Three children recently fell ill after drinking unpasteurized goats milk in Orange County, California.
The Orange County Register reports that the children, all under 5 years old, came down with an infection; one child had to be hospitalized.
There is a movement to legalize unpasteurized milk, even though health officials have warned people about the dangers.
Many food activists and libertarians, who oppose government regulations of raw milk, believe that the heat from pasteurization, which kills bacteria in milk, is also destroying other micro-organisms that could supposedly cure conditions such as allergies and autism.
The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this year that a study found a major cause behind a measles outbreak in Disneyland, which is in Orange County, was from people who oppose vaccinations; many anti-vaxxers believe the shots can cause autism.
The Centers for Disease Control website states:
Many people who chose raw milk thinking they would improve their health instead found themselves (or their loved ones) sick in a hospital for several weeks fighting for their lives from infections caused by germs in raw milk. For example, a person can develop severe or even life-threatening diseases, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can cause paralysis, and hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can result in kidney failure and stroke.
Despite the science, The Washington Post reported in 2014, "40 bills have been introduced in 23 state capitals, all seeking to legalize unpasteurized milk within state borders."
One of the big advocates for deregulating unpasteurized milk sales is Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky who claims that he grew up drinking raw milk.
National Geographic reports that there is a black market across the country for raw milk.
Sources: The Orange County Register, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Centers for Disease Control, National Geographic
Image Credit: Scott Sanchez