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Blaze News investigates: Is raw milk illegal? The fight to liberate raw milk from government intolerance: ‘Food is medicine’

The fight to legalize raw milk and end government control of the food supply is heating up.

As more Americans learn about the benefits of raw milk and why the government doesn’t promote it, more and more lawmakers are working to legalize it.

“Food is medicine, and if we are denied that choice, we become nothing more than a pharmaceutical pincushion.”

As Blaze News previously reported, raw milk is nearly the “perfect food.” But most Americans are unaware of the benefits of raw dairy products, as the government warns that consuming raw dairy products can make you sick and even kill you. But the problem is that government regulators won’t tell you that.
the other side of the story.

Blaze News broke the story here.

Last year, five states— georgia, idaho, iowa, north dakotaand wyoming — New laws and regulations are passed or enacted that expand consumer access to raw milk. However, due to government warnings, the media is increasingly viewing these developments as a political phenomenon. For example, Politico explained The struggle to legalize raw milk signals a “conservative culture war” because raw milk fits into a discourse that is “skeptical of qualified expertise.”

But is this really a political issue? And, more importantly, why should you? you Do you care about that?

What is the law?

Officially, raw milk cannot be sold across state lines.

In 1987, the Food and Drug Administration
issued regulations prohibiting Interstate trade in raw milk and raw milk products made specifically for human consumption.regulation it is necessary “Milk and dairy products in final packaged form for human consumption in interstate commerce must be pasteurized.”

However, raw milk regulations vary by state. In some states, you may be able to purchase raw milk at your local grocery store. Other states have completely banned the sale of raw dairy products.

In general, states classified into five regulatory categories:

  1. retail sales law: Consumers can purchase raw milk directly from retailers.
  2. Legal regulations for farm-to-consumer sales: Consumers can purchase raw milk and other raw dairy products directly from local farmers.
  3. Cow Share/Cow Share Legality: Consumers can enter into contracts with farmers to share the milk their cows produce.
  4. “Pet food” sales method: Farmers can sell raw milk as “pet food” with a warning label that says it is “not for human consumption.”
  5. Completely illegal: All sales of raw milk are illegal, with exceptions for retail sales, farm-to-consumer sales, herd sharing laws, and “pet food.”

These regulations are not uniform and have many specificities.

For example, Kentucky allows farm-to-consumer sales, but only raw goat milk. And if you need it, it’s a good idea to bring your doctor’s prescription with you.

Raw milk can be sold to consumers in Wisconsin, but only on an “incidental” basis, meaning it cannot be sold in the normal course of farm operations. In such “accidental” cases, consumers must transport the milk in their own containers.

But what is clear is that Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of raw milk, and state legislatures are responding as well.

Raw milk is more available now than at any time in the past half-century, and the movement to expand access is only gaining momentum.

Why you need to pay attention to raw milk legalization

The question of legalizing raw milk is therefore not only a question of whether we can enjoy its health benefits, but also a question of freedom.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) has been fighting for more than a decade to legalize interstate commerce in raw milk and end government control of the food supply. Interstate Milk Freedom Act. The bill would “prohibit federal interference with the interstate transportation of unpasteurized milk and milk products packaged for direct human consumption.” Despite having bipartisan support, the bill never passed the House.

For Massey, this fight is personal.

Massey is not only a freedom-loving American, but also a cattle farmer and a loyal consumer of raw dairy products.

In Massie’s view, the federal government shouldn’t get between farmers and aspiring consumers.

“Federal agencies such as the FDA, which is part of the executive branch, do not and should not have the power to cut off trade between peaceful farmers and willing consumers,” Massey said. . Said. “It is Congress’s job to legislate.”

Mark McAfee, owner of the world’s largest raw milk dairy farm, agrees that this issue is about freedom, especially personal health choices.

“Americans should always protect their freedom to make food choices,” McAfee told Blaze News.

“Food is medicine, and if we are denied that choice, we are nothing more than a pharmaceutical pincushion,” he explained. “Drugs don’t build your immune system. Drugs destroy your immune system. Eighty percent of your immune system is made up of bacterial biodiversity within your gut microbiome.”

This is not just McAfee’s view. In fact, he pointed to a timeless quote from the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates to prove his point.

  • “All disease begins in the gut.”
  • “Do no harm.”and
  • “Let food be medicine, and medicine be food.”

This is also why McAfee doesn’t think raw milk itself is a political issue..

“Filling a room with raw milk consumers is bipartisan,” he told Blaze News.

