U.S. Raw Milk on the Rise - New Staph Strain Found in Europe
For the last several years now more and more Americans are becoming put off by the pasteurizing process they view as an unnecessary measure against illness-inducing microbes found in milk. Advocates point to advanced methods of keeping milk clean during milking, the farm-freshness that apparently re-instates long-lost benefits of lactose, and the full flavor of grass-fed cow's milk kept from the meddling of modern man. Opponents, mostly in the form of government regulators, cite statistics such as the fact that 75% of dairy related illnesses are caused by raw milk consumption and that milk-borne pathogens are difficult if not impossible to eradicate outright. They are indeed always present around us, waiting to evolve into the right biological niche to cross over to human stomachs and attack with impunity until the immune systems of our modern pasteurization-influenced bodies finally figure out a way to fight back.
Meanwhile across the pond in England and mainland Europe scientists have recently discovered a new strain of antibiotic-resistant staph - which they call MRSA - cropping up in farms across the continent. While the threat is thus far nowhere near what you'd call a concern, scientists are a little worried about how elusive this particular bugger is when they try to test for it. So far the most advanced form of staph-testing has thus far not worked, forcing scientists and medical staff at hospitals to practice a seemingly archaic method of uncovering MRSA, through good old fashion petri-dish experiments.
That's good for Americans, because our hospitals still overwhelmingly prefer to test for MRSA the old fashioned way. Consider it one of the few benefits to our otherwise severely outdated healthcare infrastructure. However we have little to worry about anyway, even those of us who love a good room-temperature glass of milk straight from the teet. This recently discovered breed of staph has thus far not been found anywhere other than in Europe, and as mentioned earlier scientists and health officials are not so much concerned with a real threat as they are with how hard it is to test for.
But this goes to show that life, whether it's a microbe or a minotaurasaurus, finds a way. If the raw milk advocates have one thing right it's that pasteurization is not a cure-all. Evolution will find a way around it. Till then, those in either camp can continue to clink glasses of milk together, so long as they don't "contaminate" one another.