“Every morning I have to look in the mirror and deal with the fact that I almost killed my son when I made the decision to give him raw milk.”
That’s what Mary McGonigle-Martin, a former raw milk advocate, wrote in an Op-Ed article featured on Food Safety News. She joins the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) in urging Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval to veto Assembly Bill No. 209, which would allow the sale of raw milk directly to consumers.
Despite being what she considered an educated consumer, McGonigle-Martin says she was unaware of the risks involved with drinking raw milk. McGonigle-Martin’s son spent two months in the hospital and eventually recovered from renal failure, congestive heart failure, a collapsed lung, acute pancreatitis, high blood pressure and seizures brought on by drinking contaminated raw milk.
“When I made the choice to give my son raw milk, I didn’t know something so horrific could happen to him,” she wrote.
NMPF and IDFA echoed McGonigle-Martin’s concerns in a joint letter sent to Sandoval on Tuesday.
“Gambling with the health of your state’s residents – particularly its children – is a bad bet,” NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak said in a news release. “While choice is an important value, it should not pre-empt consumers’ well-being,” he said, likening consumption of unpasteurized milk to a game of Russian roulette.
“A single case of illness – even one caused by a well‐intentioned dairy farmer – that is attributed to raw milk or raw dairy products in Nevada would likely have an adverse effect on consumer confidence in and consumption of healthful, nutrient‐rich foods like milk, yogurt, and cheese,” the letter said.
Sandoval has until the end of the week to either sign or veto the assembly bill.