@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Bill filed to allow raw milk sales

Posted April 10, 2013

— North Carolina residents would be able to buy raw, unpasteurized milk under a bill filed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. 

The measure was filed by Reps. Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance, Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, and Jo Sam Queen, D-Haywood. It would allow residents to buy shares in a lactating animal in order to obtain its unpasteurized milk. 

Pasteurization is a process through which heat is applied to milk in order to kill bacteria and other contaminants. According to the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unpasteurized raw milk can spread salmonella, Campylobacter and other diseases. Raw milk can be sold in North Carolina but only for animal feed and only if marked and dyed in order to discourage human consumption.

However, some natural food advocates extol what they see as the health benefits of not subjecting milk to pasteurization. They have pushed for a number of raw milk legalization measures over the past decade, none of which have passed. 

"It became an interest to me when a Christian ministry I represent in Alamance County asked me about it," Riddle said. The ministry wanted to train missionaries to keep live animals and use their milk. Health officials, he said, told them they could not. 

That initial spark lead to more research he said.

"It's about the only food I can think of that's illegal," Riddle said. Some people grew up drinking raw milk and like it, he said. Other simply like it better or think it's healthier. His bill, Riddle said, would simply give them to choice of what to consume. 

Health and agriculture officials warn that choice is risky. 

"There's a lot of evidence that raw milk can be dangerous," said Brian Long, a spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He said the department has not seen the bill filed Wednesday but said generally the department has supported the existing ban on the consumption of raw milk.

"I'm not choosing a fight with the Department of Agriculture," Riddle said. But he pointed out that farmers are allowed to consume raw milk collected on their farms. "If we're concerned about health, aren't we concerned about the farmers' health?"

State Health and Human Services officials have also warned that consuming raw milk can be dangerous.

A 2012 CDC study found 121 disease outbreaks caused by dairy products between 1993 and 2006. "The researchers found that 60 percent of the outbreaks were caused by raw milk products, which also include cheese and yogurt. Also, nearly all the hospitalizations (200 of 239) were in those sickened by raw milk," according to CBS news.

10 Comments

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  • phall777 Apr 19, 11:21 a.m.

    For any authority to assume dictatorship powers such as this is a clear violation of all Americans' rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nuff said.

  • rogerbird22 Apr 13, 12:18 p.m.

    cardboy826 said: "they don't care about health" sounds like an insult, and perhaps the part about "the bribes they get from lobbyists" is an insult for most politicians. But truly politicians, doctors, dentists, scientists, judges, bureaucrats, generally, most people don't really care enough about their health to eat healthfully. They eat tastefully. They eating is driven by their taste buds. So, like cardboy826, I don't want my life and my nutrition dictated by people who don't care enough about their health to do something substantial about it. It ain't fair; it ain't American; it ain't freedom.

  • rogerbird22 Apr 12, 11:07 a.m.

    Let freedom and responsibility ring. "Responsibility"??? Yes, raw milk should be handled very responsibly and respectfully. The consumers should visit the farm and hold the farmer to a high standard to cleanliness and loving respect for the cows.

  • freedomrings Apr 12, 8:51 a.m.

    As you can see, we're much more likely to contract salmonella from commercial products, not raw milk.

    http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/outbreaks.html

  • freedomrings Apr 12, 8:46 a.m.

    This article is incorrect. Since 2008 raw milk sold for animal feed no longer has to have the dye in it.

  • freedomrings Apr 12, 8:43 a.m.

    Fantastic news! The government has no business telling us what we can and can't eat. From a deeply personal perspective, my young son had multiple health problems. It only was after we eliminated gluten and added homemade kefir made from raw milk when he was 15 months old that he finally started to get better. The issue is not the milk, it's how the animal is cared for. I would never ever drink raw milk from a commercial dairy. The cows are corn fed ( this increases ecoli risk dramatically )and stand in their own waste. A cow or goat the grazes on grass is a healthy animal. People have been drinking raw milk for thousands of years.

  • cardboy826 Apr 12, 8:24 a.m.

    letting politicians decide what you can eat is the problem. they don't car about health, just the bribes they get from lobbyists

  • melodylink Apr 11, 10:23 a.m.

    "They don't care about health. If the farmer is selling raw milk off his farm it is harder for them to make sure all the taxes are being collected on it. Thats what its all about.

    Its my body, why does the governement tell me what I can and can't do with it?"

    - Well said, WageSlave!! I would love to see this pass, but I'm not holding my breath.

  • WageSlave Apr 11, 9:02 a.m.

    "I'm not choosing a fight with the Department of Agriculture," Riddle said. But he pointed out that farmers are allowed to consume raw milk collected on their farms. "If we're concerned about health, aren't we concerned about the farmers' health?"

    They don't care about health. If the farmer is selling raw milk off his farm it is harder for them to make sure all the taxes are being collected on it. Thats what its all about.

    Its my body, why does the governement tell me what I can and can't do with it?

  • rushbot Apr 11, 8:53 a.m.

    Two thumbs up!!