Until now, when it came to raw milk, the state of Alaska was looking out for the public health of its residents. An easy to find fact sheet on the state’s website by the state veterinarian says:
“Raw milk may contain food-borne pathogens. These pathogens may be shed into the milk directly from the animal or enter the milk from the environment. These pathogens present a health threat to consumers of raw milk.”
The Alaska Division of Public Health and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation publish “Raw Milk Facts” on the state portal. “Raw milk has been recognized as a source of disease for over 100 years,” it says.
It explains the risks this way: “Unpasteurized milk can contain bacteria such as E. coli, Campylobacter, Listeria, and Salmonella.
“While some people exposed to these bacteria do not develop any symptoms, others may develop short-term nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and cramps.
“Illnesses can last a week or longer, and some people even develop severe, long-term consequences resulting in kidney failure or paralysis. These infections are particularly serious in very young, very old, or those who have impaired immune systems.
“They can even be fatal.”