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Paratuberculosis and Crohn's Disease: Got Milk?
by Michael Greger, MD
Updated January 2001


Because the spread of Johne's disease is related to stocking density, the epidemic of Johne's disease is one more indictment of factory farming.[3] The unnatural concentration of animals raised for slaughter, for example, has led to other human tragedies including the single worst epidemic in recorded world history, the 1918 influenza pandemic.[41] In that case, the unnatural density and proximity of pigs and ducks raised for slaughter led to the deaths of upwards of 40 million people.[87]

This potential crisis is also an indictment of an industry that continues to risk public safety and a government that seems to protect business interests over those of the consumer. As Karen Meyer recently told the LA Times, "There comes a point in time where consumer health takes precedence over commercial concerns."[97]

Every few hours, another child in this country is diagnosed with Crohn's disease and may be condemned to a life of chronic suffering.[62] The balance of evidence strongly suggests a causative link between Mycobacterium paratuberculosis and Crohn's disease.[145] This public health issue has been at the periphery of the dairy industry's agenda for years, a nagging concern on the back burner.[61] The consumer movement needs to move it to the front burner and needs to turn up the heat.

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