Vegan Health ArticlesParatuberculosis and Crohn's Disease: Got Milk? Off the Shelf USA
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From Michael Greger, MD
Updated January 2001

In order to put the problem in perspective and get the issue out in the open, the consumer movement needs to get a study of retail milk supplies in the United States funded. That is the recommendation of PARA.[121] That is the recommendation of researchers in the field.[124] Not only has industry allegedly "totally ignored" this approach,[24] one observer wrote that it would be "political suicide" for a researcher in the United States to even suggest such a thing.[61] However, there have been two brave souls. Year after year, Chiodini and Hermon-Taylor, world-recognized authorities on MAP and Crohn's, have submitted proposals to the USDA and to the FDA to test retail milk supplies, and year after year their proposals have been rejected.62

At a meeting of the USAHA, a resolution was debated on whether or not to recommend that the USDA test retail dairy products in the United States for the presence of live paraTB bacteria. John Adams, the National Milk Producers Federation executive member of the NJWG, was quite vocal in his opposition: "The FDA has already stated their position. They are confident that pasteurized milk is safe. We don't need to test retail milk."[119]

Steve Merkel, a founding member of PARA whose wife has suffered with Crohn's disease since 1960,[19] replied: "With all due respect, sir, if milk is as safe as you say it is, then retail testing will simply confirm that fact. Are you afraid of retail milk testing because you are afraid of what you might find?" The resolution was voted down by an overwhelming majority.[119]

PARA kept at it. Finally, in 1999, PARA successfully submitted two resolutions to the Johne's Disease Committee, one recommending the testing of retail milk and milk products for the presence of live MAP and another recommending research to determine what cooking temperatures are needed to reliably kill MAP in ground beef. Although both resolutions passed unanimously in open committee, they were later voted down behind closed doors. PARA saw this as the USAHA going on record as deliberately choosing ignorance about the presence of MAP in food products for human consumption.[119]

The USAHA tried to justify why the resolutions were quashed: "During the discussions of these resolutions, there was much concern about the feasibility of end-product testing of milk and meat for an organism that science has not confirmed as being the cause of Crohn's in humans, and the usage of this information." In the opinion of PARA, as expressed in a letter to the USAHA president-elect, "this statement presents USAHA as not only primarily self-serving, but further, is blatantly contemptuous of both its own member producers and the American public." The letter concludes "We at PARA are saddened that USAHA has chosen to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution."[119]

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.