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Raw Milk In Wisconsin Is Illegal And Making People Sick, Says State

This just in from the State of Wisconsin:

Thirteen confirmed cases of illness in southeastern Wisconsin have been linked to consumption of unpasteurized milk, public health officials said today, and they cautioned residents to discard any unpasteurized milk they have in their homes.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said individuals have tested positive for campylobacter jejuni, a bacterial infection that causes gastro-intestinal symptoms and fever and that occasionally leads to severe complications. There are other people in the same households who are ill, but those test results are not yet available, officials said.

The onset of illness was Aug. 14-20. All victims had consumed raw milk or been in households where someone else consumed raw milk and became ill. Campylobacter can be passed between people as well as being contracted directly from contaminated food.

Campylobacter jejuni bacteria cause nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever and vomiting. Rarely, it can lead to temporary arthritis or paralysis, generally after the initial symptoms have disappeared.

Anyone who has these symptoms and has recently consumed unpasteurized milk or dairy products should contact their doctor. To prevent spreading Campylobacter bacteria, follow proper hand-washing procedures and wash down bathroom and kitchen surfaces with an antibacterial agent.

Selling or distributing raw milk and raw milk products is illegal in Wisconsin.

  • Alathea

    I live in WI and have been looking for Raw milk to buy for a while now. Just the other day found out its illegal. This is ridiculous. The symptoms mentioned in the article above are mild and no reason to dump all raw milk.
    Our freedom and right to ‘pursue happiness’ in this regard has been taken from us.
    Processed milk is missing all the ingredients that my children need for healthy teeth and bones. I guess I will have to buy myself a cow.

  • Kristin

    So you want your kids to have healty teeth and bones, but let me guess…they’re not vaccinated for polio either? Funny how people like you claim to be so healty, but disregard some of the most important safeguards for your children.

  • Atom Egoyan

    Alathea claims that campylobacter poisoninh is “mild.” And asserts that the right to ingest enteric microbes and get sick is a “freedom and right to pursue happiness.” These comments cannot stand as facts.
    Research has long shown that C. jejuni infections that appear mild can later cause health problems such as myocarditis, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, and more. The extent of this relationship is still being evaluated, in the meantime we must expect public health officials to take a strong stand on this.
    Freedom? I don’t want to pay for health insurance for people who disregard the simplest and most basic laws of microbial transmission. I’m tired of paying for other people’s fetishes that lead to illness. Raw milk is one of the silliest food fetishes ever. Why don’t you crusade for raw beef?

  • Iryna

    All people in the country, where i was from in east Europe drink raw milk every day and nobody never died or got sick. Raw milk makes your heals system strong and save you from many deasises. Why shod people spend so much money to buy not organik vitamin pillows and calciym if everythin that they need is in raw milk.
    Medical researches show, shat people, who were drinking raw milk not so often get influenza, stomach illneses, food poisoning and heart disease…

  • Jen

    I live in Wisconsin and heard about this. When all these cows were tested, my understanding is NONE of them had anything wrong with their milk. Sounds all kind of odd to me.
    I think that the state is worried that too many people are seeing the benifits of raw milk and the bigger organic companies are concerned about losing business. It has been around forever. If I lived closer, I would buy raw milk from someone.

  • ss

    It is a choice that any person should have — if we can have to choice for abortion – we should also have the choice for what milk we drink…it is our choice!!!

  • Terri

    Jen is right, that is exactly what happened. We were one of the ones that were sick. The cows did test negative and the farm is very clean. Our son is autistic and when he started drinking raw milk 5 yrs ago his autistic behaviors disappeared. He is allergic to the protein in milk, when he consumes raw milk the live digestive enzymes allows his body to digest it. Since last summer we have bought organic milk from the store and all of our family has noticed the autistic traits coming back. Not to mention we have had more colds and sickness in the last season than I can remember. He is allergic to nuts, soy, and rice milk gives him sores on his tounge. People have been drinking raw milk for thousands of years, it is a risk you take, like with any thing, peanut butter from unsanitary factories, tainted meat that goes undetected, etc. Until you have a child who has severe issues you will never understand.

