Yes, a certain number of pus cells are allowed in milk. So, if you eat/drink dairy products, you are consuming pus! This is because dairy cows suffer from mastitis – a painful breast infection.

Research data states that more than 54% of Australian Dairy cows’ samples have shown positive results for mastitis.

BUT, what is even more worrying, is that as high as 40% of clinical cases of mastitis FAIL to produce a positive test result (i.e. the cows have mastitis, but the test still comes up negative) – so testing is clearly a waste of time as nearly all dairy cows have mastitis anyway!

There is also a “Maximum Residue Limit” (MRL), which is the maximum allowable concentration of agricultural or veterinary chemicals in milk or meat. i.e. drugs etc. So, if you eat/drink dairy products, you are consuming drugs such as antibiotics and hormones!

Buying organic products doesn’t make a difference either – these cows are just sicker because their health problems aren’t treated as effectively. ‘Organic’ and ‘free range’ dairy cows still suffer terrible cruelty, have the same health conditions, and their milk is just not healthy for us. The same goes for sheep and goat ‘dairy’ farming and their products too.

Below is some information from Dairy Australia’s Animal Management Website, about ‘Cells in Milk’. This data clarifies that even as high as over 10% of infected cows is classified as “excellent mastitis cell count control” – i.e. that 10% is ok!

Bear in mind, when they speak about ‘stress’ felt by a cow after giving birth, this is not just due to the birth, it is because the cow has had her baby taken away (so humans can have the milk instead). This ‘stress’ results in high cell levels in milk – and therefore many high result samples are actually disregarded when monitoring levels acceptable for consumption (and are just put down to ‘stress’ post calving).

Here is just some of what is written (take note of how terms such as “generally”, “subclinical cases”, and “most dairy companies”, are used):

“When bacteria enter the udder, the cow sends large numbers of white blood cells to surround and destroy the infection. A small number of udder tissue cells are also shed into milk. Body cells are sometimes called somatic cells (somatic means ‘body’) and their number stays stable after the milk leaves the cow, regardless of filtration or cooling.

The concentration of all body cells in milk is called its Individual Cow Cell Count (ICCC) or Somatic Cell Count (SCC).

The ICCC indicates the likelihood of subclinical mastitis. Uninfected cows generally have ICCC levels of below 150,000 cells/mL.

High ICCC levels not associated with infection can occur for up to 20 days post-calving.

Stress can lift ICCC levels in cows. Elevated ICCC levels can also occur in late lactation when milk volume is low and cells are more concentrated. Cows producing less than 5 L/day are likely to have abnormal milk composition, including elevated cell count.

The concentration of cow body cells in vat milk is called a Bulk Milk Cell Count (BMCC), and is an indirect measure of subclinical mastitis in the whole herd.

As an approximate guide, each 100,000 cells/mL indicates about 10% of cows are infected.

A series of BMCCs should be assessed to see both the level and the trend for a herd. In herds with BMCCs below 200,000, a sudden increase (of 10% or more) can indicate a clinical case has been missed.

Guides on BMCC levels:

• Below 150,00 cells/mL = Excellent mastitis cell count control.

• 150,000 to 250,000 = Good – below 250,000 is the level for premium payment in most dairy companies; some use 200,000.

• 250,000 to 400,000 = Moderate mastitis and cell count control.

• Above 400,000 = Warning: This milk is not considered fit for human consumption by the European Union and may lead to significant export restrictions.”

So, if you haven’t ditched dairy yet, isn’t it about time you did?!

If you would like to contact me for guidance on how to remove dairy from your diet, you can email me at:

Data obtained from: Dairy Australia, and ‘A Survey of Mastitis Pathogens in the South Eastern Australian Dairy Industry’.