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Real Raw Milk Facts Makes Legislative Recommendations

With three years of experience in the information wars over raw milk under its belt, a largely academic group has decided to enter the legislative area with its own 12-page “Raw Milk Legislation Packet.”

Real Raw Milk Facts, a group that grew out of meetings sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the International Association for Food Protection, published the guide as part of their mission to counter the growing popularity of drinking unpasteurized, unprocessed milk by giving consumers information about the potential risks.

The policy recommendations were drawn from the literature and information provided by the Real Raw Milk Facts website, which is run by a working group comprising scientists and public health advocates around the country.

The group founded the web-based clearinghouse for factual raw milk information. It is sponsored in part by the nationally-known food safety law firm of Marler Clark, which publishes Food Safety News.

Now the group of veterinarians and food experts is stepping into offering policy recommendations to state lawmakers.  It recommends that states:

-Permit the sales of raw milk and raw milk products only on the farm, making black market and sales intended for human consumption disguised as “pet food” illegal.

-Prohibit raw milk sales in retail grocery stores and across state lines. to help mitigate the risks involved in mass production and in transportation.

-Require farms to carry enough insurance to cover reasonable damages to customers.

-Require that raw milk products and the point-of-purchase area carry warning labels and signs.

-Regulate Colostrum, the first lacteal secretion produced before the production of milk, as a dairy product, not a nutritional supplement.

-Ban acquiring raw milk or colostrum from unlicensed farms, meaning those not licensed for production of products such as raw butter and cheese.

In its policy statement, Real Raw Milk Facts says that retail sales of raw milk raise the threat of  a “casual purchase” by someone unaware of the risks involved.

“The evidence shows that pasteurized dairy products are safer than raw dairy products, and children are the most at risk from contaminated raw milk,” the policy statement says.  “We recommend pasteurized dairy products from consumers and their families.”

According to the group, 33 states either ban raw milk sales entirely or limit them to the farm. In 12 other states, sales are permitted in on-the-farm retail stores. Five other states allow limited off-the-farm sales of raw milk such as at farmer’s markets.

Most state legislatures are adjourned for the year.  On orders from the Indiana General Assembly, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) is conducting an interim study of raw milk.

For the study, Indiana is conducting a “virtual public hearing” through Sept. 1 on whether the sale of raw milk should be permitted in the Hoosier State.  BOAH’s deadline for submitting its report to the Indiana General Assembly is Dec. 1.

A raw milk bill is technically still alive in the New Jersey General Assembly, but it’s had no movement in months.   New Jersey lawmakers are in session year round.

© Food Safety News
  • JC

    Sounds like a win-win. Farmers allowed to sell their milk and people can still obtain their beloved raw milk legally, while banning it from grocery stores and retail areas.

  • Catherine J Frompovich

    I wish Food Safety News would do something about all the pus, crud, hormones, antibiotic residues, etc. in pasteurized milk that consumers are ‘permitted’ or forced to eat and drink because regulatory ‘powers’ think pasteurization is the cure all. How about GMO particulates? Suggestion: Please do something to clean up the HUGE commercial animal husbandry industry too, just not small farmers. Or, are corporate farms exempt?

  • Emmie Lou

    Add at least one more feature, please. Require raw milk sellers to provide printed receipts and submit detailed records of who has purchased raw milk from them, how much and when. This will speed local public health investigations as people and their kids get sick. It will also facilitate tax collection on characteristically cash transactions.

  • The packet is great. And the recommendations are probably the only feasible approach at this time, though I’m not overjoyed by them.
    But it is better to have these farms in the open and being inspected rather than having them operate illegally (and uninspected). My only change to the recommendations is that the farms have to pay the full cost of any inspection requirements above those that a pasteurized dairy has to follow. And raw milk farms should have to follow more stringent requirements, since they eschew a significant safety feature.
    Why should tax payers foot the bill for the raw milk drinkers?
    I don’t think the raw milk farms are going to be especially happy about the insurance requirements. Too bad.

