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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Contributor

Raw milk

Raw milk sales are banned in many states as a health threat, but some vocally call for free sale and use of raw milk.  It a topic that has been getting more and more press recently.  Some advocates include a call for organic milk and by extension a ban on use of GM alfalfa.  Naturally, Mother Monsanto is portrayed as the evil goddess by some of these advocate.

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19 Replies
belarus
Senior Contributor

Re: Raw milk

I get both sides fired up on this issue.  This is a constitutional issue.  If people are knowingly choosing to buy raw milk why should the government have the right to stop them.  Inspect them and hold them to standards but not stop them.    I'm not opposed to basic milk inspection even for raw milk sales for sanitation, refrigeration, pathogen testing (both live animals and product), and prudent adequate labelling so any and all consumers are aware of what they are buying.

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jrsiajdranch
Veteran Advisor

Re: Raw milk

I agree with belarus on this one. I have been drinking raw milk from my own farm for 38 years..  I can't stand the store stuff. Most folks don't realize how good this stuff is. In fact most folks who are lactose intolerant would be able to drink raw milk.

I think that mostly and this will put me way out there that this is an issue that goverment uses to declare their control in our lives. I also think that when they implement price controls selling raw milk will be an even bigger issue. I am only slightly paranoid.

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DW11
Veteran Contributor

Re: Raw milk

I'll bite.  Using your rationale, why should the govt. even have the right to inspect those that sell raw milk?  If this is a constitutional issue, why stop at pasteurization?

 

Most people and I would agree that states have the right to legislate against the sale of raw milk to protect the health, safety and welfare of our citizens.  I'm sure the dairy organizations are prime sponsors of this legislation in order to protect the image of their product.  All Jr. needs is the image of children sickened by tainted milk on the evening news to change his mind. 

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belarus
Senior Contributor

Re: Raw milk

First of all, I don't drink raw milk.  But, there is a large mounting pile of evidence that raw milk has some pretty big health claims.  The government shouldn't be able to deny those people that want it their choice.  I said proper labelling and basic inspection is required for things that enter into commerce.  Just my opinion.

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jrsiajdranch
Veteran Advisor

Re: Raw milk

DW all I am saying is if someone wants it why shouldn't they be able to buy it?  Like I have said I have drank raw milk all my life never once gotten sick because of it. In fact may be more healthy. ANd also I knw that some folks who are lactose intolerant are that way because of the homoginization process.

As to the sick kids thingy well more people are sick from ecoli in meat every year than are ever sickened by dairy. The old rule still applies if it isn't prepared right is that my fault? 

And if you want really off the wall the penaltyfor selling raw milk is more severe than for selling cigarretts or alcohol to an underage person! Hows that for stupid?

Oh btw did you know that the milk in Europe isn't pastureized? HHHMMMM?

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jrsiajdranch
Veteran Advisor

Re: Raw milk

Jim the RR alfalfa is to me kinda of like a answer looking for a question.  In a high intensity mannagement system like mine a field of alfalfa never stays in longer than 4 years and it is usally 3. The weeds that may come in are most likely in a drowned out spot so spraying RU just bares the ground in those spots.

Alot of the GM stuff for alfalfa is a waste of money.  Monsanto may hope for this to take off but I don't think it will. Most farmers are not going for dairy quality hay. (my second cutting averaged 206 RFV) if you are only feeding horses or beef cattle all you need is 100 to 130 rfv. you can have a lot of stemmy headded out grass in your alfalfa and still get that so why plant a RU variety  it is very expensive and really doesn't give any benefit. Also for most farmers it would reduce tonnage.

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idleriver
Contributor

Re: Raw milk

DW In a free market farms that sold milk that made people sick would not be in business. Farmers would have incentive to use best management without the Gov. Telling them what to do. On a purely anecdotal note I have four kids and we go through about a gallon of milk a week. I personally can't stand to drink milk from the store. (bad aftertaste) In the summer when we can get raw milk we go through two and 1/2 gal. A week.  The kids just suck it down.  I am a little fuzzy on the details but I believe here in Michigan they recently extended the shelf life requirements in the store.  I thought the chances to get a good gallon of milk out of the store have been much worse than before.

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DW11
Veteran Contributor

Re: Raw milk

Idleriver, The notion that the market will take care of "bad actors" in the dairy industry may be true to the extent they can trace the "bad milk's" origin.  However, this is the age of instant worldwide media sensationalism.  At the same time as the market is putting the bad actor out of busines, the whole dairy industry could take a huge hit when news of even one case of ecoli tainted milk hits the airwaves or internet.  Recall the stories of tainted peanuts, spinach, lettuce, apples and meat and what those stories do to consumption in a whole industry. 

 

I'm no dairy farmer, but if I was, the last thing I would want to do is risk a huge negative national news story about my product.   Dairy has a way to avoid this.

 

On a personal note, I can relate to your preference for raw milk as I have insisted that my wife not buy the cheap stuff that does have a bad after-taste. I proved my case to my wife with a blind taste-test.  The "good stuff" does not have an aftertaste to me.

 

 

 

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DW11
Veteran Contributor

Re: Raw milk

Jr. ,  You are lucky to have the tools available to make sure that milk is always safe.  Beef still has to depend on the consumer to assure its safety.  It does not matter whose fault it is--it still affects demand for the product.  How much more beef would be consumed in this country if we didn't have the stories about recalled beef every so often?

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