Practical Issues > Health - Index > Vegan Index
Gastroenteritis Death Rate Exploding

The April 25, 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA. 2012;307(16): 1683) reports:

"The number of US deaths associated with gastroenteritis increased from 7,000 in 1999 to more than 17,000 in 2007, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The primary driver of this trend was a 5-fold increase in gastroenteritis deaths associated with Clostridium difficile infections, according to the data from the National Center for Health Statistics, presented in March at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases."

JAMA and CDC blame the deaths on a bacterium found in cow's milk called clostridium.

Is clostridium killed by pasteurization?
Not on your life (death)!

In the third edition of Modern Dairy Products, author Lincoln Lampert writes:

"A drop of sour milk may contain more than 50 million bacteria...certain bacteria, especially organisms belonging to the genera bacillus and clostridium, have the ability to transform themselves into small bodies called spores. The word spore comes from the Greek word for seed. The spore can often withstand drying, the temperature of boiling water (pasteurization), and the action of some germicides. When suitable conditions return, the spore resumes its vegetative form and the bacterium again returns to the usual activities of its normal life cycle."

Other than death by gastroenteritis, how do clostridium infections affect cows and humans?

Clostridium causes pain in the diaphragm and joints of cows. This same bacterium causes the same aches and pains for humans. Complain of muscle pain often enough and your physician might refer you his brother-in-law, Sigmund. The pain may not be in your head. It's real, and the etiology can be traced to contaminated milk and cheese coming from body fluids of diseased animals which humans find so mouth-wateringly appealing.

Robert Cohen

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,