Crypto don’t care about borders

With cases of Cryptosporidium linked to public pools reaching 300 in Columbus, Ohio, and 100 in Phoenix, Arizona, reports have emerged that there are now 223 confirmed cases of Cryptosporidium across southwest UK.

diaper.poolAccording to Heather Pickstock of the Bath Chronicle, no source has been found as yet for the cases and it is not known if they are all linked.

Dr Toyin Ejidokun, consultant in Communicable Disease Control for PHE South West, said, “We have had confirmed reports of Cryptosporidium infection amongst a number of people who visited the Oasis swimming pool in Swindon earlier this summer. The swimming pool is one of a number of possible exposures that we are exploring. At this point, there is no confirmed source of exposure. We would like to reassure the public that we have only had reports of these cases, and if visitors to swimming pools have had similar symptoms, to contact their GP.”

Claire Harvey: Raw milk is deadly ‘mooshine’, and nobody in Australia is bathing in it

Claire Harvey writes in The Sunday Telegraph that just before Christmas, a Victorian three-year-old died and four more children were in hospital with life-threatening illnesses after drinking unpasteurized ‘raw’ milk, commonly sold in health food stores.

raw.bath.milkThe Victorian government responded quickly, passing a regulation that meant all milk manufactured in Victoria must be either pasteurized, or be rendered undrinkable with a bitter-tasting agent.

NSW Premier Mike Baird says only national action will work and the Government can’t stop health food stores selling this stuff. I think that’s nonsense — Jim Beam isn’t manufactured here, either, but the Government certainly regulates that.

I’d be happy to escort Mr Baird or any of his Cabinet to the myriad ‘health’ stores where raw milk, imported from other states, is being sold with misleading labels declaring it to be ‘cosmetic’ or ‘bath milk.’ Worse, it’s displayed in dairy cabinets, right next to the regular milk and cheese.

Here’s why I think the Government must immediately order all milk to be pasteurized.

Nobody’s bathing in it. Hello. Does our Government really believe people when they say raw milk is for bathing? It’s almost sweetly naive that anyone would actually believe that claim — let alone the health authorities. If it’s for bathing, why does it need to be kept in the fridge? And please don’t say ‘to stop it from going off’. The ‘cosmetic’ raw milk label is a deliberate wink-wink way to get around the law — dreamt up precisely so parents who think they know better than biologists can give this stuff to their children. Anyway, you’d have a very shallow bath on a two-litre bottle — unless you diluted it into homeopathic raw milk. Yeah, right.

Milk is for kids. Toddlers are by far the greatest drinkers of milk across the entire population: more than 83 per cent of children aged between two and three drink milk every day. In fact, dairy products are overwhelmingly toddlers’ most commonly consumed foods: an average of 96 per cent have some dairy product every single day, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. So what’s the possibility that tiny children will end up consuming the raw milk in health-food shops? I’d say it’s almost guaranteed.

Little tummies are fragile. Under the age of three, the immune system is far too delicate to cope with the bugs that adult guts can process. Bacteria like listeria or E. coli might give an adult a few days of unpleasant toilet time, but they are potentially deadly for children and can cause lifelong neurological disorders. That’s what happened to at least one of the children hospitalised in Victoria. Doctors say one of the greatest risks associated with food poisoning is severe dehydration _ and dehydration is a killer of infants and small children.

Kids don’t read labels. They just charge up to the fridge and grab the nearest bottle. Even the ones who are old enough to read are highly unlikely to say: “Hang on mum, this one says ‘cosmetic purposes only’,” as it sploshes over the biodynamic spelt flakes.

Endangering children is nobody’s right. Libertarians say if people want to drink unpasteurised milk, they should be allowed to do so — just like if you want to go without a seatbelt or a bike-helmet, you should be a allowed to risk your life. My view is we need to find the balance between individual liberty and protection from the idiocy of others. Everyone has a God-given right to make bad decisions for themselves, so long as it doesn’t endanger anyone else (and particularly any children). If that makes us a nanny state, I’m all for it.

‘Cosmetic’ milk in Australia: Raw milk remains untested

Raw milk producers are not being subjected to the same rigorous testing as dairy farmers who produce milk for ­human consumption.

raw.milk.aust.cosmetic.dec.14United Dairy Farmers of Victoria president Tyran Jones said milk from dairy farms was subjected to stringent tests to ensure its safe consumption, but no such tests existed for “raw” milk or “bath” milk.

Mr Jones said milk from his Gruyere farm, 50km northeast of Melbourne, went straight into a refrigerated vat to be chilled to 4C. “It is tested daily for bacteria. The milk factory takes a sample and sends if off for independent testing every day,” he said.

His comments come after a three-year-old child died and several others fell ill after drinking “bath” milk from Victoria’s Mountain View ­Organic Dairy, which is sold as a cosmetic product but has been stored next to consumables in many Victorian stores.

Craig Dalton of The Conversation writes that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been investigating the role of microbiological contamination in cosmetic injuries, which has resulted in recalls in some instances. ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard recently noted that cosmetic surveys revealing microbiological contamination were a timely reminder as the trend to produce all natural and all organic products may increase pressure on manufacturers to produce cosmetics with less preservatives or less effective natural preservatives.

Complicating this issue is that bath milk is often sold in containers that look just like drinking milk containers and may be stored in refrigerators alongside drinking milk. This may provide a false sense of security leading people to believe it is a food or as safe as a food.

bath.milkNevertheless, raw milk apologist are out in force, with David Gumpert writing, the vultures are circling in force with news that an Australian three-year-old may have died from drinking raw milk. 

This is news raw milk opponents have lusted after for many years, and now they mean to use it for full effect, tying it to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that suggests illnesses from raw milk are rising.  Even though raw milk is already highly restricted in Australia, there are calls for a complete ban now that raw milk has been “proven” by this death to be unacceptably risky. 

Most intriguing, the farmer accused of producing the milk that led to the three-year-old boy’s death says he has been told the child was seriously ill before drinking raw milk. The child’s parents may have been providing raw milk in hopes of improving the child’s health. 

Um, what about the other three kids under five-years-old who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome but have (sorta) recovered?