By Corby Kummer
Raw milk is one of those issues that riles people (and inspires puns, “raw deal,” “raw nerves” and the like). This week Massachusetts farmers and fans of raw milk were sufficiently agitated to bring a cow to Boston Common, in view of the State House, to demonstrate their anger at a state crackdown on the product, with officials enforcing laws banning the sale of raw milk anywhere but directly from farms that are certified to sell it.
That Massachusetts allows the sale of raw milk at all makes it unusual—only 28 states do, and laws addressing how and where it can be sold vary by state. The reason: raw milk can be deadly, and can cause severe illness with what Barry Estabrook, in a post defending raw milk, recently called a “rogue’s gallery of bugs” (and he named quite a number).
The Centers for Disease Control says that even if only 1 to 3 percent of the U.S. population consumes raw milk or raw milk products, 68 percent of disease outbreaks related to dairy products involve raw milk or raw milk products. Here’s a FAQ page from the CDC with claims that would make raw-milk proponents mad: for instance, that there’s no evidence that drinking raw milk can protect against illnesses like asthma and allergies, nor evidence that raw milk is any more nutritious than pasteurized milk.
Read full post at The Atlantic