Raw milk - vets stance

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9 years 1 month ago #505662 by cowvet
Replied by cowvet on topic Raw milk - vets stance

llvonn;512058 wrote:

Believe me cowvet, I have done my research, including poring through stats on food-borne illnesses for my submissions to the MPI. You and I have opposing views. The difference is that I am fine with your decision not to drink raw milk and I respect that you have your reasons for your belief. I just wish you would respect that my views in favour of raw milk are not made blindly, emotively or based on one source of reasoning.

While holding your view you have totally missed the point .
I have never said I will personally not drink raw milk. I have never said you shouldn't be able to make your own choice .

After also reviewing all the stats and facts the veterinary profession have stated that by looking at healthy cows and under current farm practices like Althea explained it is impossible to say that the raw milk is safe with respect to food borne pathogens.

The point is the veterinary profession (with training in food safety, animal disease, milk quality, zoonoses and public health ) are not prepared to support the notion that healthy cows from clean farms Produce safe milk all of the time.


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9 years 1 month ago #505666 by cowvet
Replied by cowvet on topic Raw milk - vets stance

muri;512063 wrote: Thats the whole point, the raw milk issue has nothing to do with vets opinions and using a professional background in animals to judge the fitness of milk for drinking is absolutely ridiculous

No - the food safety industry employs over 200 vets in NZ. It's a profession very much in the food safety space

www.foodsafety.govt.nz/about/verification-agency/

The whole point is that with their expertise in transmissible disease and zoonoses vets have stated that they won't sign off healthy cows on healthy farms and give the implication that this means the milk is safe

. We all know that healthy cows can be shedding salmonella, listeria, campylobacter, shiga toxin producing bacteria, clostridium bacteria, lepto etc at any time. We know that as fact. Much like all the harmless bacteria been there all of the time so too are the bad ones.

We all see filter socks on a daily basis. We know they do not filter out bacteria (just the gross contamination) Poo gets in milk on all farms and therefore food born disease causing bacteria can be in the milk at the farm.

So very much a case that we know enough about the milk that we can't tell you it is safe at the raw/farm level. No-one can


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9 years 1 month ago #505668 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Raw milk - vets stance
Exactly Cowvet, and I wouldnt be asking you if my meat was safe to eat either as there are so many components of safe food, and not just the animal it came from.
I am not sure why this is even brought up as I would assume we wouldnt be relying on vets to tell us how safe our food was, except of course in conditions of ill health where it is quite obvious in the animal

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9 years 1 month ago #505669 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Raw milk - vets stance
I too thought that the purple text was shouting because the font was larger.
I grew up drinking raw milk right from the start. My baby log book records the amounts of cow's milk and added sugar used for my feeds. Our milk was as good as could be expected because great care was taken with cleanliness in the cowshed. My dad reckons that if a dairy farmer won't drink his own milk then it means that his cowshed hygiene is no good.
I would have though it obvious that it is not possible to certify that milk is safe based entirely on the healthy appearance of the cow it came from. As others have pointed out that is why the dairy industry has testing regimes in place.

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9 years 1 month ago #505670 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Raw milk - vets stance
Good thread!

Out of interest who certifies that the milk going through the retail system has been hygienically processed and treated?

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9 years 1 month ago #505677 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Raw milk - vets stance

cowvet;512070 wrote: No - the food safety industry employs over 200 vets in NZ. It's a profession very much in the food safety space

The health service employs a lot of cleaners, I would not be seeking food advice from them either though. Neither do I think vets are qualified in food storage and consumption as stated previously. Just because someone is employed in a certain industry does not mean they are qualified in all aspects. I have worked in the grain industry, it does not mean I am qualified to advise farmers how to grow their grain.

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9 years 1 month ago #505679 by cowvet
Replied by cowvet on topic Raw milk - vets stance

igor;512073 wrote: I too thought that the purple text was shouting because the font was larger.
I grew up drinking raw milk right from the start. My baby log book records the amounts of cow's milk and added sugar used for my feeds. Our milk was as good as could be expected because great care was taken with cleanliness in the cowshed. My dad reckons that if a dairy farmer won't drink his own milk then it means that his cowshed hygiene is no good.
I would have though it obvious that it is not possible to certify that milk is safe based entirely on the healthy appearance of the cow it came from. As others have pointed out that is why the dairy industry has testing regimes in place.


the biggest thing they do to increase the milks safety is to pasteurize it.

None of the tests or measurements currently done on farms look at what pathogenic bacteria are in the milk. the assumption is that pasteurization deals with that before it gets to the point of sale.

In this day and age would your dad sell raw milk to the general public without good farm liability insurance???

It is very easy to say ''she'll be right'' its safe - I drank it and I'm fine ( and here's my baby log book book to prove it), but when you actually carry the can and are held personally accountable for something you have signed or sold then you probably want a bit more than just your individual personal experience and your baby log book backing you up.


