Raw Milk May Soon Be Legal In Iowa

Raw milk may soon be legal in Iowa. Earlier this month, a bill was sent to committee that would make it legal for farmers to sell raw milk on their property. In 1987, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that all milk must be pasteurized.

Iowa HSB131 would exempt dairy farmers who sell raw milk from being regulated, licenses, or inspected, Food Safety News reports. Pathogens testing of the unpasteurized milk would not be required.

The topic of raw milk attracted both those firmly supportive and against the passage of the new law during committee meetings on Wednesday. Republican State Representative Jason Schultz supports giving constituents access to raw milk, according to the Daily Iowan.

Jason Schultz had this to say about the unpasteurized law:

“The reason this bill is important is we have a growing constituency in Iowa who wants access to this product. If consumers can buy raw meat and raw eggs, there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to buy raw milk. It is assumed that it is the final customer’s responsibility to prepare that food.”

Even though the Iowa raw milk bill made it into committee, the topic remains highly controversial. The pasteurization process is reportedly necessary to kill E. coli and Salmonella that can be found in raw milk. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics recorded from 1998 to 2011 indicate there were two deaths from raw milk in recent years.

The agency also reports there were 2,384 illnesses from unpasteurized milk and 284 hospitalizations. Senior citizens and children are supposedly the most at risk from raw milk and raw cheese health risks. Although some Iowa farmers note they grew up on raw milk and survived just fine, they remain a bit leery about raw milk legalization.

Farmer Jim Dane had this to say about unpasteurized milk:

“Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, you’re probably OK. My whole family drank raw milk, and we were fine. What makes me very nervous is it doesn’t take but only one time for the milk to be bad, and that impacts the people who are least able to ward it off.”

Another former raw milk drinker, Rachel Moss, noted that her the raw milk her family once consumed was tested and contained less bacteria than was permissible after pasteurized milk became the law of the land.

Do you think people should be allowed to purchase raw milk?

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