"Total diarrheal episodes annually USA -------> 217,973,045
Total foodborne illnesses annually USA -------> 48,000,000
Annual confirmed foodborne infections from the four "pathogens" (all foods) -------> 1,937,561
Average number of illnesses attributed to consuming raw milk (Dr. Beals, 1999–2011) -------> 42
Average number of illnesses attributed to consuming raw milk (Drs. Oliver and others, 2000–2008) -------> 27
From the perspective of a national public health professional looking at an estimated total of 48 million foodborne illnesses each year; or from the perspective of a healthcare professional looking at a total of 90,771 (data from Healthy People 20204) confirmed bacterial foodborne infections each year (about 0.2 percent), there is no rational justification to focus national attention on raw milk, which may be associated with an average of 42 illnesses maximum among the more than nine million people (about 0.0005 percent) who have chosen to drink milk in its fresh unprocessed form.
Using this average of 42 illnesses per year, we can show, using government figures, that you are about 35,000 times more likely to become ill from other foods than you are from raw milk.
It is irresponsible for a senior national government administrator to testify that because of those forty-two people, raw milk is inherently hazardous, parents should not be allowed to decide which foods they serve their children and milk should be banned across the nation unless it has been pasteurized.
...In no way do I wish to trivialize the personal impact of these illnesses. However, all activities have risk. Consumption of any food has some risk of illness or adverse reaction. And the consequence of basing public policy on horrific personal experiences is that all foods will ultimately be banned, and we will not be able to participate in any activity."
--Ted Beals, MS, MD, Those Pathogens, What You Should Know
H/T: The Justice Report