Monday, August 18, 2008

Woman's paralysis attributed to raw milk


Illness halts raw milk program

Published: August 16, 2008

By Nicholas Grube

Triplicate staff writer

Alexandre Family EcoDairy Farms ended its raw milk program after several people who consumed the product got sick, including one Crescent City woman who remains in intensive care and is partially paralyzed.

The Del Norte County Department of Public Health suspects at least 15 people who ingested raw milk contracted Campylobacter, a common bacteria found in domesticated animals that can cause gastrointestinal illness.

Raw milk essentially comes straight from the udder and has become popular among health-conscious consumers. It is unpasteurized, and advocates say it contains beneficial microbes that help in digestion and provide increased nutrition.

Three cases of Campylobacter infections have been documented by Del Norte County health officials since late June, and the other 12 are awaiting confirmation.

The Crescent City woman was the only person who became severely ill.

The outbreak occurred around May 10 to June 5, and officials say it is no longer a risk to the public because the source of the raw milk believed to have caused the infections—Alexandre EcoDairy north of Fort Dick—voluntarily stopped the program.

"As far as we know the outbreak of Campylobacter has been controlled and the source of raw milk has been shut down," said county Public Health Officer Thomas Martinelli.

Hundreds of local users

About 115 people were signed up for Alexandre EcoDairy's raw milk program. Martinelli said the number of people who actually consumed the product could be 300-500 since it was distributed to family members.

"It depends on how many people are in the family," he said. "It would be some multiple of 115."

Alexandre EcoDairy stopped the program June 15 after learning one of its customers had become seriously ill and was in a Medford, Ore., hospital. The family-owned organic farm contacted each of its raw milk customers to tell them the news.

"We immediately stopped when somebody got sick," owner Blake Alexandre said. "We were absolutely concerned that there could have been a connection."

The woman who became sick initially showed symptoms common with a Campylobacter infection, Martinelli said. This included episodes of abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

She later developed a form of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder that makes a person's immune system attack the peripheral nervous system and can result in paralysis.

The syndrome is rare, but when it does occur it often is associated with a Campylobacter infection, medical studies have found.

Sources identified the sick woman as Mari Tardiff of Crescent City. Her husband, veterinarian Peter Tardiff, confirmed her identity Friday but declined to comment further. She is still hospitalized in a Medford, Ore., intensive care unit.

Hospital notifies county

The Del Norte County Health Department officially learned of Mari Tardiff's illness in late June when medical staff in Medford contacted Martinelli with a diagnosis.

"That's what alerted us to looking at the milk share program; we knew she had consumed raw milk," Martinelli said. "It alerted us that there could be something else going on in this community."

Upon further investigation, Martinelli said he found 14 other people who might have suffered Campylobacter infections from raw milk, and that it all appeared to come from the same source.

No public health notice was issued because Alexandre EcoDairy had already voluntarily shut down its raw milk program, he said.

"They did that on their own before we started investigating the possible correlation between raw milk and the outbreak," Martinelli said. "There was no threat any longer to public safety."

Loyal customers

A number of Alexandre EcoDairy's raw milk customers still support the program, many of them standing by the product's nutritional and, in some cases, curative properties.

Christine Mitchell of Crescent City, 42, drank Alexandre's raw milk for almost two years. Before she started the program, she said her joints ached, especially in her knees.

"All my joints were hurting really bad," Mitchell said. "I had trouble walking up stairs."

When she began drinking raw milk from Alexandre EcoDairy, she didn't really know if it would help with her joint pain.

"I started drinking it and about four months later all of my joint pain was gone," Mitchell said. "That was a huge change in my life."

more ...

Monday, June 23, 2008

More dangers or raw milk

Two news stories show up today on the dangers of raw milk radar. Though there are some benefits (as described in earlier posts) as of now I cannot recommend raw milk to anyone other than healthy adults because of the dangers associated with the product. Even then there is an increased level of risk. The jury is out as the whether the benefits from raw milk might not be gotten from other foods in the diet that are not as potentially dangerous.

