NMPF opposes proposed Wis. legislation legalizing raw milk sales

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Jim Mulhern, Chief Operating Officer of the National Milk Producers Federation, released the following statement in response to a proposed Wisconsin legislation legalizing raw milk sales:

“It is disheartening that lawmakers in America’s Dairyland are even considering legislation that would damage public health by liberalizing the sale of raw milk to consumers.

“There is no evidence that raw milk provides any health benefits different from the numerous nutritional benefits of pasteurized milk. However, there is extensive evidence that raw milk can contain deadly pathogens that otherwise would be destroyed by pasteurization. Seldom has the science behind public health policy been so clearly one-sided. It is simply irresponsible to confuse wishful thinking and the placebo effect, with clear clinical research demonstrating that illness-causing bacteria can be, and are being found in raw farm milk. And these pathogenic bacteria can be found on any dairy farm, regardless of its cleanliness or the good intentions of its owner.

“We are reiterating our concerns to lawmakers at today’s hearing in La Crosse because Wisconsin must remain a leader in providing high quality, safe dairy products for consumers. Deregulation of raw milk in Wisconsin would be bad for the nation’s dairy industry and, far worse, it would be tragic for public health.

“State legislators, and Governor Walker, need to keep in mind that 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.”

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Missouri  |  September, 23, 2013 at 09:32 AM

Ha ha ha! Why don't they just come out and say it: "We like our milk monopoly, and we don't want you changing that!" This has NOTHING to do with public health. And there are numerous studies showing raw milk has benefits -- such as probiotics that are killed in pasteurization -- but the dairy industry simply can't abide them. Raw milk sales allow small-time farmers to sell to their neighbors and friends again; it was that way for THOUSANDS OF YEARS, and it should be that way now. I hope the Wisconsin legislature doesn't cower (pun intended) to corporate milk bullying (pun intended).

NE  |  September, 23, 2013 at 02:06 PM

Excuse me. No public health benefits?! I'm one individual that can ONLY drink raw milk! I'm lactose intolerant. I cannot drink pasteurized milk- it makes me very ill. I also have Chrohn's disease (which developed prior to drinking raw milk) and I get my RAW milk from a certified Johne's free herd. I also use raw milk to reestablish normal flora in my gut after rounds of chemotherapy. My raw milk producer sends weekly milk samples to the state lab and has never had to do a recall. They are a small family farm that goes beyond state regulations. I only trust milk (pasteurized or raw) that is produced by small local family farmers. Yes, this whole case is fear mongering by the dairy association. It appears they are trying to put those that don't line up with the association out of business. Why not put your energy and monies into working with State government to establish evidence based raw milk guidelines. Investigate the laws other raw milk states have passed to ensure public health safety. There is plenty of room for everyone in the dairy business.

NE  |  September, 23, 2013 at 02:09 PM

Why doesn't my pro raw milk comment not show up in your comment section?

NE  |  September, 23, 2013 at 02:10 PM

Thank you. It now shows up.

Madison, WI  |  September, 23, 2013 at 04:23 PM

It is disheartening that commercial interests are trying to deprive us of our freedom of choice. It is also disheartening that while they claim that this is about health and safety, they give no concern to those that smoke around children or while pregnant. Or that they give no concern to poultry, which in the often cherry-picked CDC data, has a higher death rate than any other food.

Roger Bird    
Colorado Springs  |  September, 23, 2013 at 05:52 PM

So, this is news???? Anyone with any sense knew that the NMPF opposed raw milk. They don't want to deal with the competition. They may say garbage about your health, but that is just deception. They don't give a fig about your health other than how it might impact their profits in the way of lawsuits.

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