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No Raw Milk Link, No Brucellosis in Massachusetts

A Massachusetts resident who first tested positive for brucellosis has now been confirmed to not have the infection, according to an email from the assistant commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR).

“While initial test results did show up positive, further, more specific and accurate testing by the CDC confirmed that the person does not have brucellosis,” Nathan L’Etoile wrote in the message forwarded by the NOFA/Massachusetts Raw Milk Network.

As a result, the MDAR “will be rescinding the Cease and Desist from the sale of Raw Milk” order that had been issued in the state last week, the email stated.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), in an email, also confirmed that “the patient did test negative for brucellosis. The milk and the cows also tested negative for any brucellosis bacteria. Neither DPH or DAR have any health concerns at this time.”

On Jan. 20, the MDAR and the DPH issued a consumer alert for raw milk from Twin Rivers Farm in Ashley Falls, MA “due to the possibility of raw milk being contaminated with Brucella.”

That earlier news release stated, in part: “This investigation is being conducted in response to a suspected human case, following an individual’s contact with this farm. The presence of Brucella in raw milk represents a significant danger to public health.”

In his email Thursday, L’Etoile wrote, “All in all this has been a trying experience, but the cooperation and willingness to take the steps needed by MDAR, DPH, USDA and most importantly the farmer has helped immensely.”

© Food Safety News
  • MrKnowItAll

    OOOOOPS! Maybe the farmer has “mass hysteria” like those teenage girls! HAHAHA! Remember that these agencies are the ones that protect us from the epidemics that lurk, in the shadows, waiting to cause the next worldwide outbreak. Makes us all feel safe and secure, don’t it!

  • james H

    funny mrknowitall,
    in actual fact, it seems like the agencies did their job and sorted out that it wasn’t a brucella abortus infection/undulant fever he had which would have been extraordinarily rare, in this part of the country. makes you wonder what he does have, doesn’t it?
    what was next in his astute physician’s differential?

  • MrKnowItAll

    James H. My point is that they placed a Cease and Desist Order on the dairy farm that the farmer owned, with a diagnosis that was inaccurate. This farmer will certainly suffer economically from this episode. The CDC and USDA have been dealing with brucellosis, in the Greater Yellowstone Area, for almost one hundred years. These agencies should not have mistakes, such as this, but they do and that is my point. The recent H1N1 epidemic was a “surprise” to these agencies and they were easily overwhelmed with the facts. This virus has been seen, in swine herds, since the mid 90’s and no cared for fifteen years. OOOOPS AGAIN!!!!!

  • Lillian

    No one has cared for fifteen years, because there has not been the intense attack on small dairy farmers and the selling of raw milk. Pressure from the FDA is being asserted on states to outlaw raw milk. The FDA is heavily influenced by companies such as Monsanto, and the Farm and Ranchers Alliance. Small scale dairy farmers are being attacked to put them out of business. No one has died from raw milk in 38 years and case after case of “suspected” infections caused by raw milk, have been proven wrong. Not there isn’t a risk, but there are greater risks from buying hamburg at Hannaford’s or seafood from Thailand. If you think this attack is not serious, you should become better informed, because the FDA has ruled that you do not have a fundamental right to chose what you eat or a fundamental right to food in general. Do some research. This isn’t about just raw milk, this is about control of food. As Henry Kissenger said in the ’70’s – control the food and you control the people. What you should also take from this is that rules and regs do not assure safe food (there are more illnesses from industrial beef, chicken and pasteurized milk) it is knowing where your food comes from that is key and hence you should eat locally produced food from small scale farmers so you have true transparency of the origination of your food should you happen to become ill.