Select Committee on Food Standards First Report


Submitted by Leon Downey

  I was outraged today to hear Professor Pennington inferring on radio and television that the recent E.coli food poisoning was from unpasteurised milk. This is an example of deliberately misleading the public.

* * * * *

  The public has a right to know the real circumstances of this outbreak:

  1. Did the pasteuriser fail? the result being that contaminated milk was distributed to the public.

  Could this be an example of dirty milk production being camouflaged by pasteurisation?

  2. It is now time for the public to know the real truth about pasteurised and unpasteurised milk.

  Statistics on food poisoning from milk should be published as follows:

    (a)  The incidence of E.coli poisoning from unpasteurised milk producers over the last five years.

    (b)  The incidence of E.coli poisoning from pasteurised milk producers over the last five years.

  We will then be able to draw comparisons which will help the public to make a decision on which milk to drink. I know my decision and that would be to drink raw milk produced by a farmer who takes a pride in his production knowing full well that if his production methods are suspect his livelihood would be at stake. There is no way I would be persuaded by Professor Pennington to drink dirty milk cleaned up by pasteurisation. I know only too well that if this treatment of milk fails it can be fatal.

March 1999

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