- The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have urged U.S. lawmakers to reject proposed legislation called the “Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014,” that would overturn the current ban on the interstate sale of raw milk.
- They argue that making raw milk accessible will increase the number of consumer illness and death, due to the risk associated with its lack of pasteurization and safety procedures.
- Federal law currently gives states the discretion to regulate raw milk within their borders, but dairy organizations expressed concern that repealing the interstate ban would greatly increase the production and consumption of a known health hazard.
As reported here, Rep. Thomas Massie introduced the bill last week, declaring: "Personal choices as basic as ‘what we feed our families’ should not be limited by the federal government.” The IDFA and NMPF content that it is not about fundamental freedom but basic safety, equating drinking raw milk with playing Russian roulette. They also appeal to concerns about risks to children.
Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Productions Federation., said, “If this measure passes, those most vulnerable to dangerous pathogens – children – are the ones who will suffer the most. The benefits of consuming raw milk are illusory, but the painful costs of illness and death are very real.” He also pointed out that there is nearly a century's worth of proof that raw milk is linked to illness. "Raw milk is a key vehicle in the transmission of human pathogens, including E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella,” he said. Some of those illnesses have recently been in news covering product recalls and, in some cases, hospitalizations from serious illnesses.