Raw milk: Sens. Nienow, Dahms, and Robling want easier access

Categories: Agriculture

Raw Milk by kthread.jpg
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Raw Milk: some lawmakers want more of it
​State senators Sean Nienow, Gary Dahms, and Claire Robling are pushing legislation to make raw milk more widely available in Minnesota, even though the state health department says drinking it poses a serious health risk.

The bill would allow raw milk sales at farmer's markets and directly to homes. Currently, state law mandates that raw milk--which is unpasteurized--be sold only on the farm where it is produced. So raw milk lovers from the Twin Cities now have to drive hours to pick up their dairy beverage of choice.

"Raw milk is a legal product," Nienow says. "The product itself is legal--it's just the accessibility."

Last year, the state health department cracked down on illegal raw milk deliveries to Twin Cities drop-off sites last year because the product caused 15 people to fall ill with E-coli and other afflictions.

milk cows by kevin.jpg
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The state Agriculture Department traced last year's problematic raw milk to Michael Hartmann's farm just south of Gibbons, Minnesota. Eight people who drank Hartmann's raw milk contracted E-coli; seven others suffered diarreah and stomach pain.

Inspectors visited Hartmann's farm, declared his production methods unsanitary, and ordered him to stop pumping out his milk and cheese.

Hartmann refused. He is currently in the midst of an ongoing legal battle over the milk.

The Center for Disease Control warns that unpasteurized milk is dangerous, and the state agrees.

"Milk and manure are produced at the same end of the cow, so there's always risk of contamination of the milk with pathogens that are found in manure, even under the best of circumstances," says Kirk Smith, supervisor of the Food-Borne Disease Unit at the Minnesota Department of Health. "And really, there are no scientifically documented benefits of drinking raw milk versus pasteurized milk."

The bill has already found an enemy in the Minnesota Milk Producers Association, a trade group for farmers who make traditional pasteurized milk.

Though the bill was just introduced yesterday, it has already lost one of it's original supporters. Sen. Gary Dahms plans to remove his name from the bill on Monday, a staffer in his office said. She said she did not know why.

"My guess would be because there are those who have concerns with the bill," Nienow says. "We'll work with those to address them."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:
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1 comments
Rachael Sparks
Rachael Sparks

Smiths comment, "And really, there are no scientifically documented benefits of drinking raw milk versus pasteurized milk," is incorrect. Pasteurizing milk causes the molecules in the milk to change and can cause it to scar tissues in the arteries in the body which can contribute to platelet buildup in the arteries because they can stick better to the lining of the artery and can cause heart problems and blood clots. Milk causes other problems as well. It also can leave a ash build up in the body because the body can't process it, along with others. Other things with milk in general is that the calcium in cows milk doesn't absorb properly in the body. The body has a hard time breaking down cows milk. Our bodies really weren't designed to drink it. After the age of two we loose the enzymes necessary to break milk down and that's breast milk not cows milk. After two we can't break it down anymore because our bodies stop producing the enzymes necessary. We were meant to stop drinking any milk after the age of two. Hence why we have so many people with a dairy allergy. But I think if you are going to drink it I think that they need to be more concerned with regulating the sanitizing practices not so much as pushing pasteurization. But the FDA pushed the dairy and beef industries because of their vested interest in it. Did you know that the FDA owns most of the dairy and meats industries? Their are also the ones that made up the food pyramid that was taught in schools and health facilities. Which is why the pyramids said to have so much dairy and meat product and not because they are good for us but because of how much money was involved. Just my thoughts. Check it out for yourselves.

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