My two adult children and I--and more than 20 friends and their children--have been drinking raw milk since it was approved to drink in this city ("0157:H7," by Mark Arax, Dec. 3). I have never gotten ill from it and neither have they. In fact, our health has improved.
I am 66 years old and was not in good health some years ago, and now I am. I take no medication and am very active. I had long ago given up on pasteurized milk products, since I could not tolerate or digest them, so it's wonderful to drink milk and eat dairy products again.
Arax never investigated the probability that antibiotics, and not the E. coli strain 0157:H7, caused the children's serious kidney problems. I spent a lot of time trying to see if 0157:H7 could induce hemolytic uremic syndrome in laboratory animals. It never happened unless antibiotics were given. Also, 0157:H7 was impossible to grow rapidly in a natural environment, such as in a living animal. Even in a petri dish feeding on animal tissue, it was difficult to make the strain multiply.
I spent more than 32 years investigating, researching and experimenting with raw and processed milks before co-authoring the "Supplemental Report in Favor of Raw Milk," which assured the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors that raw milk is less of a risk than pasteurized milk. I have great sympathy for the panicked and angry father of one of the sick children in Arax's story, but his statements were not rational. Arax may have sickened many people about the probable benefits of raw milk.