FDA Announces Troubling Finding in Grocery Store Milk

FDA Announces Troubling Finding in Grocery Store Milk

Remnants of the killed bird flu virus have been discovered in milk sold at American grocery stores, as reported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to The New York Times, the bits of the virus found in milk have undergone pasteurization, which virologist David O’Connor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison stated should render the virus harmless. He emphasized, “The risk of getting infected from milk that has viral fragments in it should be nil. The genetic material can’t replicate on its own.”

O’Connor pointed out that the real concern lies in the potential broader issue within dairy cow populations rather than the risk posed by the milk itself. He stated, “The problem in dairy cows might be much bigger than we know. That would be the concern — not that the milk itself would be a risk.”

The bird flu virus has been detected in dairy herds across several states, including Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and South Dakota, as per the Associated Press.

The FDA stated, “the presence of the virus has been detected in raw milk,” and noted that pasteurization is expected to eliminate pathogens to a level that does not threaten consumer health. However, they also acknowledged the need for further research given the novelty of the situation.

Dr. Michael Osterholm from the University of Minnesota expressed skepticism about the FDA's assurances, stating that absolutes may not serve well in addressing concerns about milk safety.

Dr. Eric Topol, founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, commented on the findings, indicating a larger number of infected cows than previously acknowledged.

Dr. Richard Webby, director of the World Health Organization’s coordinating center for studies on the ecology of influenza at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, remarked on the unexpected presence of bird flu in cows, stating, “No one ever thought it was going to be in cows... You wouldn’t even think of an H5N1 in cows being something you’d ever have to worry about, and I think that’s where it’s fallen through the cracks a little bit.”

The Department of Agriculture has labeled the spread of bird flu to dairy herds as "a rapidly evolving situation," indicating ongoing concerns and monitoring of the issue.

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