June 2, 2020

Indiana Seeks Public Comment On Raw Milk

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health  (BOAH) is seeking public comment on raw milk consumption and sales that will be compiled and submitted as a report to the the Governor and the Legislative Council.

milkThe sale of raw milk for human consumption is currently illegal in Indiana, but it is legal to sell raw milk for consumption by pets.  In January, Senator John Waterman (R-Shelburn)  added wording to a Senate bill that would have allowed small farms to sell raw milk sales for human consumption under the following conditions:

The milk is sold on-farm.

The farmer was registered with the state.

The milk was in sanitary containers.

A sign at the point of sale is posted saying; “Raw Milk products are sold here. Raw Milk products are not pasteurized.”

The raw milk or raw milk product is prominently labeled, in at least a one-half (1/2) inch font, “This product contains Raw Milk. Consume at your own risk.“.

The wording was removed, but the Legislature passed a bill requiring the BOAH to study the subject of legalizing raw milk sales and publishing a report by December 1. So, from June 1 to September 1, Indiana residents are invited to submit comments, ideas and suggestions about the sale of raw milk  to the board either online or by mailing them to:

IN State Board of Animal Health
Attn: Raw Milk Comments
Discovery Hall, Suite 100
1202 E. 38th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46205-2898

BOAH staff will review the comments and post the report online.


  1. Making raw milk sale illegal is wrong. We have the right to choose what we put in our bodies. What the big corporations sell us in cans and in frozen food is way more dangerous. We have the right to choose!

    • Linda Larsen says

      Well, no, you can’t choose whatever you want to put into your body. If what you put into your body makes you sick, is contagious, and you can spread that disease to others, public health demands that that substance be regulated. And children do not have a choice in what their parents feed them. Bacteria in raw milk, especially E. coli 0157:H7, can destroy a child’s kidneys. That hospital bill can reach more than six million dollars. Which we all pay in the form of higher insurance premiums. When an outbreak occurs, taxpayer money is spent to find the source of the bacteria, inform the public, and investigate the outbreak.

      Raw milk contains Campylobacter, E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Brucella. Canned and frozen food is cleaned and heat-treated to kill those bacteria. Raw milk is 150 times more likely to cause a foodborne illness than pasteurized milk because a cow’s udders are right next to her anus.

      • paula hall says

        Your response is the gold standard of why our Constitution only allows for Congress to make laws. Law making is not for unelected beaurocrats.

        • Linda Larsen says

          I’m not making laws and I’m not a bureaucrat; I’m stating scientific facts. And people are not allowed to do whatever they want, and they are not allowed to eat whatever they want. The Supreme Court has ruled that the commerce clause in the Constitution lets states regulate products. And states have the right to regulate foods as a public health issue because the state has an interest in making sure its citizens are healthy and productive. You can’t give your children contaminated food or water; that is not a fundamental right.

          • paula Hall says

            Then splain to me if you can Linda, why physicians are allowed to kill 2 and a quarter million people over the course of 10 years with no law against them (from JAMA Journal of American Medical Association), but raw milk who has killed only 2 people in the last 10 years has only killed 2 people (from the CDC’s own website). Not to be mean to you in any way, but there’s somthin cookin here that’s not quite koshur.

          • Linda Larsen says

            I wrote the book Medical Ethics for Dummies and I know the four principles of medical ethics very well. Doctors are not allowed to kill people; people die all the time, but it is not because of murder by doctors.

            And comparing other deaths to deaths caused by raw milk is a false equivalency; one has nothing to do with the other. As I said in another response, the bacteria in raw milk has caused kidney failure, paralysis, premature death, strokes, colon necrosis, and other serious complications in many people in the last ten years.

            What isn’t “kosher” is that some raw milk producers won’t abide by laws that Congress enacted. That is why they are in trouble.

          • paula Hall says

            And too for further consideration Linda, no one has the authority to take away my inalienable right to happiness. It is given to me by the Constitution which is the highest law of the land. And even the Supreme Court must abide by it. Napolean in instituting his regin of terror also instituted “safety committees” to whitewash the violent taking away of cherished liberties. And no one would put a toxin into their children. If someone would, there are many other laws that would convict them. We must watch about subjugating our hard won freedoms to any ideas even safety. Tyranny is ever present and will use whatever argument it can to steal the wealth of others. Safety is just such an argument.

