"Raw milk and raw milk products are 150 times more likely than their pasteurized counterparts to sicken those who consume them, according to a 13-year review published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday. States that permit raw milk sales also have more than twice as many illness outbreaks as states where raw milk is not sold.
The CDC study, published online in Emerging Infectious Diseases, reviewed dairy-related outbreaks between 1993 and 2006 in all 50 states, during which time the authors counted 121 dairy-related illness outbreaks resulting in 4,413 illnesses, 239 hospitalizations and three deaths.
Despite raw milk products accounting for approximately one percent of dairy production in the U.S., raw milk dairies were linked to 60 percent of those dairy-related outbreaks. In addition, 202 of the 239 hospitalizations (85 percent) resulted from raw milk outbreaks. Thirteen percent of patients from raw milk outbreaks were hospitalized, versus one percent of patients from pasteurized milk outbreaks.
Seventy-five percent of the raw milk outbreaks occurred in the 21 states where the sale of raw milk was legal at the study's onset in 1993. Today, 30 states permit the sale of raw milk, while another seven are considering raw milk legislation changes this year.
The study found that individuals under the age of 20 accounted for 60 percent of those affected by raw milk outbreaks, compared with 23 percent associated with pasteurized products. Children were also more likely than adults to become seriously ill from pathogenic bacteria in raw milk.
The differences in illness severity between raw and pasteurized milk are largely due to the pathogens present in each: People sickened from raw milk typically ingest injurious bacteria -- most commonly Salmonella or Campylobacter -- whereas pasteurized milk outbreaks more often result from "relatively mild" pathogens such as norovirus, according to the CDC."
Read more here.
I don't endorse governmental restriction of sales of raw milk products, which from this report appear no more hazardous than alcohol, cigarettes, or many common pharmaceuticals. If people want to take the risk of salmonella infection in order to consume raw milk, that is their own business.
But if raw milk performs like this, it won't be long before it will lose its market. Very quickly people will reject a disease vector like this.