By Rady Ananda
An international team of researchers recently confirmed that children who drink fresh milk – unprocessed and unpasteurized – have a better immune response to allergens and are far less likely to develop asthma.
This comes amidst a concerted state and federal effort to criminalize raw milk in the US, with a Minnesota trial and protest scheduled for Monday, May 14.
Researchers from Indiana, Switzerland, and Germany ran surveys and tests on Swiss and US children aged 6-12 years and submitted their results to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology last month. 
Because the Amish emigrated from Switzerland, and are thus genetically similar, the team compared Northern Indiana Amish farm children with today’s Swiss kids. Though rural kids are known to be healthier than city kids, the team found that the Amish have a superior immune response to allergens and asthma than even Swiss farm kids have.
“Finally a health professional in America conducted research into the low incidence of allergies among farm kids,” said Kimberly Hartke, publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation
in an email to Food Freedom News
. “This research validates what European researchers have already discovered: Raw milk is health-promoting.”
Over the past century, the US and Europe have seen a spike in “allergic sensitization” reaching more than half the population of both regions, says lead researcher Mark Holbreich.Concurrently, studies in the last decade continue to demonstrate “that certain populations have a significantly lower prevalence of allergic sensitization and a lower prevalence of asthma.”
“In one study, certain whey proteins in farm milk were inversely associated with asthma,” said researchers, referring to a 2011 study, which asserted:
“Exposure to farm milk in early life and consumption of raw farm milk have been associated with a reduced asthma and atopy risk, and it has been suggested that this protection might be mediated through receptors of the innate immune system.” 
Atopy is “a genetic predisposition toward the development of immediate hypersensitivity reactions against common environmental antigens,” explains one dictionary.
Holbreich’s team ran a skin prick test on Amish children, most of whom drink raw milk, finding that only 7% of them showed an allergic reaction. They compared this to parental surveys of Swiss kids, both urban and rural. Over 44% of the Swiss non-farm kids suffered from allergies, the parents reported, while 25% of the Swiss farm kids did.
This led the team to conclude that the Amish have additional protective factors, suggesting larger family size may play a role. With 5 or 6 siblings, each child will be exposed to that many more enviro-pathogens, thus gaining the opportunity to develop resistance while the immune system is still developing.
That’s not so for most urbanites who are mostly only exposed to industrial pollutants (rather than microbial pathogens), and denied access to fresh milk beyond their nursing years.
Most US cows are fed a daily regimen of pharmaceuticals, a practice linked directly to antibiotic resistance in humans. The Food & Drug Administration has refused to ban the practice.
Of note, one of the researchers admitted to being funded by the pharmaceutical industry, naming Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, among others.
Ninety-seven percent of US milk is heated and processed to the point that all probiotics are destroyed, while some pathogens remain.
One probiotic found only in unpasteurized, fresh milk from free-range cows, Lactococcus lactis, became Wisconsin’s state microbe after legislators hailed its unique features which enable the development of cheddar, Colby and Monterey Jack cheese. In fact, when making these cheeses from pasteurized milk, the live bacterium must be added back into the mix to curdle the milk and produce the whey. 
As with natural L. lactis, even a genetically reengineered form of it has been shown to break down lactose, allowing those who are lactose intolerant to drink raw milk without ill effects. 
 Mark Holbreich, et al. “Amish children living in Northern Indiana have a very low prevalence of allergic sensitization,” 19 April 2012. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Available at http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/0091-6749/PIIS0091674912005192.pdf
 Georg Loss, et al. “The protective effect of farm milk consumption on childhood asthma and atopy,” 16 July 2011. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Available at http://www.mnhlrp.org/images/RawMilkStudy.pdf
 Kenneth Todar, “Lactococcus lactis: nominated as the Wisconsin State Microbe,” n.d. (ca. Dec. 2009) http://www.textbookofbacteriology.net/featured_microbe.html
 Zhang W, et al. “Construction and expression of food-grade β-galactosidase gene in Lactococcus Lactis,” 17 Jan. 2011. Current Microbiology, 62(2): 639-44. Abstract at http://lactoseintolerance.researchtoday.net/archive/7/1/671.htm