Interstate Sale of Raw Milk Debated

Milk board says raw milk proven transmitter of pathogens.

Published on: Nov 2, 2011
The National Milk Producers Federation is asking the Food and Drug Administration to stand firm in the face of mounting pressures to further legalize the sale of raw milk direct to consumers. NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak is urging FDA to - not waver - as supporters have increased their criticism of current interstate sales restrictions. Kozak points out that - raw milk is a proven means of transmitting serious human pathogens, including E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella.

Raw milk supporters are urging FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to cease federal efforts to ban the trafficking in raw milk sales across state lines. Current FDA law prohibits the interstate sales of raw milk, although the majority of states allow some form of in-state sales and/or distribution of raw milk. Kozak says - we hope that Commissioner Hamburg looks at the evidence, and doesn’t just listen to the noise from those who would weaken public health protections.

Kozak says - it is particularly concerning that a key constituency in the raw milk movement includes mothers who wish to purchase the product to feed to their children. Kozak notes that more than three-quarters of foodborne illness outbreaks associated with raw milk or milk products involve a child. Pasteurization, when properly conducted, is the only way to ensure that milk is free from disease-causing microorganisms.