In the midst of debates surrounding new raw milk legislation in Victoria, Australia, four or five children in the region became ill, allegedly from the consumption of raw milk, and tragically one of the children passed away due to resulting complications. People on both sides of the raw milk debate rushed to pass judgments and call for legislative reform, despite lack of evidence that conclusively pointed to raw milk as the cause of illness.
A local blogger wrote about her thoughts on the unfolding events and was surprised when, shortly thereafter, the mother of one of the ill children contacted her on Facebook. The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, provided a backstory on her family’s raw milk consumption and timing of events, including why she herself was hesitant to believe that raw milk was the certain cause of her son’s illness.
“My son was diagnosed with a parasite (cryptosporidium) after having severe gastro for 10 days. I was told that raw milk was a possible cause. We had also visited a farm, picked up and cuddled chickens, cats and dogs from this farm and swam in a pool…all also possible risk factors for this parasite. If I could get closure on this and know for sure that it was the milk, it would give me some peace…but I am not convinced,” she wrote.
In this case, it is possible that raw milk was the cause of illness but it is not certain – and for the media and members of the public to rush to judgment without any conclusive evidence is inflammatory and threatens rational conversation about the reform of raw milk in Victoria and elsewhere.
Realmilk.com is a consumer education project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Visit their website, westonaprice.org.