          • Linda Larsen says

            Drinking raw milk is not a fundamental right. The Supreme Court has ruled that states have the right to regulate products under the Commerce Clause (but I repeat myself). Pasteurization became law in the United States when foodborne outbreaks caused by raw milk were killing thousands of people every year. When Napoleon was in power, he offered a prize to anyone who discovered a food preservation method. What’s wrong with that?

            And yet again, raw milk contains toxins in the form of pathogenic bacteria and parents give that product to their children every day. Not every bottle of raw milk contains enough bacteria to make someone sick, but it has happened to 142 people just this year: mostly children. Those six outbreaks cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars in investigations. And the toddler in Oregon who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome from raw milk last month suffered strokes, kidney failure, and colon necrosis. The bill to treat that child could come to more than six million dollars.

            We all pay for that, not only in healthcare dollars, but in the fact that that child will need more healthcare in the years to come and may not become a productive citizen. The state’s interest in the health of its citizens overrides any “right” to consume one particular product.

          • paula Hall says

            Dear Linda,
            Napolean was infamous for putting people to death for simply breathing under his “Reign of Terror”. People would bring their lunches to watch the gruesome daily state sponsored killings. Read your history. Yes, death is an equivalent measure as death includes all of the other illnessess leading up to it. Pasteurization became law because of filthy unsanitary conditions used by CAFOs and feeding the cows refuse from the distillaries. This is hardly humane animal treatment. The only raw milk I am standing up for is from pasture grazed cows. Humanity has always sustained itself from the beginning of time on this type of milk. Do not categorize the healthiest food in all of human history with how bovine are now being raised in filthy CAFOs. You need to make a distinction between the two. You name pathogens in poorly raised cows, but what about the drug resistance that is coming through pasteurized milk because of heavily medicated cows? They have to be medicated because their living conditions are too unsanitary to support life. You quote 6 million dollars of treatment needed, but the dollar amount to treat those infected by highly drugged pasteurized milk remains invisible because it is not tabulated but is high. And last but not least in the last 14 years only 2 people have died from raw milk according to the CDC website. Compare this death rate with the highest 15 causes of death and it is laughable if it were not so tragic that so much attention would be given to raw milk. No other cause of death that has only 2 mortalities in 14 years is even on the radar of the Federal Government. That is why this speaks so clearly of corruption of politics and the pasteurized milk industry. And no, Linda, as well as your points are made, we cannot afford to subjugate individual Constitutional freedoms to safety for any reason. I have enjoyed your reasonalbe and non-confrontational dialougue here. And thank you for giving me a chance to express myself too. God Bless

          • Linda Larsen says

            I’m not defending Napoleon; dictators throughout history have killed people for no reason. That doesn’t mean he was wrong about food preservation.

            Grass-fed cows have just as much bacteria in their milk as cows raised in CAFOs. Pasture grazing makes no difference. Cows shed bacteria and always will; that is a scientific fact. Their udders are right next to the anus. They step in feces, they lay in feces, and bacteria are rampant in barns and pastures. There is no way to prevent that.

            And as far as history goes, before pasteurization, raw milk caused 50% of all foodborne illnesses. Now pasteurized milk causes less than 1% of foodborne illness. Pasteurization became law because raw milk contains pathogens. Humanity didn’t sustain itself on raw milk; raw milk killed thousands. And when raw milk was a common product 100 years ago, the average lifespan of human beings was about 45 years because so many died from infectious diseases.

            I oppose giving animals antibiotics at sub-therapeutic levels; I know about the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria as part of this practice. This issue needs a lot more public input, since the government has dragged its heels on ending antibiotic use in farm animals. This is a proven health concern and I’m glad you brought it up.

            We write about it all the time; in fact, see Banned Antibiotics Found in Chicken Feather Meal, FDA Announces Voluntary Antibiotic Guidance, STOP Webinar on Antibiotic Guidance, Concern Over Antibiotic Resistance in Soils, Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Found in Soil and Water, and Judge Orders FDA to Remove Antibiotics From Animal Feed.

            That doesn’t meant that raw milk is safe. Pathogens are in milk no matter how well cows are raised. Cows that are perfectly healthy carry Salmonella bacteria.

