Recently I linked to some information about raw milk. Reader Susan Q emailed me with her raw milk experience:
I noticed your comment about raw milk and at one time, I was in favor of it but no longer. We even did a not unfavorable article about it when I was at Organic Style. But I was diagnosed in spring with brucellosis, a dastardly bacteria you get from eating raw milk products. I either got it from some raw butter here in Kentucky or it's possible I got it from some raw cheese from years of being a traveling foodie. Regardless, I could not recommend chancing getting it by consuming raw milk. Although I went through 3 months of serious horse pill antibiotics — much of that time in bed as even going to get the mail was a major effort — it is very difficult to get rid of according to my large animal vet friends. And I'm having some symptoms again as we speak.
I am concerned that a lot of organic moms are feeding this to their children. Raw milk is also advocated by the 'Master's Diet" which is popular here. You can distribute raw milk in this state if you give it away and many people are taking it to their church for people. Not only is brucella a risk — the majority of states are considered brucella free by the USDA so cattle are no longer vaccinated for it, nor is milk tested for it — but there's E. coli and other bacteria to consider. So, unless I was married to a vet who was testing my own cattle and I was cleaning the milking equipment myself I would not chance it. This is from someone who wasn't afraid of anything as long as it was natural. No more! Or, I might get it and pasteurize it myself…something to consider.
Some epidemiologists I know think it is highly under diagnosed and reported. The symptoms are similar to chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. Also, if it's chronic one might not test positive for it. But bottom line, it sucks!
Sounds like you really need to know where you're getting your raw milk from if you're going to go the raw route.