FDA offers raw deal on raw milk

                                                                                         The FDA should have better things to do than bust farmers for selling raw milk across state borders.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had a cow, so to speak, over raw milk sales recently.

For two years, undercover agents watched an Amish farm in Lancaster County for the crime of selling nonpasteurized milk to people in Maryland and Washington, D.C.

In late April, the FDA “busted” the farm with a federal injunction notice to stop selling the milk.

You would think this is up there with drug trafficking or illegal prescription drug use, yet there weren’t even any reported health issues with the raw milk.

Surely there are more pressing problems in America?

The raw milk debate has been going on since the 1920s. If you listen to the FDA, you would think this stuff is close to drinking from a poisoned stream. If you listen to believers in the organic movement, raw milk sounds like the elixir of life.

The truth is usually somewhere in between.

Raw milk does carry a higher risk for some bacteria. The entire point of the pasteurization process is to kill harmful bacteria, although proponents of raw milk argue that the process also kills good bacteria.

As long as raw milk drinkers understand the higher risks, they should be allowed to drink it.

Twenty-eight states, including dairy-rich Pennsylvania, allow sales of raw milk within state borders. Farms in the Keystone State that sell this kind of milk are checked at least once a year. If bacteria is found, they are shut down until clean tests come back.

This is not some contraband substance.

The FDA tried to make an example with the Amish farm. Instead, it just looks like an example of government overreach.

Congress should legalize raw milk sales — at least from regulated farms — so we can all “moo”ve on to more important matters.

Source: http://www.pennlive.com/editorials/index.ssf/2011/05/fda_offers_raw_deal_on_raw_mil.html

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