Early this month, some West Virginia state lawmakers and staff had a very bad weekend after celebrating the passage of a bill that loosens restrictions on raw milk. As a way of toasting their supposed accomplishment, Delegate Scott Cadle, R-Mason, invited fellow lawmakers and others to “live dangerously” and sample the raw milk he procured from a Mason County dairy.
Unfortunately for some of the lawmakers and staff who drank the milk, they soon came down with flu-like symptoms – fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
In the 1912 Journal of Infectious Diseases, biology Professor and Curator of Public Health at the American Museum of Natural History, New York, C.E.A. Winslow recognized raw milk as a source of severe infection after an outbreak killed 48 people in the Boston area. Marveled as one of the public health triumphs of the 20th century, pasteurization of milk kills disease-causing bacteria. “Raw” milk is milk that has not undergone the pasteurization process.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , raw milk can carry harmful bacteria including campylobacter, listeria, e. coli, salmonella and other germs that can make people sick and are even deadly. The CDC further explains “getting sick from raw milk can mean days of diarrhea, stomach cramping and vomiting.”