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CDC Urges States to Tighten Laws Regulating Raw Milk Sales

Jul 25, 2012

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent a letter last week to state health officials urging them to continue to support pasteurization for all milk sold to consumers and to tighten regulations governing the sale of raw milk and raw milk products. The letter from Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC's Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases department, comes at a time when several states are considering relaxing some of their raw milk laws.

According to a report in Food Safety News, the letter from Tauxe stressed the danger of consuming unpasteurized milk, which can contain pathogens such as E-coli, Campylobacter and Salmonella. Tauxe wrote, "To protect the health of the public, state regulators should continue to support pasteurization and consider further restricting or prohibiting the sale and distribution of raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products in their states."

Bills that would allow or increase sales of unpasteurized milk to consumers have been introduced recently in several states, including Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts and New Jersey, but they have not passed. Most state legislatures have recessed for the summer, but some, like New Jersey, remain in session all year.

For more information, contact Kyle Shreve, IDFA legislative coordinator, at or (202) 220-3533.

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