  • Dr. David Johnston

    Let’s look at the recommendations individually:
    “-Permit the sales of raw milk and raw milk products only on the farm, making black market and sales intended for human consumption disguised as “pet food” illegal.”
    Eventually this recommendation could lead to the farmer providing proof that no human will consume the milk. I disagree with this recommendation.
    “-Prohibit raw milk sales in retail grocery stores and across state lines. to help mitigate the risks involved in mass production and in transportation.”
    So it’s perfectly fine to sell thousands upon thousands of dead “food” products that contain zero nutritional value, but not sell raw milk which is highly nutritious? This makes no sense. I disagree with this recommendation.
    “-Require farms to carry enough insurance to cover reasonable damages to customers.”
    This will lead to no raw milk sales as farmers will not be able to cover the cost of this additional expense. I disagree with this recommendation.
    “-Require that raw milk products and the point-of-purchase area carry warning labels and signs.”
    We do not require warning labels for soda, which has been shown to cause many health-related problems, so why raw milk? I disagree with this recommendation.
    “-Regulate Colostrum, the first lacteal secretion produced before the production of milk, as a dairy product, not a nutritional supplement.”
    Colostrum is a nutritional supplement and should not be regulated. I disagree with this recommendation.
    “-Ban acquiring raw milk or colostrum from unlicensed farms, meaning those not licensed for production of products such as raw butter and cheese.”
    Whatever the state licenses, the state controls. Allow free enterprise to regulate, not Big Brother. People need to take responsibility for their own health and not rely upon the government to tell them what it thinks is acceptable. I disagree with this recommendation whole-heartedly!

  • amy

    Wow, these restrictions seem pretty lenient to me. I would like to see giving raw milk to children banned entirely, since they are most at risk for the problems associated with raw milk.

  • bryant

    I was recently in Paris Fr. and brie and camembert is made with raw milk. our host informed us that raw milk is readily available. They believe much of the nutrient value, i.e., good bacteria is destroyed during pasteurization….and as i understand the general health and life expectancy of the french is better/longer than americans. restriction of raw milk in the US, in my opinion, is based less on health risks and more on politics (milk lobby, Dean Foods, etc.)

  • bryant, the French have a significantly different diet than Americans. They rarely snack, they eat three healthy meals. They eat smaller portions. They take time to eat — eating is a social exercise. As a rule, they don’t eat junk food.
    They also have universal health care.
    They are generally healthier for many reasons, none having to do with drinking raw milk.
    Oh, and by the way: the incidents of foodborne illness due to the consumption of raw milk and raw milk products is three times the number as occurs in the US.
    http://www.citeulike.org/user/PenelopeAnne/article/10108053

  • Bryant

    shelley, I’m not suggesting the french are healthier because they consume raw milk, only they don’t consider raw milk as a health risk to their population.
    Oh, and by the way, you should be careful in your conclusions when referencing scientific literature, particualrly the one you cited. The study clearly states: “An overview of food-borne disease annual reports from seven countries indicated that milk and milk products were implicated in 1–5% of the total bacterial outbreaks; HOWEVER, DETAILS ABOUT THE TYPE OF PRODUCT AND MILK INVOLVED WERE USUALLY NOT PROVIDED”
    The study further states and concludes: “THIS STUDY DEMONSTRATES THE LIMITATIONS OF THE SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS AND THE DIFFICULTIES IN ESTIMATING THE CONTRIBUTION OF MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS TO FOOD-BORNE DISEASES. IN PARTICULAR, IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE TO FIND OUT IN MANY OUTBREAKS WHAT HEAT TREATMENT, IF ANY THE MILK HAD UNDERGONE.” Hmmm, I wonder if they controlled for the HANDLING of the milk, which, if not done correctly could contaminate both heated and non-heated milk.

