By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

The Killers Within

The most common pathogenic organism found in raw milk is
Staphyloccus aureus. Cows often get ulcers or sores on their
udders. That bovine condition is known as mastitis, and the
average cow in America requires $200 to treat that mastitis
condition. Multiply that by 9.3 million dairy cows, and
America's dairymen have a $2 billion yearly problem

I read a remarkable book on Sunday's flight from Detroit to
Newark. "Killers Within" is the story of the deadly rise of
drug-resistant bacteria. Written by Michael Schnayerson and
Mark Plotkin (Little, Brown & Company, 2002), the book reads
like a detective story.

I took notes.

Staphlococcus aureus is the most common infection of dairy
cows. Bacterial toxins are easily passed from cows to humans
in milk, and are not destroyed by pasteurization. On page
30, the authors write:

"Staph aureus bacteria are so virulent that very few are
needed to do the's the most successful of all
bacterial pathogens and the number one cause of hospital
infections in the world."

I was fascinated to learn that many of the so-called miracle
antibiotic drugs were derived from feces taken from sewers
(page 35).

On page 123, the authors explain one reason that antibiotic
use continues on many farms. Antibiotics are growth
promoters. That explains why chickens, pigs, and cows are so

The authors go into great detail about new strains of
bacteria that developed immunities to traditional
antibiotics. Many Americans consume the antibiotic-resistant
bacteria and become deathly ill. Some of these bacterial
strains take residence in the human heart, and the ensuing
disease in painfully expensive, painfully painful, and

Cases of diarrhea from E. coli 157 or Guillain-Barre
Syndrome from campylobacter can be traced to the diseased
body fluids that we drink and infected flesh that we eat.
The authors report a CDC study revealing that 60% of the 9.5
billions chickens sold in America each year are infected
with campylobacter. Three out of every five chickens. If you
eat chicken twice each week, thirty of your meals will come
from highly toxic and infected flesh.

I was surprised to learn that 1.4 million Americans get
salmonella each year, and 2-3% of those so infected get
arthritis. I have not extended those numbers out over the
course of a lifetime, but this information suggests a plague
of bad health results from eating infected chickens.

On page 173, the authors report that staph pneumo is the
leading cause of acute otitis, or earaches in children. How
many cases per year? About 6 million, according to the
Centers for Disease Control. Earaches are the most common
reason that children visit pediatricians, according to the


The authors if "The Killers Within" do not explore the

In 1990, the Food and Drug Administration sent a message to
dairy farmers: more drugs in milk was permissible. FDA
arbitrarily increased the allowable level of antibiotics in
milk by 100 times. The old protocol called for no more than
one part per hundred million of antibiotic residues in milk.
The change permitted antibiotic levels to be as high as one
part per million. Consumers Union tested milk samples in the
New York metropolitan area in 1992 and found the presence of
52 different antibiotics.

During that two-year period, cows were overdosed with
antibiotics and new strains of bacteria developed.

If an imaginary cow had one billion bacteria in her system
and she was treated with streptomycin and that antibiotic
killed all but one of those germs, that one survivor would
be immune to the drug, then reproduce a new population with
total immunity. Doubling its population every twenty
minutes, it would take 10 hours for a new strain of bacteria
to grow to one billion in number. Multiply that by 9 million
cows and 52 different antibiotics, and it becomes clear to
see why antibiotics no longer seem to work when they are


The average American drinks milk and eats cheese containing
new strains of bacteria, immune to the 52 different
antibiotics which are also present in milk.

Children are dying, and scientists do not have a clue why.

Milk and dairy products should carry a warning label. Forty
percent of the average American's diet consists of a product
that is always infected with bacteria in its raw state. Raw
milk usually contains blood, feces, bacterial and pus cells.

Pasteurization does not kill all of the bacteria in milk.
Many cheeses are not pasteurized. Rod-shaped bacteria form a
spore (spore is the Greek word for seed) at the first sign
of heat. When the milk cools, the spore "blooms" and the
bacteria re-emerges into its toxic state.

Does pasteurization really work? On day ten you might pour
out the offensive smelling milk in your refrigerator, and on
day nine, you drink it.

Got Sick?

Robert Cohen, author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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