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Health Canada Warns Canadians Not to Drink Raw Milk [August 9, 2012]

Health Canada Weighs into Raw Milk Debate

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The raw milk debate has emerged once again when raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt  took his 13 convictions relating to the sale of raw milk to the Ontario Court Appeal and now Health Canada is stepping in to offer their two-cents on the issue. Health Canada released a statement warning Canadian’s not to drink raw milk also known as unpasteurized milk because it could make you sick.

The ministry outlines the key health conditions if one were to consume raw milk including, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, miscarriage and sometimes even death. Raw milk can often be the host of Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria. It’s law that all milk sold in Canada must be pasteurized to kill all bacteria that may cause disease.  Milk pasteurization was made mandatory in 1991.

While the ministry warns Canadians about the serious health implications of drinking raw milk, they talk about the health benefits of drinking pasteurized milk, noting that it contains a number of essential nutrients, including protein, calcium and vitamin D.

The warning also explains that the only exception for the sale of raw milk is through further manufacturing including raw milk cheese, which is allowed and considered safe because the aging process eliminates the potential for any harmful pathogens.

Although not stating it outright, the ministry is warning Canadian consumers about the implications of drinking raw milk after raw milk advocates such as Michael Schmidt were trying to popularize the health benefits of drinking raw milk.

“Although raw milk is not allowed to be sold in Canada, people have become ill after drinking it when visiting farms. While pasteurized milk is now the standard, there are some Canadians who continue to prefer raw milk because they believe it is healthier,” Health Canada states in a press release.

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