  • Joe

    Well, this makes me piping hot. Where do we start? Playing off the ignorance of the masses. Just like one of those government run “color revolutions.” This is what you call a “false choice” or “managed dissent” organization. Just like the Department of Defense (war), Public Relations (propaganda), Center for Disease Control (creates diseases), “health care” (makes you sick), etc. Complete with their cabal of “scientists” and “experts.” You know, the same ones running everything that’s screwing this nation.
    When you do your homework on raw milk, you discover that it is pasteurized milk that causes most of the problems. That’s when you compare the numbers. Raw milk is undamaged and heals the gut. Pasteurized milk does the opposite.
    “Real Raw Milk Facts” sets up a series of road blocks to local farms and raw milk dairies. If you go down the bullet points, it basically limits the sale of raw milk to only people who can drive up to the farm. What’s to happen next? A “false flag” terror attack in the form of “I got sick from your milk” designed to shut down what remains of the dairy?
    This is designed to limit the sale and distribution. Just what their competition would want!:
    -Permit the sales of raw milk and raw milk products only on the farm, making black market and sales intended for human consumption disguised as “pet food” illegal.
    -Prohibit raw milk sales in retail grocery stores and across state lines. to help mitigate the risks involved in mass production and in transportation.
    -Require farms to carry enough insurance to cover reasonable damages to customers.
    More garbage that’s not even required for pasteurized milk:
    -Require that raw milk products and the point-of-purchase area carry warning labels and signs.
    “Real Raw Milk Facts” is a “shill” organization designed to siphon the dissenting energy from the masses and drive raw milk off a cliff. Using the perfect terms to fool you. “Real” “Raw” and “Facts.” It’s a magic trick designed to scam the unwitting. They even get the dressed up hippie looking jackass to make it all look cool and kosher. Talk about a psychological operation. Thanks to other parts of industry lining the pockets of politicians, these liars in suits will line right up to join in feeding frenzy to shut raw milk drinkers down.
    -Regulate Colostrum, the first lacteal secretion produced before the production of milk, as a dairy product, not a nutritional supplement.
    -Ban acquiring raw milk or colostrum from unlicensed farms, meaning those not licensed for production of products such as raw butter and cheese.
    Let’s just shut down the damned raw dairy industry!
    “The evidence shows that pasteurized dairy products are safer than raw dairy products, and children are the most at risk from contaminated raw milk,” the policy statement says. “We recommend pasteurized dairy products from consumers and their families.”
    That shows their card immediately. The REAL science indicates the exact opposite. Pasteurized milk contains a lot more nasties than the raw. The big dairies by their very nature have to pasteurize milk because of all the blood, puss, feces and urine floating around. Raw milk dairies are not typically huge operations just churning out crap.
    You must acknowledge by now that the banning of raw milk is critical to their agenda of keeping us sick. Raw milk helps to heal.
    Don’t be a sucker. This is a conjob against the health seeking public. Remember, it was the insurance companies that had the bigger hand in writing the “health care” bill. The energy companies largely wrote the “carbon tax” laws. You can bet government, FDA and Big Dairy are working to shut down raw milk with this ‘false choice’ organization.

  • the “elephant in the room” in the raw milk controversy is the fact that 50 million people in England, get all the REAL MILK they want, from 100 dairies, without one single instance of illness reported in over a decade. Same with New Zealand, merely the largest dairy farm in the world. What is it that these people know, that so-called “health professionals” in Ham-merica, cannot figure out?

  • bryant, if you don’t believe that raw milk has any impact on the health of the French, why bring it up?
    “In countries where pasteurization of milk is less common, outbreaks of foodborne illness attributed to tainted milk or milk products occur more frequently than they do in the United States. In France, for example, the rate of foodborne illness attributed to milk and milk products was reported to be roughly three times what it is in the U.S., says Sheehan, citing a 2001 study by researcher Marie-Laure De Buyser and other French scientists.”
    http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm232980.htm
    Joe, there are more cases of foodborne illness outbreaks related to raw milk than pasteurized milk (119 to 26 since 1998). This, even though raw milk consumption is limited to a very small percentage of the population.
    Real Raw Milk Facts has only one purpose, as far as I can see: counter the myths propagated by the raw milk cult: those whacky kids who make outrageous but unfounded claims about the magic properties of raw milk (all the while ignoring all the scientific assertions that no, raw milk is not the miracle cure, as claimed).
    Gordon, and there have been 119 foodborne illness outbreaks based on raw milk and raw milk products in the US. This, even though raw milk is either illegal to sell or rigorously restrained in most states.
    So your point is?

