WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending people dump out their raw milk.

In a new policy statement published in Pediatrics, the group warns that raw milk and raw milk products can transmit life-threatening bacterial infections, especially among pregnant women, infants and children.

“Given the progress we have made in prevention, there is no reason to risk consuming raw milk in this day and age,” Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, co-author of the policy, said in a statement. “Consumption of raw milk products is especially risky for pregnant women, infants, immunocompromised individuals, and the elderly, and the evidence overwhelmingly establishes the benefits of pasteurization on food safety.”

The group is calling for a ban on the sale of raw milk and raw milk products. Data from 1998 to 2009 shows that the consumption of raw milk products resulted in 1,837 illnesses, 195 hospitalizations, 93 illness outbreaks and two deaths.

“Raw milk poses a significant health risk, since the process of obtaining fresh milk from cows and goats can be fraught with risks of contamination both while milking the animals and during storage, Dr. Mary Glode, co-author of the policy, said in a statement. “Pasteurized milk and milk products are extraordinarily healthy, nutritious and safe for children. We are fortunate to have pasteurized products easily available for our entire population.”

Sales of raw milk products are still legal in 30 states. An estimated 1 to 3 percent of all dairy products consumed in the U.S. are not pasteurized.


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