IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation sent a letter last week to the leaders of the West Virginia State Senate, asking them to oppose legislation that would further ease the sale of unpasteurized milk in the state. However, the Senate passed the bill, which would allow state residents to share ownership of milk-producing animals and consume raw milk, by a vote of 18-16. The bill now moves to the House Health and Human Resources Committee for consideration.
IDFA and NMPF join major U.S. health organizations and agencies, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in their beliefs that consumption of raw milk is a demonstrated public health risk.
In fact, the proposed bill includes a section that would require the cow-sharing owners “to sign a written document acknowledging the inherent dangers of consuming raw milk that may contain bacteria, such as Brucella, Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella and E. Coli, that has not been pasteurized to remove bacteria and that is particularly dangerous to children, pregnant women and those with compromised immunity. The responsible party then agrees to release the herd seller of liability for the inherent dangers of consuming raw milk.”
IDFA and NMPF continue to believe that, “While choice is an important value, it should not pre-empt consumers’ well-being,” especially regarding children who are unable to make these decisions for themselves. IDFA will monitor the bill’s progress and send a similar letter to the members of the House committee, where the bill is currently pending.
For more information, contact Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.