Rare Form of Tuberculosis Reappears in California / findingDulcinea

A nearly obsolete strain of TB crops up among Hispanic immigrants consuming unpasteurized dairy products.
Couple Admits To Distributing E. coli-Tainted Milk - News Story - KIRO Seattle
COWLITZ COUNTY, Wash. -- A Cowlitz County couple has pleaded guilty to distributing milk responsible for an E. coli outbreak in Washington and Oregon in 2005.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Raw Milk Health Advisories: December

TOPEKA | Raw milk sickens 87 in Kansas

Saying at least 87 people in Kansas have been sickened by bacteria found in raw milk, health officials are warning residents not to consume raw milk or products made from it.

In Kearny County, 68 people became ill after eating cheese made from milk donated by a local dairy for a community celebration. The second outbreak was linked to a dairy in south-central Kansas that sells raw milk to consumers.


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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Raw Milk Health Advisories: November 2007 - 2

A second raw milk health advisory again from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

According to, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Department of Agriculture has once again announced a recall regarding raw milk. The warning is for anyone who has purchased raw milk from the Conebella dairy farm in Elverson, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
From: Associated Content

The Penn Dept of Ag puts out by far the most of these sorts of warnings (check out previous posts on this subject and you'll see that maybe two were not from them). Seems that raw milk sellers in Pennsylvania are under the microscope, so to speak.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Raw Milk Health Advisories: November 2007

Agriculture Department Warns Consumers of Tainted Raw Milk Sold by Chester County Dairy

    HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumers who have
purchased raw milk from the Conebella dairy farm in Elverson, Chester
County, any time after Oct. 23, should discard it immediately due to the
risk of Salmonellosis contamination, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff
said today.
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized.
"During routine inspection of the dairy, a preliminary test showed the
presence of Salmonella bacteria in some raw milk samples," said Wolff. "If
consumers have raw milk from this farm, they should discard it
No illnesses have been reported as a result of the potential
contamination but if people who consumed the raw milk become ill, they
should consult their physicians.
The Department of Agriculture has suspended sales of raw milk at the
dairy and is requiring corrective action be taken. Samples were taken from
the farm during routine testing on Nov. 13, and tested positive for
Salmonella on Nov. 16.
Multiple laboratory samples must test negative before sales can resume.
Symptoms of Salmonellosis include fever, abdominal pain and
gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. Symptoms usually
appear six to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

More good news on Omega-3s

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. From the website Food Navigator USA we find out that a recent study has found that omega-3 supplementation could be more useful at preventing colorectal cancer than the currently available suite of drugs used to treat the disease. At least this is true for mice.

Colorectal cancer is the #2 killer from cancers in the U.S. Finding alternatives to current colorectal cancer drugs is important due to reported side-effect from long-term use.

The report adds more evidence to the anti-cancer effect of omega-3 and is the second study in the space of a week which adds support to the role of the oil as suppressing tissue inflammation.
This study also points to the importance of not only increasing omega-3s but in reducing one's omega-6 intake. Though omega-6s are an essential fatty acid we get them in abundance from our diet. Some research has shown that have a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3s that is too high can increase your risk of inflammation which has been associated with many diseases.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Raw Milk Health Advisories: July 2007

July 24, 2007

Raw milk sickens three Georgia families
Raw milk sold as pet food sickened three northwest Georgia families who drank the milk this summer, sending at least one child to the hospital, health officials said Monday.


State tells Stump Acres Dairy to stop raw milk giveaway
The state Department of Health told Stump Acres Dairy last week to stop giving away raw milk to the public following continuing cases of salmonella that has now been linked to the milk.

The Stump family, of New Salem, had been selling the milk until, on two occasions earlier this year, the department had asked it to stop sales. Then the dairy decided to give the milk away free to customers.


July 30, 2007

Autumn Valley Farm today alerted consumers of possible Listeria contamination in its "unpasteurized" raw farm milk.


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