Crohn's and Cows

Submitted by Miss Danielle on Fri, 07/11/2008 - 11:31am.

Snapshot of CBC's the National with cows and lab instruments in the backgroundIn 2001, the UK tightened hygiene protocols and lengthened pasteurization (heat-treatment times) on dairy farms. This was in response to scientific studies that suggests exposure to a bacterium called Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (MAP) (which is also called Johne's disease) may play some role in chronic illness, which causes abdominal pain, diarrhoea and fatigue. More specifically, it may cause (or be a contributing cause) of Crohn's disease.

At that time, the number of Canadians who had Crohn's disease was close to 100,000 and my brother had already found out he was one of them. Yet Ottawa did not respond as our British friends did. This could be because the tests weren't foolproof, or because Canada already has some of the strictest standards in the world when it comes to dairy.

Even if they had made changes to dairy standards, it may not have helped since the cows who suffer from MAP sometimes end up in the food chain. So while you may pass up that glass of milk, you're still sitting down to a steak that comes from an ill cow.

The issue has not gone away in the last seven years. Since then, many groups have formed or grown, including Paratuberculosis Awareness & Research Association (PARA) who has chapters in Canada, the US, Netherlands, Australia and the UK.

And just the other night, CBC's 'The National' did another report on it. I invite you to watch the clip below. And, with ironic reference to my last blog post, perhaps it IS worth thinking about experimenting with goat milk products if you're contemplating adding dairy back to your diet. It is something to consider, or at the very least, to be aware of.

If the clip above has been removed, you should be able to find it here on CBC's website.


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