Finland: Ministry to green-light raw milk sales?

Buying raw milk directly from farms in Finland could become easier — despite concerns about safety.



Straight from the cow. Image: YLE Keski-Suomi / Mika Rinne

September 16, 2012

The Ministry of Agriculture is preparing an ordinance that could take effect within a few months.

Up until now sales of unpasteurised, unprocessed milk have been strictly regulated due to the risk of bacterial infections.

During the summer, the food safety agency Evira carried out a risk analysis of unprocessed milk and confirmed that there is a risk of pathogens in unpasteurised milk.

However officials at the ministry do not believe that any restrictions should be placed on milk sales, as long as producers and consumers carefully follow the directives handed down by authorities.

In June, several people fell ill after drinking raw milk bought directly from a farm in south-western Finland. They included a four-year-old who was hospitalised in intensive care.

Health authorities say that small children, the elderly and pregnant women should not drink raw milk because of the risk of serious bacterial infections.

Raw milk advocates argue that it is more nutritious as pasteurisation may lower some mineral and vitamin levels in milk.


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