To protect the health of American consumers, the Food and Drug Administration must keep a tight grip on regulations that prohibit interstate sales of unpasteurized milk and milk products intended for human consumption, IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said last week in comments. They encouraged FDA to reject a petition submitted last spring by the Real Food Consumer Coalition, which asked for enforcement discretion to allow the sale of unpasteurized milk and milk products bearing warning labels and safe-handling instructions in interstate commerce.
“The scientific arguments remain strong and unchanged: Consumption of raw milk is a demonstrated public health risk,” IDFA and NMPF said.
They also noted that the petition lacks evidence that a warning label would be sufficient to educate consumers.
“In fact, parents of children who have fallen ill after consuming raw milk often acknowledge that, despite information from labels, signs and their own research, they did not fully appreciate the risks; and, knowing what they know now, they would not have made the choice to feed it to their families,” IDFA and NMPF said.
Current FDA regulations require milk and milk products in final package form to be pasteurized before they can be sold across state lines. The petition’s request does not align with the agency’s goal of protecting and promoting public health, they said.
“It is the responsibility of our country’s leaders to make decisions to protect the health of the public, most especially those who are minors and are unable to make fully informed decisions that could have profound consequences for the rest of their lives,” IDFA and NMPF said. “If FDA were to act in favor of the petitioner’s request, the agency would, in reality, be abdicating its authority to protect Americans from raw milk, which has been ‘conclusively’ shown to be unsafe.”
Read the comments here.
For more information, contact Cary Frye, IDFA senior vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs, at email@example.com.