“It’s a diverse group with all religious, political and ethical backgrounds and beliefs. Everyone wants healthy children and families,” he explained. “I know some Republicans tend to be anti-establishment and anti-FDA, and that’s true. But Democrats, independents, Greens, and others love raw milk, too.”

“We see this in California. Raw milk is the best seller and everyone drinks it,” McAfee said.

Should the government play a role?

Supporters of legal raw milk don’t want to escape the government completely, nor do they think it’s wise to do so.

This fact is self-evident from Massey’s proposal. Although he doesn’t believe the federal government should issue blanket regulations on raw milk, he believes Congress should legislate on the issue because lawmakers (in theory) represent the public’s interests. I believe that.

McAfee agrees with the movement to legalize raw milk, but emphasizes the responsibility that comes with freedom.

McAfee said there needs to be sensible “standards and practices” when it comes to producing and selling raw milk, or “you’re going to get punched in the face.”

McAfee speaks from experience.on his farm Strict hygiene measures This is to ensure the health of the dairy cows and the cleanliness of the milk and dairy products produced on the farm. The standards on his farm, and other raw milk farms like his, far exceed those used on standard dairy farms, which are pasteurized and therefore don’t need to produce a clean product.

“Freedom must come with responsibility, or you’ll end up with a lot of raw milk nosebleeds,” he says.

If raw milk is legalized, McAfee recommends three regulations:

  1. Although high standards will be introduced for the cleanliness of raw milk, “there are not the same standards for pasteurization. There are different standards but high standards.”
  2. We fully train our farmers according to these standards.
  3. Develop testing protocols to ensure farmers meet these high standards.

“It’s freedom, but if someone gets sick, you don’t get much freedom. So it’s better to have that freedom combined with high standards, farmer training, and testing,” McAfee said.

What is the government’s response?

Blaze News sent the FDA a list of specific questions about raw milk, including:

  • Why does the FDA only list foodborne illness outbreaks from raw milk and never from pasteurized dairy products, thus creating the illusion that: raw milk only Can it cause food poisoning?
  • Why does the FDA recommend breastfeeding for infants? It says infants should drink raw (human) milk, which is full of germs, in a non-sterile environment, but it demonizes raw milk under all circumstances. Is it?
  • How does the FDA react to the fact that humans have been consuming raw mammalian milk for thousands of years without incident?
  • Is pasteurization a solution to a unique problem at a unique point in history, one that is no longer necessary because social hygiene is much better than it was 100 to 150 years ago?
  • Is it true that dairy farmers producing milk for pasteurization have no incentive to produce a “clean” product since the kernels will be removed (pasteurized) anyway?
  • Could the FDA follow McAfee’s proposal and reverse the ban on interstate trade in raw milk while enforcing strict production regulations?

Unfortunately, the FDA did not directly answer these questions. Instead, FDA officials spent three days rebutting what the agency had already said publicly.

The FDA rejected the scientific literature concluding that raw milk is not dangerous, arguing that “the nutritional and health benefits of consuming raw milk are not scientifically substantiated.”

“Pasteurization has a long history of protecting public health,” the agency said, but pasteurization was invented in the 19th century and was first applied to wine, which was used to make large quantities of dairy products. I didn’t mention that it wasn’t until the 20th century that it was pasteurized. . It is by no means a “long history”. After all, humans have been flying longer than dairy products have been pasteurized on a large-scale, societal scale.

The FDA added that “raw milk can contain a variety of disease-causing pathogens,” which explains how food and beverage products that are not handled safely can cause illness. This is a simple maxim that ignores the possibility that it may contain pathogens. Every year, foodborne illnesses occur associated with fruits, vegetables, meat, and other products such as peanut butter.

Regarding the outbreak, FDA officials said there were approximately 250 hospitalizations related to raw milk consumption between 1993 and 2018.

This statistic ignores the fact that pasteurized dairy products are also responsible for foodborne illness outbreaks. actual, Recently published systematic reviews Researchers analyzing dairy outbreaks in the United States and Canada from 2007 to 2020 found that the number of people who died from consuming poor-quality pasteurized dairy products was significantly higher than that of unpasteurized, adulterated dairy products. They found that it was more abundant than dairy products.

Nevertheless, FDA officials told Blaze News that “pasteurization of milk has been adopted as a basic public health measure to kill dangerous bacteria. “The risk of getting sick from one of these is largely eliminated.”

Indeed, most Americans do not consume raw dairy products, so directly comparing deaths from pasteurized dairy products to deaths from raw dairy products is not statistically honest.

But the data speaks for itself, and you’re probably wondering why the FDA and CDC emphasize the dangers of raw milk but don’t similarly emphasize the potential dangers of other commercially available foods.

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