PouringRawMilkMainState lawmakers in West Virginia have passed a bill allowing people to buy and sell raw milk through herd-share programs, according to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Raw milk was previously not allowed for sale in the state. Herd-share programs allow those who wish to drink raw milk to buy a membership in a club that grants them partial ownership of the herd on paper. Herd-share programs for raw milk are already legal in Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Alabama. Retail sales will remain illegal in WV. Those who buy into a herd-share program will reportedly also have to sign a form stating that they acknowledge the health risks of drinking raw milk. The bill states that doctors will also be required to inform health officials of any illnesses related to raw milk consumption. Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized to eliminate potentially harmful pathogens such as E. coliCampylobacter, and Salmonella. Health experts often warn against serving raw milk to children, the elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system.

  • Gary

    Honestly…I’m not for drinking raw milk because of the obvious health risks it poses, but if people want to do it this is a good way to absolve liability. However, I wonder how the signed form would hold up in court if someone gives their child raw milk and the child dies.

    • State and national officials have to investigate any foodborne illness outbreak. So it costs tax payers any time these yahoos guzzle raw milk and get sick. So much for “freedom”.

  • spanner48

    A rare outbreak of common sense in US food legislation . . . .

    • Outbreak…perhaps not the best choice of words when associated with raw milk.

      • spanner48

        Apologies! The phrase “outbreak of common sense” was ironic. I’d forgotten that irony doesn’t work in the US . . . .

  • Ed Davis

    If a child dies from an illness, the parent would be liable. They have authority over the child. The parent would be sued by the state. However if society makes such charges, there are many other potential charges. Smoking in the home? Leaving infants in cars (Many parents are not charged for killing their baby.)? Parents who mostly feed fast food to kids? Parents who do not address obesity in their children? Emotional abuse that leads a child to murder others? Parents who do not support the education of their kids? All of these potential parental defects led to early death.

    Again, this debate has a major political element and is not completely based on scientific data. If CDC and FDA argue that the milk is an inherently dangerous food as it is a fruitful medium for disease, they ALSO should outlaw all raw meat (land and seafood) sales. They should also force all restaurants to fully cook their meats and ban all rare preparation options. The lobby against these measures is too strong. Raw milk dairies are unable to protect themselves from the FDA and CDC actions.

    Ed Davis
    Food Freedom Project

    • Gary

      Ed, practically thinking the parent is liable, but we all know how that goes in court cases and lawsuits.

      On the other note, let me clarify a key difference between milk and raw milk. Milk itself, when pasteurized, has not danger. However, raw milk is inherently dangerous as it is a breeding ground for pathogens.

      You can’t compare milk to meat in that sense because it depends on what type of meat. Are you talking about ground beef or cuts of steak? Completely different in the risk level and the pathogen growth. I have the same feeling with ground beef as I do with raw milk; the inherent risk level is too much to consume raw or undercooked (playing Russian roulette). Now if there is a rare steak cuts then that is a different risk level and completely different compared to raw milk.

      • j w

        milk laws were initiated because of sub standard Dairies. Business corrupted peoples health. i was raised on raw milk hears the catch make sure your milk is coming from healthy clean animals. would you buy groceries from a store with manure flies and filth, then why would you buy milk from a similar situation…Know your dairyman, know his milkhouse, know his standards,,,You must be involved not lead…the lion not the lamb

        • Raw milk laws were created because there is no way to guarantee the safety of raw milk…it is inherently risky.

          Just because you haven’t become sick does not make raw milk safe. It just makes you lucky.

        • Gary

          Back then people did not understand or know about listeria mono. The PMO was created to make milk safe, period.

          Your animal may be healthy and clean, but there is listeria under that cow, there is listeria in the soil/dirt. It is everywhere and worst part it grows in refrigerated temperatures!

  • Votes don’t count in WV

    WV Governor Tomblin just vetoed the bill. Sat on his desk for awhile while he spoke with industry ‘experts’, and vetoed it.