February 17, 2009, Arlington, Virginia
Several of us from WAPF and active in the raw milk movement will be attending a
meeting put on by the International Association for Food Protection, including
myself, my husband Geoffrey Morell, Tim Boyd from the WAPF office and Canadian raw milk hero Michael Schmidt. The title of the meeting is “Raw Milk Consumption: An Emerging Public Health Threat?” and the main speaker will be John Sheehan of the FDA. (See our response to Mr. Sheehan at
We are sending this announcement to our members in DC, Virginia, Maryland and
Pennsylvania in case any of you would like to attend. The fee is expensive-almost $500-and there is no guarantee that any of you will get time at a microphone, but if you have a compelling story to tell, you might want to attend for the chance to speak to participants personally.
If you decide to attend, please let us know at info (at) westonaprice.org . Details for the meeting are given below.
Sally Fallon Morell
Member rates $425; non-member $495; Membership is $50
Raw Milk Consumption:
An Emerging Public Health Threat?
February 17, 2009
8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
DoubleTree Hotel Crystal City
300 Army Navy Drive
This one-day symposium will explore the scientific risk and public health issues related to the human consumption of raw milk in the developed world. The presentations and panels are targeted at food safety professionals, state and federal regulators, Congressional and state legislative staffers, and anyone with an interest in improving the safety of the food supply. Subjects addressed will include current illness and outbreak data, dairy industry food safety practices, health claims related to raw milk consumption, legal and regulatory challenges as well as consumer perceptions.
The dangers of raw milk consumption can be documented to the early 1900s; in some parts of the U.S. and Europe one out of every two babies died from consuming raw milk contaminated with human pathogenic microorganisms. Slowly, cities, counties, and eventually states adopted laws and regulations prohibiting the sale of raw milk for direct human consumption. A federal regulation (21 CFR 1240.61) that prohibited the interstate sale of raw milk for direct human consumption was adopted in 1987. As a result of pasteurization, the prevalence of food borne illness associated with dairy products has been reduced to less than 1 percent of total outbreaks, although a very large percentage of the population consumes these products. However, raw milk sales for direct human consumption are allowed in 28 states, with the number growing each year due to legislative pressures from raw milk advocates. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that from 1998 to May of 2005, there were 45 outbreaks that implicated unpasteurized milk, or cheese made from unpasteurized milk. These outbreaks accounted for 1,007 illnesses, 104 hospitalizations, and two deaths. Recent research investigations have shown that raw milk may contain a diverse array of pathogenic microorganisms (e.g. Listeria, Salmonella, Yersinia, Mycobacterium, Campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7, and others).
Advocates for raw milk consumption use messages such as a “consumer’s right to choose”, “natures best food with miracle properties that prevent or cure many diseases”, and “can be produced safely from healthy animals” to promote their product as more healthful than pasteurized milk. In addition, raw milk advocates suggest that raw milk consumption is safe due to the perceived presence of active natural antimicrobial agents in raw milk.
The Symposium will include a luncheon and refreshment breaks that provide an opportunity for networking. Make plans to participate in this important scientific meeting.