  • Marios_Mom

    Marios_Mom said on: March 9, 2010, 9:45 pm
    At one time, I too, was a believer in pasteurized milk. But, then I EDUCATED myself because I had a reason. Here is what I know…More than 1,500 people became ill from drinking raw milk between 1993 and 2006, the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those, 185 were hospitalized and two died. WOW!! Two people died in 13 years from drinking raw milk. yet every year in the US 5,000 people die from foodborne illnesses from the very things we think are safe because we buy them in a supermarket? I NOW AM A FIRM BELIEVER IN… the less man touches it, the healthier it is. We are not talking about pulling up to any farm on the road and asking if you can buy milk. It is a researched and educated decision made in the best interest of you and your family. Not grain fed cows, but pasture fed animals, clean farms. Farms that will allow customers to come anytime they choose because they have NOTHING to hide. I do not understand WHY there is a debate? No one will be forced to drink it if they don’t want to. My son also has autism, and drank Almond Milk for over 2 years. could not handle milk until he started to drink “RAW MILK”. Not only does his body handle it, he is healthier. During the Winter he has a constant cold. 6 months ago, he started to drink raw milk and this winter he has had 1 mild cold. My other children also are constantly sick throughout the winter months and haven’t been sick once this winter. THANK YOU FOR THE RAW MILK!! OUR EDUCATED CHOICE!

  • tina

    Raw milk from GRASS-FED cows is a superior food. Regular milk from grain fed cows is crap – a junk food. Big dairy farmers know their milk is crap. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t need to ultra-pasteurized the milk!
    If I couldn’t get raw dairy for my family, we simple would drink dairy.

  • ?

    everyone needs to simmer down. It will be ok, if you want raw milk buy a cow and keep it healthy. My favorite comment so far is the one about raw beef, or raw anything for that matter. Raw beef is a delicacy and can be purchased and used at high end restaurants in most if not all states. The assumption is that the higher end restaurants are prone to be cleaner with better products, this is mostly true…but wither or not the raw beef, milk, carrots, kittens, or spotted owl will make you sick depends on what the product was exposed to (note obvious sarcasm and the subsequent drawing more attention to that obvious sarcasm). In almost every case improper butchering of the animal, in which they cut part of the intestines or stomach, is what causes almost all bacteria that will cause you harm to get introduced into the meat. This is the same for milk and most types of agriculture, you don’t butcher a crop of carrots, but you do introduce fertilizer (fecal matter) to all crops. Organically grown crops are slightly more prone to contamination for what I hope would be obvious reasons. There is no disputing that raw foods are better for you, there is also no disputing that in our fast paced, mass market consumption of everything will make it impossible for every vegetable, meat, or any food product to be safe even 80% of the time. Especially the mass produced organic foods, which a large portion of usually don’t make the final cut due to insects, sickness, and other factors. So, if you want to eat your raw food…or your “safe” non raw foods you both should know that the risk, statistically, of you getting sick is about the same. Wither it’s bacterium or complications with steroids and pesticides the complications and risks are pretty well balanced on either side. So, if you want to eat raw food then do it, if u want to be as safe as possible with it; then raise your own cow, grow your own crops on high ground so you know you don’t have runoff from infected fields, and when that cow grows old…butcher it in your kitchen, provided that cow was grass fed and free ranging its whole life. As for the mass market consumers enjoy your pesticides, Sugar loaded every packaged product, and the almost-just-as-probable bout with e-coli and salmonella. What I’m trying to rather long windily say is that your both sides are wrong due to the mass production of life, and if you eat…and it’s from a grocery store no matter what product, you will get sick at least once (again sarcasm). I have my own garden and when I lived at home, we had our own chickens and bucket cafe (cow for saluter), we took care of them properly and never got sick. We never had raw milk but if we had a milking cow, we would have taken care of it in proper order, and drank the milk in a timely fashion…thus avoiding sickness right around 95% of the time. Which in case your wondering is the odds of you getting an illness from something safe to eat (ie, not poison) that might make you sick if conditions are right (ie insane bovine rickets). The things I do buy from the store, I like to get organic and raw as often as possible, just because I know of the benefits and the consequences/risks. But that canned tuna, or that damn tasty twinky isn’t gonna kill me you health freaks. So, eat…I dare you, and how do you spell twinky anyway..

  • Tiffany

    I think like 13 people just died (this week!) from cantaloupe. Following this logic, it should be illegal to sell cantaloupe.

  • Vidor

    Absolute nonsense! How do you think we consumed milk in the old days?
    Raw milk is about as dangerous as that paring knife you have in the kitchen. If you are an idiot, it’s probably not a good idea. If you need the government to tell you to wipe your butt and wash your hands, you probably should stick with conformity and give up your freedom.
    We didnt have lactose intolerance in the 1950’s and 60’s and 70’s until milk producers stared “enhancing” production.