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Where to buy raw milk in UK?

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    Posted: 27 Feb 2017 at 11:52pm
A2 milk refers to milk having a particular type of beta casein. Cows can produce milk with different types of beta casein. These are designated A1, A2, A3, B, C, D and E.

Most European dairy breeds produce milk containing a mixture of A1 and A2 beta casein. Generally speaking the more developed the breed the less A2 beta casein. The concentration of variants other than A1 and A2 tends to be low.

It is relatively easy to select animals that produce A2 milk and to form herds that produce mainly A2 milk.

The company that markets A2 milk, and others, make a range of claims for this milk. The claims are based on a peptide, beta-casomorphin-7-BCM-7, that is produced during digestion of the milk. The claims are based on views that the peptide produced from AI milk (most common type of milk) is harmful but the one produced from A2 milk is not. 

The claim that the peptide produced from A1 milk is harmful has been investigated by the independent European Food Safety Agency (EFSA). Scientists studying the claims produced a 107 page report with over 500 references that concluded: "Based on the present review of available scientific literature, a cause-effect relationship between the oral intake of BCM7 or related peptides and aetiology or course of any suggested non-communicable diseases cannot be established." The report* can be downloaded from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/j.efsa.2009.231r/epdf . There is no cost for this report.

Regarding your query regarding allergy.  Smyth et al. (2004)** obtained pure A2 milk and used it for skin-prick testing of 11 milk-allergic children. The tests compared A2 milk with normal (A1/A2) milk. The mean diameter of the wheal raised by normal milk was not significantly different to that raised by A2 milk (8.2 mm for normal milk v 10.7 mm for A2 milk; P = 0.09, paired t test). No patient had a negative reaction to A2 milk when the reaction to normal milk was positive. So no evidence that A2 milk was less allergenic than normal milk.

I am not sure where the allergy claim has come from. The A2 Milk Company do not recommend that individuals allergic to milk drink A2 milk and are clearly aware of the dangers of feeding milk to people who are allergic to it.

A2 milk can be purchased from at least one approved raw milk retailer in England. It is also available pasteurised.

You asked if it was good? The simplest response is that it is too similar to normal milk to be different!



* Scientific Report of EFSA prepared by a DATEX Working Group on the potential health impact of beta-casomorphins and related peptides. EFSA Scientific Report (2009) 231, 1-107.
**Smyth et al. (2004). Medical Journal Australia. 181 (10): 574.


 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote claire_01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2017 at 7:46pm
I have found A2 milk that is good for allergies. It is raw milk? Is it good?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Admin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2017 at 3:29pm
Claire I provided you with two authoritative references to risks and it is your decision whether to purchase raw milk or not!

I do not believe in a 'nanny state' and while I cannot recommend the consumption of raw milk I do not believe that limited sales from elite milk farmers, under carefully controlled conditions and with prescribed health warnings, should be stopped. However, I am strongly against giving raw milk to babies and young children. 

Cows' milk does not naturally contain lactase!

Cows' milk contains around 4-5% lactose. Most people who are clinically lactose intolerant can take some milk without any symptoms. Some of them can take quite a lot of milk! Lactose intolerance is not as simple as it might first appear.

The enzyme lactase that breaks down lactose is not naturally present in milk. The quality of the "Good Quality" milk produced by elite raw milk producers in the UK is usually so good that there are only a few lactic acid bacteria present in their milk. Much too low to contribute their lactase enzymes to breaking down lactose in the milk itself.

So unless you 1) add millions of lactic acid bacteria to milk as in cheese or yoghurt making or 2) add the lactase enzyme to the milk, raw milk will not contain lactase. If anyone tells you otherwise get them to tell you how to assay for lactase and what result they got.

I know of no objective scientific evidence to suggest that raw milk has more anti-allergic effects than pasteurized milk. Comments to the contrary are possibly due to misunderstanding of published work. 

Professor Pat Fox's many text books dealing with milk provide excellent accounts of milk chemistry and the nutritional quality of milk. These can be purchased through Amazon and provide objective accounts of relevant research that might help you to understand the issues better. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote claire_01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2017 at 3:06pm
 your reply has really put me of trying raw milk. I was told raw milk was good for lactose intolerance and better for people with allergies. What do you think?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Admin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2017 at 8:07pm
Welcome back!

Evaluation of farm's QA system is undertaken by FSA and is too specialist for a member of the public. Same for their HACCP.

Micro testing only useful for validating production hygiene. Not possible to use micro testing to ensure milk is free of pathogens. Farmer would have no milk to sell if they were serious about assuring milk safety by testing. Need to test all the milk. Detecting pathogens in raw milk is not practical! Hence the advantage of pasteurisation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote riker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2017 at 6:43pm
Should she check that they are micro testing milk? See there HACCP?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Admin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2017 at 9:45pm
Claire I note that you have some awareness of the risks of drinking raw milk vs pasteurised milk. Do have a look at this US article- https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-index.html and advice from the Food Standards Agency (https://www.food.gov.uk/science/raw-drinking-milk-and-cream ) before proceeding. They provide further information on risk.
While the risk to normal, healthy adults of food poisoning from drinking properly produced raw milk is relatively low it is some 150 times (US FDA work) higher than that associated with drinking pasteurised milk. Regretfully, the consequences of some E coli and Listeria infections can be death or life changing.

The Food Standards Agency in the UK publishes a list of approved raw milk producers along with a compliance rating. Their contact details are also given.

The compliance rating given is based on the following criteria:

•     Hygiene conditions on farm.
•     Public health risk from any non-compliance identified.
•     History of compliance.
•     Confidence in management controls.

These are four ratings, ranging from GOOD to URGENT IMPROVEMENT NECESSARY.

You can access these approved producers and their most recent ratings at https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/csv/list-raw-drinking-milk-producers.csv .

Farms achieving GOOD RATINGS are well managed and adhere to very good hygiene requirements. A number have been able to maintain this rating for some time.

Even farms obtaining this standard can experience sporadic problems with pathogens in their milk and consequent food poisoning. See http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cumbria-38652550 .

These problems may not be down to poor hygiene but due to circumstances outside the control of the farmer. Farms are not like operating theatres. Cows can be infected by other animals including birds, badgers and vermin.

You mentioned looking around the dairy before buying milk.
Many raw milk producers welcome potential buyers and are genuinely happy to talk about their farm and their dairy.

During your discussions with raw milk producers you might wish to confirm that they are members of a Johnes Eradication Scheme, Johnes disease is caused by Myobacterium paratuberculosis (MAP) and causes a wasting disease in cattle. You can search for more information on MAP on this website. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has an excellent website dealing with MAP - http://johnes.org/ .

MAP has been implicated as a causal agent of Crohn's disease in people however this remains to be proven.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote claire_01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2017 at 7:44pm
Hopefully someone will help me. I want to buy raw milk for me. I am over 25, not pregnant and healthy. I live in Sheffield, UK. I have read that there are risks and I am prepared to accept them. 
Is there a guide to the best producers? Can anyone give me questions to ask of sellers to know that they are genuine and sell good milk? Might I be able to look around their dairy to see that it is clean? 

Claire
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