Ron Paul Wants to Make the Sale of Raw Milk Legal
Do you drink raw milk? Unless you milk your own cow, the answer is probably no since the sale of raw milk is illegal in about half of the United States.
Consumption of raw milk is legal in all 50 states, but current federal regulation prohibits interstate commerce of raw milk and raw milk products for human consumption.
Ron Paul would like to change that law.
U.S. Congressman Ron Paul has introduced H.R. 778 which would “authorize the interstate traffic of unpasteurized milk and milk products that are packaged for direct human consumption.” According to the Organic Consumers Association:
The bill would not force a state to legalize the sale of raw milk from local producers, nor would it force a state to allow the sale of raw milk from out-of-state producers in its retail stores. The bill would, however, enable consumers to enter into transactions to obtain raw milk and raw milk products from other states without the transactions being in violation of federal law.
The current regulation banning raw milk sales 21 CFR 1240.61 states:
…no person shall cause to be delivered into interstate commerce or shall sell, otherwise distribute, or hold for sale or other distribution after shipment in interstate commerce any milk or milk product in final package form for direct human consumption unless the product has been pasteurized….
The only legal milk to be sold across state lines is pasteurized. Pasteurization kills disease causing germs and prevents souring by keeping milk at a temperature of 145 degrees F for at least half an hour, then reducing the temperature to no more than 55 degrees F. According to “Raw Milk Vs. Pasteurized Milk” published in a British Medical Journal in 1938:
It is undoubtedly beneficial to destroy dangerous germs, but pasteurization does more than this-it kills off harmless and useful germs alike, and by subjecting the milk to high temperatures, destroys some nutritious constituents…But, after pasteurization, the lactic acid bacilli are killed. The milk, in consequence, cannot become sour and quickly decomposes, while undesirable germs multiply very quickly… Besides destroying part of the vitamin C contained in raw milk and encouraging growth of harmful bacteria, pasteurization turns the sugar of milk, known as lactose, into beta-lactose — which is far more soluble and therefore more rapidly absorbed in the system, with the result that the child soon becomes hungry again.
Probably pasteurization’s worst offence is that it makes insoluable the major part of the calcium contained in raw milk. This frequently leads to rickets, bad teeth, and nervous troubles, for sufficient calcium content is vital to children; and with the loss of phosphorus also associated with calcium, bone and breain formation suffer serious setbacks.
Pasteurization also destroys 20 percent of the iodine present in raw milk, causes constipation and generally takes from the milk its most vital qualities.
My office has heard from numerous people who would like to obtain unpasteurized milk. Many of these people have done their own research and come to the conclusion that unpasteurized milk is healthier than pasteurized milk.
Americans have the right to consume these products without having the Federal Government second-guess their judgment about what products best promote health. If there are legitimate concerns about the safety of unpasteurized milk, those concerns should be addressed at the state and local level.
H.R. 778 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. You can read the full text of the legislation that would allow the interstate commerce of raw milk. Personally, I would not want to buy raw dairy products from an out of state farmer because of transportation costs and concerns about freshness. Whether you believe raw milk is healthier or not, at the heart of the issue is US constitutional law that allows Congress to regulate interstate traffic (Art. I, section 8, Clause 1), but such commerce should not be impeded. Do we really need to regulate the sale of raw milk across state borders when consumers can seek it out locally?