  • JC

    Im sorry, not a single instance of illness from raw milk in europe in over a decade? Where on earth is that tidbit from?

  • Joe

    Shelley, research the raw vs. pasteurized milk #s. You’ll find that the pasteurized milk ranks a lot higher in contaminants. Con artists come in all shapes and sizes. They even wear white lab coats, suits and ties. Have you tried raw milk? If not, give a whirl. I drink it every day. My friends do too. Not one issue. Did your mother breast feed you? Why don’t human mothers boil the life out of their milk before feeding it to their infants? It’s moronic. The body best recognizes real and raw food.
    Also, notice the sales terms this organization uses. “Real Raw Milk Facts.” Go to any organic food store and you’ll see the fakery abound. People posing with pictures of nature and all the right wording. Nothing but scamsters. The food on the label (if you read it) is no different than the regular garbage. The same applies to this organization. They are a shill organization out there to mislead the public and facilitate the shut down of real and natural food.
    Don’t be fooled!

  • Joe

    When you look at the half-baked points from “Real Raw Milk Facts,” they fail to illustrate that campylobacter is found a lot more in pasteurized milk. The medical cases they cite don’t indicate if the person was more harmed by any medical treatment. That’s how it works with cancer. It’s not if a person is a cancer survivor. It’s if they are a ‘cancer treatment’ survivor. Raw milk is a gut healer. If a person is going to encounter e-Coli, it’s most likely to come from sources ‘other than’ raw milk. Those who hound raw milk rarely do proper investigations. They start the investigations with a single purpose of having raw milk quarantined and banned. That’s not quite biased.
    This is more that ‘pseudo-science’ that is used to fool the public into accepting government legislation and ignoring typically violent raids against producers and distributors.
    In other news, Glaxo Smith Kline and Merck were recently busted with falsifying years and years of data to fraudulently sell vaccines. They paid a paltry fine in comparison to their earnings. I’m sure the food industry is paying these “scientists” well to concoct garbage data.
    Let the consumer and the free market decide. I don’t need the government using our tax dollars to tell me what to and what not to put in my mouth. That’s what this ultimately boils down to. Criminalizing the individual right to health freedom. Something most Americans no longer understand.
    I’m sure the folks from this organization are the farthest thing from raw milk drinkers and may have never tried it.

  • Joe and JC, both of your comments remind me of a magic act: look at the hat not the hand.
    Neither of you refute the fact that from 1998 there have been 119 foodborne illness outbreaks related to raw milk and raw milk products, as compared to 26 for pasteurized, yet raw milk consumption is only a small fraction compared to pasteurized. You tell everyone to look every where else but at the facts.
    As raw milk consumption increases, I expect foodborne illness outbreaks related to raw milk to increase. Probably exponentially.
    But these are facts. This is all the proof I need to know how dangerous raw milk is.

  • Bryant

    Shell, David Acheson, former chief of the FDA Food safety division was quoted as saying “guidelines for bottle sterility & storage standards would go a long way toward making raw milk safer.” Let’s do THAT instead of being belligerent (“whacky kids”).
    And quess what, there have been outbreaks from all kinds of foods including peanuts, cantelope, hamburger, spinach, (shall I go on) because they weren’t handled properly during production. As David Acheson has stated, it’s not the consumption of raw milk per se that he’s concerned about, it’s that through mis-handling the raw milk could become contaminated….which is what has contributed to the past outbreaks in the US….but then again, isn’t this true for ALL foods!

  • Robert Bright

    Ironic that this group calls itself ‘Raw Milk Facts’ when they have clearly got the facts all wrong. One of the biggest lies these so-called scientists rely on is their definition of raw milk. There are, of course, TWO TYPES of raw milk: 1) raw milk produced and intended for human consumption; and, 2) raw milk from factory-farmed cows that absolutely must be pasteurised because it is utterly filthy and disease-ridden if it is not. Stop confusing real raw milk intended for human consumption with the swill milk from factory farms that is full of pus, blood, urine, feces, from cows pumped full of antibiotics, GMO feeds, hormones and the like. What your comparing is not even apples to oranges; but, rather, apples to rat poison.