“It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed”

by Walter Olson on May 5, 2011

Well, then, FDA, just don’t consume any of it (h/t), rather than conducting year-long stings on Amish farmers to keep others from doing so.

{ 14 comments }

1 John Rohan 05.05.11 at 8:27 am

Wouldn’t this ban apply to newborn babies drinking breast milk as well?

2 mike 05.05.11 at 9:26 am

John, that’s a good one! I’m guessing they didn’t think of that.

3 Anonymous Attorney 05.05.11 at 10:12 am

Sam Francis called it “anarcho-tyranny”: go after little stuff but ignore big stuff. So, elaborate stings against Amish farmers selling raw milk, but… untold millions of illegal aliens? We won’t lift a finger.

4 Mike 05.05.11 at 10:40 am

The statement itself doesn’t bother me. Taking a position that raw milk shouldn’t be consumed, cigarettes shouldn’t be smoked, bicycles shouldn’t be ridden without a helmet – fine with me.

Taking the next step – nobody may drink raw milk without facing criminal sanction – that’s the part that’s offensive.

5 Mike 05.05.11 at 10:00 pm

We no longer tolerate raw milk just because the pathogens in raw milk are communicable and the issue largely affects children. This is an even more obvious case of appropriate government action (no, it doesn’t matter that the “victims” here are photogenic Amish religious nut cases) than mandated seat belt laws, but, of course, you libertarian geniuses are against those too. Yes, there are things that are overlawyered and over regulated. Milk is not one of them. At the very least, read the Wikipedia page on the “debate”, which is mostly as much a “debate” as creationism vs evoution.

6 Reuven 05.05.11 at 10:20 pm

This makes buying and eating illegal cheese even more exciting! A foodie friend of mine turned me on to illegal cheese several years ago, and now I have several dealers….

7 Bill Alexander 05.05.11 at 11:13 pm

Reuven, do you meet in a dark alley, and does your dealer wear a trench coat w/ the cheese in inside pockets? Or do you just go up to an unmarked door, knock 3 times, and whisper low that Joe sent you?

8 gitarcarver 05.05.11 at 11:34 pm

Oh c’mon Bill… you know you have to go to a speak-cheesy.

9 Melvin H. 05.06.11 at 12:21 am

I guess I should be the one (sigh):
Looks like the FDA is trying to milk this for all its worth….

10 Jim Roberts 05.06.11 at 5:15 am

Let me make sure I understand this perfectly. The statistical chances of me becoming sick from consuming raw milk are lower than me driving to pick it up from my farmer weekly – a total of 30 minutes to and from his location. Yet we ban raw milk and allow driving. Yes there are benefits to driving, but there are also benefits to consuming raw milk. In 1928, an OSU professor said, “Nothing heals the body like raw milk.” That is still the case. What driving ever healed the body?

11 No Name Guy 05.06.11 at 11:15 am

Mike

If someone is stupid enough to do it, it’s their business, not mine, not yours, not anyone’s.

Got yourself sick from raw milk? Yeah, tough sh** buddy. Tell someone who cares.

Did it to your kid (an innocent third party)? Yeah, that’s called neglect. Hope you enjoy your time in the lock up.

12 Duchess Inky 05.07.11 at 10:28 am

There just isn’t research to support the idea that milk is dangerous unless pasteurized. Go looking for studies online and you’ll find that there are lots of articles with “it is known that” statements and “studies show,” but try to find the actual studies? Oy. I went through page after page of Google results and was unable to find a study. I found plenty of fear-mongering on both sides, but no documentation.

13 Brad 05.07.11 at 7:43 pm

Inky: There is an enormous amount of evidence that unpasteurized milk is dangerous. The only reason that this discussion is taken seriously is that longstanding pasteurization has made milk-based foods so safe it blinds everyone to the risks. Listeria, Brucella, Campylobacter and Salmonella, E. coli, and the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (including M. bovis, which can be transmitted by eating it) are known to contaminate raw milk and products made from it. Instead of Google, which does not index scientific papers, try Google Scholar or Pubmed. The first result in Google Scholar is a New England Journal of Medicine paper that reviews 100 years of nutritional and microbiological evidence and labels raw milk consumption as a dangerous “health fetish”. That article is not free to read but there are hundreds of others that are.

14 LisaMarie 05.08.11 at 11:58 am

I’ll put this out there: I’m a microbiologist, and raw milk is a bad, bad idea. It’s not safe. We talk about it in my classes, and I use examples of disease outbreaks resulting from the consumption of raw milk (as part of a broader discussion of risks from food). The risks are real. That said, I support the rights of adults to take what risks they choose, even if I think what they want to do is a terrible idea. I will tell someone until the cows come home that raw milk is not worth the risk. But I won’t endorse using force to stop them if they’re still determined. People have a right to take foolish risks.

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