I am baffled by The Daily Star’s choice to reproduce the FDA’s biased and misleading press release concerning the presence of Listeria monocytogenes (L-mono) at Muddy River Dairy in Otego. The only clause in Sarah Eames’ article relevant to determining the safety of Muddy River milk is: “No illnesses associated with Muddy River products have been reported.”

For context, let’s take a look at some of the most recent data available regarding L-mono in raw dairy products. In 2007, New York state suspended sales at six dairies selling raw milk due to positive tests for L-mono. In none of these cases, however, was there a single documented illness as a result of L-mono. In addition, records from the CDC disclose not a single case of illness from L-mono in raw milk or cream between 1971 and 2005 in the entire country.

In an analysis of figures provided by these government agencies themselves, Dr. Ted Beals has found that an average of 42 people out of an estimated 9.4 million raw milk drinkers become sick as a result of drinking contaminated raw milk in the United States each year. Dr. Beals has used these same, government-collected data to demonstrate that a person is 35,000 times more likely to get sick from eating deli meats, spinach, melon, nuts and other common foodstuffs readily available at the local Family Dollar than she is to become ill from consuming raw milk.

Karli and Josh’s farm is a treasure to the Unatego community and to all of Otsego County. I sincerely hope The Daily Star will run an additional, more neutral article informing its readers when the government lifts its unnecessary suspension on milk sales at Muddy River Dairy.

Unity H. Falls


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