From: Alan Kennedy
Live paratuberculosis cultured from US retail milk.
August 12, 2004 7:57 AM
I thought you should be among the first to know that live Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) has been cultured from retail milk purchased from stores in California, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
This means that American consumers are being exposed to live bacteria that are known to cause Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Johne's Disease) in a wide range of animals, including dairy and beef cattle, and is suspected of being a cause of human Crohn's Disease.
The most important points are
1. From May 2002 through April 2003, milk was purchased from stores in California, Minnesota and Wisconsin - three of the USA's top 5 milk-producing states. (The other two are New York and Pennsylvania.)
2. Milk was tested for presence of viable MAP, using methodologies created in the 1990's by British researchers, to study the presence of MAP in retail milk in the UK. It has been known since 1998 that United Kingdom dairy products are contaminated with live MAP.
3. Of 702 US samples tested, 2.8 percent contained viable MAP - that is, MAP bacteria that was alive, capable of multiplying and establishing infection, and capable of causing Inflammatory Bowel Disease in susceptible species.
4. Rate of positives was similar among states, but there was a seasonal effect. More positive samples were found during July, August and September.
This study confirms what we in the Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association have long believed: that American consumers are eating and drinking food that contains a live and dangerous bacterium, through the medium of MAP-contaminated dairy products.
On average 2.8% of milk cartons were found to be contaminated. Assuming that the average milk consumer drinks from a single carton of milk per day, this means that the average milk consumer is exposed to live paratuberculosis on average ten times a year. Consuming from 2 different milk cartons per day, 20 times a year, etc. This applies particularly to children, who are encouraged to consume milk, for the calcium and protein content. An average American child living in Minnesota, California or Wisconsin, if they consume from one milk carton per day, will have been exposed to live paratuberculosis up to 100 times by their tenth birthday.
The published results apply only to milk. Although research has shown that the food treatment methodologies used to manufacture other dairy products, such as cheese, chocolate, whey, etc, are incapable of destroying MAP, no US research has sought to determine the percentage of these retail dairy products also contaminated with live MAP. The majority of Wisconsin milk is used for cheese manufacture. Recent scientific results have shown that the methods to manufacture cheddar cheese do not kill paratuberculosis.
To this date, the food safety regulators in the United States, the Food & Drug Admninistration (FDA), have taken no action on the presence of live paratuberculosis in milk, dairy and beef products. The time has now come for the FDA to revise its policy of inaction, and to act immediately to protect American consumers from this dangerous bacterium.
If you believe that the US Government should put the interests of the American public before the interests of American Dairy and Beef Industries, and act to eradicate MAP from human food, please visit the PARA web site for steps you can take to help. More information on this topic soon. Alan Kennedy. Paratuberculosis Awareness & Research Association The cause for a cure for Crohn's Disease. www.crohns.org