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Wisconsin Pediatricians Oppose Sale of "Raw Milk" -- WIAAP Urges Defeat of AB 628 and SB 434

The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics stands opposed to two companion bills currently going through the legislature that would legalize the sale of unpasteurized milk. "Raw milk" is a potentially dangerous food product that would endanger children and individuals with compromised immune systems, as well as the general public.

Wisconsin Pediatricians Oppose Sale of
Kimberly, WI, April 19, 2010 --( The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WIAAP) today voiced its strong opposition to two bills that would legalize the sale of "raw milk" in Wisconsin. “This legislation would endanger kids,” worries Jeff Lamont, MD, FAAP, President of the WIAAP. “Pasteurization is viewed worldwide as a significant public health breakthrough. As pediatricians we care for and protect children who cannot choose their own diets.” Raw milk is a known link to food-borne illnesses carried through bacteria such as E coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter. These bacteria are capable of causing diseases as serious as meningitis, kidney failure, tuberculosis, brucellosis, bone or joint infections and even death, and can lead to miscarriages in pregnant women.

James Conway, MD, FAAP, chair of the WIAAP Infectious Disease and Immunization committee, agrees. “Pasteurization has prevented countless cases of infections in children and individuals with compromised immune systems, as well as the general public. There are no scientific reasons to oppose pasteurization, but there are significant risks associated with the practice of drinking raw milk.” He added, “States that permit the sale of raw milk run nearly three times the risk of having raw milk-related outbreaks.” The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported 1,600 illnesses, 202 hospitalizations and two deaths between 1993 and 2006 linked with unpasteurized dairy products.

Recent testimony by the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) also expressed vehement opposition to the proposed law. Dr. Keith Poulsen of the WVMA stresses, “Grade A milk is only suitable for human consumption after pasteurization, as there are no acceptable rapid tests to identify harmful bacteria in raw milk, and even healthy cows shed bacteria in their milk.”

Multiple public health and agricultural health agencies oppose the sale of unpasteurized milk products, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, NMC (formerly the National Mastitis Council), the American Veterinary Medical Association, the U.S. Animal Health Association, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Environmental Health Association, the International Association for Food Protection, the World Health Organization, and the Wisconsin Division of Public Health.

Lamont urges concerned citizens to contact their legislators to voice opposition. “The financial benefit to a small group of people is not worth the risk and higher health care costs to taxpayers.”

Comprised of nearly 1,000 members and a part of the American Academy of Pediatrics (“AAP”), WIAAP works to assure optimal health and safety for Wisconsin’s children and their families through advocacy and collaboration with child interest groups. WIAAP supports Wisconsin pediatricians, enabling them to continue to be the most effective providers of health care to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics is committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Contact: Kia LaBracke, Executive Director, WIAAP
Phone: 262-490-9075; Email:; Web:

Contact Information
Wisconsin Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Kia LaBracke
Attached Files
Unpasteurized Milk: A Continued Public Health Threat
Article in CID Jan'09. Although milk and dairy products are important components of a healthy diet, if consumed unpasteurized, they also can present a health hazard due to possible contamination with pathogenic bacteria. These bacteria can originate even from clinically healthy animals.
Filename: CIDUnpasteurizedMilk-PHThreat.pdf
Food Safety Hazards Associated with Consumption
Stephen P. Oliver, Ph.D., Department of Animal Science, the University of Tennessee. An increasing number of people are consuming raw unpasteurized milk. Several documented milkborne disease outbreaks occurred from 2000–2008 and were traced back to consumption of raw unpasteurized milk.
Filename: 2009OliverFoodbornePathogensa.pdf

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