I love animals...they're delicious

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9 years 1 month ago #505681 by cowvet
Replied by cowvet on topic Raw milk - vets stance

kai;512081 wrote: The health service employs a lot of cleaners, I would not be seeking food advice from them either though. Neither do I think vets are qualified in food storage and consumption as stated previously. Just because someone is employed in a certain industry does not mean they are qualified in all aspects. I have worked in the grain industry, it does not mean I am qualified to advise farmers how to grow their grain.

I'm pretty sure they aren't their cleaning the floors and speying cats.

A vets training includes food safety, microbiology, epidemiology, zoonotic diseases (the ones that transmit between animals and humans) etc. In NZ the vet plays a major role in overseeing and certificating the risk management plans and the signing off of food derived from animal proteins as being fit for human consumption.

This quote from the OIE pretty much sums it up


The role of the
Veterinary Services has traditionally extended from the farm to the slaughterhouse , where veterinarians have a dual responsibility – epidemiological


surveillance of animal diseases and ensuring the safety and suitability of meat .



T he education and training of veterinarians , which includes both animal health (including zoonoses ) and food hygiene components, makes them uniquely equipped to play a central role in ensuring food safety, especially the safety of foods of animal origin. As described below, in addition to veterinarians , several other professional groups are involved in supporting integrated food safety approaches throughout the food chain.



In many countries the role of the


Veterinary Services has been extended to include subsequent stages of the food chain in the ''farm to fork'' continuum.




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9 years 1 month ago #505682 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Raw milk - vets stance

cowvet;512083 wrote:
None of the tests or measurements currently done on farms look at what pathogenic bacteria are in the milk. the assumption is that pasteurization deals with that before it gets to the point of sale.

I would assume if there was a viable industry then there would be more tests done on the milk. Surely a simple solution would be that only milk that passed the tests on arriving at the the plant would be allowed to sold raw, if anything was detected, then it went into the pasteurising vat.

Also relying on pasteurisation is encouraging farmers NOT to be so concerned about hygiene, because after all the milk processing plant will sort it out for them, won't they?:rolleyes:

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9 years 1 month ago #505683 by cowvet
Replied by cowvet on topic Raw milk - vets stance

muri;512063 wrote: Thats the whole point, the raw milk issue has nothing to do with vets opinions and using a professional background in animals to judge the fitness of milk for drinking is absolutely ridiculous

Yes and no

No - vets play a huge role in declaring animal derived proteins as fit for human consumption both within our national food industry and that destined for export.

As far as being ridiculous - yes that's pretty much what we told them.

We know cow poo gets in milk. it does on every farm
we know all about milk, how it is made, what's in it when it comes out of the cow and how it can be contaminated
We know healthy looking cows often shed things like salmonella, listeria, clostridium, nasty Ecoli, lepto, campylobacter.
We know these bad bugs can be in the milk of healthy looking cows.

Yes - so signing any professional documentation and therefore becoming personally and professional accountable for any consequences resulting in human illness or death would be ridiculous.
Its not that we can't tell you that its safe because we're not qualified and don't know. Its because we can not tell you that those baddies aren't in there and we can't therefore tell you it is safe.

No-one should really tell you its safe. Anyone who does probably doesn't have to worry about personal accountability (or in the case of the farmer should have damn good liability insurance to cover their backside). Its very easy to say - yep mate she'll be right - unless you are someone that actually personally has to bear the consequences of an investigation as to responsibility/liability etc


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9 years 1 month ago #505687 by cowvet
Replied by cowvet on topic Raw milk - vets stance

kai;512086 wrote: I would assume if there was a viable industry then there would be more tests done on the milk. Surely a simple solution would be that only milk that passed the tests on arriving at the the plant would be allowed to sold raw, if anything was detected, then it went into the pasteurising vat.

Also relying on pasteurisation is encouraging farmers NOT to be so concerned about hygiene, because after all the milk processing plant will sort it out for them, won't they?:rolleyes:


In comparison to the rest of the world our hygiene standards on a daily basis would be amongst the highest. These standards have to be met prior to pasteurisation so pasteurisation doesn't fix them if they are sloppy - you get dinged!

farmers have to be hugely conscious of hygiene and quality every day. The milk is scrutinised at every tanker pick-up for contaminants such as water, inhibitory substances (cleaning chemicals, antibiotics, iodophors etc), somatic cells (white blood cells)faecal contamination etc . Accidents do happen and they are usually a big surprise to the farmer. If they suspect a problem prior to pickup their financial penalties are much less if they prewarn the factory and that milk is kept isolated until cleared...otherwise the farmer runs the risk of being liable for the entire tanker load of milk at great expense. It literally pays to be honest.

