A 13-year study from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded that raw or unpasteurized milk causes 150 times more food poisoning outbreaks than pasteurized milk.
Of the 120 dairy-based outbreaks examined in the study, 60 percent were caused by raw milk products, including cheese and yogurt. The results surprised CDC researchers, considering only 1 percent of the milk consumed in the U.S. is raw. States allowing raw milk sales also have twice as many food-borne illness outbreaks as states where it is illegal.
The study also revealed that young people are more likely to get sick from consuming unpasteurized milk products. Sixty percent of people who became ill from raw milk were under the age of 20, compared to 23 percent of people in pasteurized milk outbreaks.
According to USA Today, proponents of unpasteurized dairy products believe that the products are beneficial to the health of adults and children. Barbara Mahon, Deputy Director of Enteric Diseases at the CDC, disagrees. Mahon said, “Raw milk is a risk to human health. I know that there are people who believe that it has health-giving or curative properties, but I have never seen any studies that support that, and it’s widely discredited in the public health community.”