1. The American Academy of Pediatrics writes a policy statement in support of national organizations, including the Food and Drug Administration, endorsing the consumption of only pasteurized milk and milk products for pregnant women, infants, and children
2. Pediatricians are encouraged to contact their state representatives to support a ban on unpasteurized or raw milk.
Study Rundown: In a policy statement released today, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) described the potentially harmful effects of consuming unpasteurized or raw milk, supporting multiple national organizations’, including the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA), discouragement of the consumption of raw milk and raw milk products. Pathogens that can survive in raw milk may cause foodborne illnesses and infections, which could have particularly devastating consequences in vulnerable populations such as infants, children, the elderly, immunocompromised patients, and pregnant women. Dairy-associated foodborne illnesses have led to hospitalizations and deaths, particularly in patients under age 20. Furthermore, raw milk has been associated with serious pregnancy complications including a fivefold increase in toxoplasmosis in pregnant women, listeriosis and subsequent stillbirths, preterm delivery, and neonatal infections (ie. sepsis, meningitis, E coli 0157 diarrheal illnesses, and hemolytic-uremic syndrome). The pasteurization process, implemented in the 1920s, has significantly reduced morbidity and mortality related to consumption of raw dairy products. However, many still consume raw milk due to misinformation regarding the purported benefits of raw milk products, claims that have no been substantiated by scientific data. In fact, pasteurized milk has been found to contain the same amounts of nutrients as unpasteurized milk, while also decreasing infection rates. Therefore, the AAP endorses the consumption of only pasteurized milk products for pregnant women, infants, and children. The AAP also encourages pediatricians to contact their state representatives to support the ban on raw milk products.
By Cordelia Y. Ross and Leah H. Carr
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