The only way to test for the food borne disease causing bacteria is to do a culture or PCR. This is not done routinely. If you want assurance it is bacterially safe from the nasties then you could do that on each milk collection (with a time delay and cost) ,or you could pasteurise it. I don't give a hoot if you want to drink the good bacteria that supposedly make it such a live living health product for some. Whether raw milk is better for you or not is NOT what this is about. What it is about is that you are about 100x more likely to get a food borne disease from drinking raw milk compared to pastuerized milk. (According to John Hopkins University Study consumers are nearly 100 times more likely to get a foodborne illness from drinking raw milk than from drinking pasteurized milk. In fact, the researchers determined that raw milk was associated with more than half of all milk-related foodborne illness, even though only an estimated 3.5% of the U.S. population consumes raw milk.)

If I went to the farm gate tomorrow morning to buy my 5L from my mate down the road - nice fella, good healthy looking cows and every time I walk into his shed (on a regular basis) it looks up to scratch and his filter socks aren't too gross. I would do so knowing that none of these tests had been done on the actual batch of milk I was getting and goodness me if the worst has happened (and accidents do happen) and the poo in the milk count is up, or if they have graded on somatic cells, or if a penicillin cow has accidently got into the vat then I am not going to know unless he rings me when that milk is tested at the factory. I don't know that there is not some nasty bacteria in there because I know that occasionally there are some nasties in the milk and they aren't testing for that . I know all that and I might be prepared to take the risk on my own behalf but I would never ever tell anyone that it was safe when I don't really truly know that it is. No-one does.


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9 years 1 month ago #505688 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Raw milk - vets stance

cowvet;512083 wrote:
In this day and age would your dad sell raw milk to the general public without good farm liability insurance??? .


Not a chance and we never did in the old days either. A certain amount of koha might changes hands between friends but that would be the limit.

cowvet;512083 wrote:
It is very easy to say ''she'll be right'' its safe - I drank it and I'm fine ( and here's my baby log book book to prove it), but when you actually carry the can and are held personally accountable for something you have signed or sold then you probably want a bit more than just your individual personal experience and your baby log book backing you up.


I'm not holding up my baby log book as proof of anything and I'm certainly not prepared to give health advice based solely on that. I think you and the NZVA are quite correct to refuse to certify that milk is safe based solely upon the health of the cows it came from. I said as much in my earlier post.

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9 years 1 month ago #505689 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Raw milk - vets stance
Willing buyer, willing seller???? What the hell has that to do with safety. I'm sure I could buy methamphetamine if I tried, and from a willing seller, but that would not keep me or the general public safe :-((.
I have seen people with tuberculosis, brucellosis and leptospirosis caught from cows. Also salmonella, E coli infection, and other bacterial infection.
I have no confidence yet that raw milk is safe. A couple of years ago (I don't have recent data) more than 200 cases of food poisoning were recorded from raw milk in Manawatu alone.
As a Batchelor of Food Technology, this idea is a giant step backwards. I most certainly hope that raw milk sellers have an idiot-proof insurance scheme for those people unfortunate enough to be poisoned by their milk.
I have no concern if you poison yourself or your family, but how will you feel if you poison your friends or their children.
And I don't want the public health system to cost more because of these idiots that want to make milk less safe than it is already/

Good on NZVA for putting their point of view so well.

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9 years 1 month ago #505690 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Raw milk - vets stance

cowvet;512092 wrote: In comparison to the rest of the world our hygiene standards on a daily basis would be amongst the highest. These standards have to be met prior to pasteurisation so pasteurisation doesn't fix them if they are sloppy - you get dinged!

farmers have to be hugely conscious of hygiene and quality every day. The milk is scrutinised at every tanker pick-up for contaminants such as water, inhibitory substances (cleaning chemicals, antibiotics, iodophors etc), somatic cells (white blood cells)faecal contamination etc ...

....

I would be a bit cautious assuming a wrong doer is going to get caught and fined. I have one in mind and his supplier tried to apply various constraints on him and so he told them he was stopping supply to them which they happily accepted. A few weeks later ''our'' man calls up the transport section of the company to organise pick up of his milk and it was a period of time before the rep for the area realised they (the supplier) were dealing with the same fellow again.

He has failed to comply with his contract obligations to the land owner as well as animal welfare laws. His rep is well aware of the wrongdoings but is working with the current land owner to see him pushed along.
He is moving on for gypsy day but what are the chances he turns up elsewhere and starts the bullsh1t cycle all over again with the new property owner and eventually the supplier? Kiwis have kind hearts, if everyone had died in this guy's family that he said were dying, there would be no family left and I see them about regularly.... he has been doing it for 8 years that I know of.

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9 years 1 month ago #505691 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Raw milk - vets stance
Isn't all milk actually initially sold as raw unprocessed milk? Albeit to Fonterra usually

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