Last week, a Victorian toddler died and four other children aged 1 to 4 fell seriously ill after drinking raw milk.
The tragic death has led to various health bodies to urge for the sale of raw milk to be outlawed, with Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Rosemary Lester, commenting, “If this was a food, it is something we would recall.”
The problem is that raw milk is sold under the guise of ‘bath milk’ in order to sideline the law that requires milk to be pasteurised.
Pasteurisation, the process of heating milk to 72 degrees for 15 seconds to kill harmful bacteria, was first introduced in Australia in the 1950s. Pioneered by Louis Pasteur over 150 years ago, the process ensures safer consumption of dairy products, which are consumed by upward of 80% of Australians.
Without pasteurisation, milk can contain harmful bacteria like salmonella, listeria, and e coli – the latter of which caused haemolytic-uremic syndrome and subsequent kidney failure in one of the five children, who luckily survived.
The child’s mother reported that he developed diarrhoea and vomiting, which lasted for 10 days as doctors remained mystified at the cause of his illness. The condition worsened, and “he turned grey” before being taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital with 20% kidney function.
So why are people still buying it?
Some might say it comes down to the popular view that anything raw must equal healthy, while processing of any kind must be bad.
The common belief that pasteurisation depletes milk of nutritional value is totally false, and to quote one impassioned journalist, the trend “goes hand in hand with anti-vaccination and fluoride denial when it comes to public health lunacy.”
But undoubtedly the most alarming thought is that raw milk continues to be sold in health food shops across Melbourne, and despite disclaimers that it is not for human consumption, it is packaged like regular drinking milk and stocked in food stores.
Click here for the full recall statement of Mountain View Organic Dairy – Organic Bath Milk
Categories: In the News