply earlier than World Struggle II to now lower than 1 p.c when milk meets the requirements outlined within the PMO. 100 years in the past, the vast majority of these sicknesses had been in kids.  

It is likely one of the authorities’s main duties by public well being work to advertise shoppers’ good well being and defend its shoppers from hurt. These most in danger when ingesting uncooked milk are kids, the aged, and immune compromised. 

We’re so lucky to reside in instances the place it’s not unreasonable to anticipate to reside into our 80s. That could be a far cry from the early 1900s, the place many didn’t anticipate to see their fiftieth birthdays. There are various causes for the numerous bounce, however advances in meals security are among the many high. It’s simple to take retailer purchased, pasteurized milk as a right. None of us skilled life when kids routinely died from bovine tuberculosis, undulant fever, scarlet fever, typhoid, or diphtheria when consuming uncooked milk.  

Immediately sickness and deaths from uncooked milk and uncooked milk merchandise are from “new” germs like pathogenic E. coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter. Take into account that cows lay of their manure and defecate whereas being milked. It is vitally simple for any of those germs to get within the milk. These germs, referred to as pathogens, trigger greater than diarrhea and vomiting.  https://www.fda.gov/food/buy-store-serve-safe-food/dangers-raw-milk-unpasteurized-milk-can-pose-serious-health-risk   https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-videos.html 

It’s not a time to minimize requirements or throw away confirmed applied sciences or practices which have labored to maintain our milk provide secure — pasteurization.  Warmth remedy kills germs. This can be a scientific truth. 

The underside line is that American shoppers anticipate that the meals provided on the market on the grocery retailer is just not going to sicken or kill them or these they love. If this transformation for uncooked milk goes by, the one approach a client will know the risks might be to learn the warning label. I don’t know anybody who seems for warning labels on meals on the grocery retailer to allow them to know that consuming the meals product may ship their baby to the hospital preventing for his or her lives. Who would even assume to search for such labels on milk? What are the probabilities an individual who accidently buys uncooked milk bought within the retailer even is aware of a threat exists? 

In 2015, a research was launched exhibiting that kids had been on the highest threat for uncooked milk sicknesses.  59 p.c of the outbreaks concerned a least one baby youthful than 5 and youngsters age 1 to 4 years previous accounted for 38 p.c of sicknesses attributable to Salmonella and 28 p.c by Shiga toxin-producing E.coli.  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/21/1/14-0447_article 

Listed here are some real-life video tales of kids and adults who’ve been harmed by uncooked milk.  A pair are heartbreaking to observe; lifelong injury was accomplished.  https://realrawmilkfacts.com/real-life-stories 

Alaska is just not the primary state to legalize industrial distribution of uncooked milk, however it shouldn’t make the identical mistake that states like Washington have made, the place recollects for “soiled” milk are routine and the variety of sicknesses has skyrocketed. Understanding the info, why would Alaska decide that may hurt kids who don’t get a selection about pasteurized or non-pasteurized milk? If you want to learn up on the proposal in Alaska and supply your ideas, the state is accepting feedback till February 22, 2022. https://dec.alaska.gov/eh/vet/regulations/raw-milk-and-products/ 

In regards to the creator: This letter is posted anonymously on the creator’s request and with Meals Security Information having data of the creator.

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