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Monday, February 28, 2011

Raw Milk Restrictions

By Michael

Most of you are probably aware that the FDA has been cracking down recently on raw milk distribution across the country. I was pleased to read this article yesterday at naturalnews.com about various states that are actually going against the FDA's advice and easing restrictions on raw milk. This article says that "Texas, Oregon, Minnesota, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin all have pending legislation to legalize raw milk sales, relax sale restrictions that make buying the product difficult, or for the first time decriminalize raw milk sales with restrictions."

We have talked about raw milk on our site in the past and one of our contributors, Dale Johnson, is a Farm Management Specialist and Master Gardener for the University of Maryland Extension. A lot of the work he does with the University of Maryland is with local Dairy Farmers so he has a great perspective on this debate. Read his series of articles on the Good, Bad, and the Ugly of raw milk for more of his perspective.

So what do you all think. Is the FDA right in restricting raw milk distribution, or are some of the above States right in relaxing restrictions. Let your voice be heard.

10 comments:

katiegirl said...

I think it's silly to make raw milk sales illegal. Why not let people choose? If cigarrette and alcohol (which are known to be harmful) are allowed to be sold, why not raw milk? Other raw foods have the ability to transmit disease, yet we buy those items every day (raw meat, fish, etc). At least legalize it and have some sort of certification the farmers can go through to sell it (although that's opening a whole other can of worms).

teekaroo said...

It seems to me that we would be better off if more time and energy went toward education about raw milk and why or why not to use it, rather than simply telling people what to do. It's just not going to work much longer. People want to make their own choices.

Anonymous said...

We should be able to choose unadulterated milk and not forced to drink denatured milk. I think that's a fundamental right. The FDA could roll back its interstate commerce prohibition and at least allow direct producer-to-consumer sales.

As for cheese, there's a lot of room for improvement in two areas: 1) labeling and 2) getting away from the age requirement. On 1), a producer should have to disclose whether the milk or the cheese was heat treated or "thermalized" during processing. This is a heating above 105 degrees F, but not to the temperature or duration to qualify as having been pasteurized. On 2), cheesemakers and the FDA should set some basic sliding-scale criteria for salinity, acidity, moisture content, and age that will allow all varieties of raw-milk cheese, including some soft cheeses and short-aged cheeses that are not now possible with the blanket 60-day rule.

Sarah Beth said...

It should be up to the buyer. If they want to buy raw milk then everyone else should mind their own business. The FDA should concentrate on more important things. people lived on raw milk for years.

David said...

I'm not sure about all pros and cons about raw milk. All I know is that I pretty much grew up on raw milk and never did we have a milk originated sickness. We used the milk in every thing that Mom cooked and we drank it straight up. What was left over we separated the cream and sold. The skim milk want to the hogs that literally caused them to explode in growth and stay healthy. I suppose their needs to be some sanitary requirements for public sale but really restrictions?

Have a great raw milk day.

Boho Farm and Home said...

Here in Phoenix we can purchase raw milk at our local health food store and it is $16 a gallon--that's right! muy rico! But almost every time I go to buy some, it is all sold out.(I am a cheesemaker...) So that tells you there is a lot of demand out there for milk that is not pasterized or homogenized. We are actually seriously considering getting some goats for their raw milk too.
Happy farming, Caroline

marisa said...

Holy Hanna! $16 for raw milk!!! I think you are on the right track with getting your own goats.

doglady said...

In Maine, raw milk can be sold from the farm or in stores. It tastes so much better than pasturized and is so much better for you.

Dale Johnson said...

I am glad to hear that some states are starting to loosen up their regulations on raw milk sales. This past Monday, I went to Peace Hollow Farm to do the annual financial analysis of Myron and Janet Martin's organic grazing dairy farm (the Good). While I was punching numbers into the computer, their daughter brought my a huge chilled glass stein of raw milk. It was heavenly.

Jeff Atha said...

Raw milk should be legal in all fifty states.It's a matter of choice and over the past 50 yrs our choices have become fewer and fewer.I personally am afraid to drink homogenized milk. Not sure but I believe the fat particles are so minute that they are passed through the gut and into the blood stream clogging the arteries, but that's only my opinion.
With that said raw milk is so much better tasting,cold or in cooking.Make pudding,a cake or mashed potatoes. There is no comparison.