            And I don’t understand the statement “the dollar amount to treat those infected by highly drugged pasteurized milk remains invisible.” No medical dollars that are spent on treating people are “invisible”. People aren’t infected by pasteurized milk unless it is contaminated by improper handling AFTER pasteurization. The drugs cows receive have nothing to do with pathogens present in raw milk.

            I also don’t understand why raw milk advocates think that by pointing out other foods that cause foodborne illness they are defending raw milk. Of course other foods cause illness. Meats cause illness because they are contaminated by bacteria from the animals; bacteria are inherent in those products, just as they are inherent in raw milk. Other foods like produce are contaminated because of other sources: they are rinsed in contaminated water, or are mishandled in some way. Pathogenic bacteria are not naturally present in an apple, cantaloupe, or spinach. They are naturally present in raw milk.

            There is no “conspiracy” to prevent people from drinking raw milk. And again, of course individual Constitutional freedoms are “subjugated” for safety. It happens all the time. You don’t have the freedom to do whatever you want. Seatbelt laws, laws to prevent corporations from producing unsafe products, child safety laws are put in place because in society there are rules. Public health laws are put in place for a reason: the high cost of communicable diseases and illness. There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution or Bill of Rights that gives you the right to eat whatever you want. Because if you eat something that makes you incredibly sick, you become a burden on society.

          • paula Hall says

            Ok, we do live in a law abiding civilized society, but there are many unjust laws and the Constitution gives us the right to bear arms against any government forcing us against our will to destroy or steal our wealth from us. The government’s practice of destroying livliehoods of small family farmers who never had any history of any illness being traced back to them, and using guerilla warfare tactics to do so to the most innocent of our population is pretty serious infraction on the government’s part. This is the same evil that the English used against the Americans and which caused the arise of American Revolution. Hopefully we can get this all ironed out by Constitutional arguments as we have always been able to for the last 200 years. No small family farmer would EVER want to harm anyone. Just as you say the physicians don’t. But the amount of the people the physicians kill comapred to the number of small dairy farmers is astronomical. Small family farmers would be glad to comply with reasonable safety measures as they are the most law abiding of all citiizens, but to totally put them out of business for no failure on their part just doesn’t ring up to common sense or any kind of fair play. And, Linda, people eat fast foods ALL THE TIME. They create a horrible drain on society by way of medical costs. This is far worse than anything raw milk ever did. Where is the comparable outcry by the government? At least they ought to be treated equally if indeed the real reason for shutting down raw milk is safety and health cost to the public. The gov’t is picking on the very smallest denominator in the whole giant puzzle. WHY!!! The question of why indeed goes begging. And for us raw milkers to decry that there are no rules against, raw meats, eggs, produce, sushi, etc. is simply showing that there is no harmonious laws in effect for like products. That is why we cry persecution. We are singled out. Especially when raw milk causes the least of all of the health burden. Additionally it was raw milk promised by the God of the Bible to his beloved Israelites, when He says that He will bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey. And re: the bacteria count. Raw milk harvested from grass feed animals contains rich enzymes which kill of bacteria. Comparing the death rate of a 100 years ago from raw milk is not fair because, once again, the cows were raised inhumanely in CAFOs and fed refuse from the distilleries. This refuse contained NO enzymes. It is the enzymes that promote health and fight against harmful bacteria. I didn’t know about Napolean and food preservation. That is a good thing.

            RE: And as far as history goes, before pasteurization, raw milk caused 50% of all foodborne illnesses. Could you point me to any good studies on this matter?

            RE: And I don’t understand the statement “the dollar amount to treat those infected by highly drugged pasteurized milk remains invisible.” – What I mean is that there are no prominent studies that show the total amount of $ spent. There is not nearly enough transparency when talking about these costs. Just try looking up # of deaths attributable to pasteurized milk and see how hard it is to find that information. That’s what I’m working on now. Finding that number. May God Bless You Linda

          • Linda Larsen says

            The number of people killed by raw milk vs. doctors is not germane to this discussion. We are discussing the dangers of raw milk, which is great.

            The reason there are fewer people sickened by raw milk now is because less than 1% of the population drinks it. The poor hygiene practices of the past didn’t help matters, but there is absolutely no way that any farmer can produce raw milk free of pathogens. It’s physically impossible.

            No, fast foods are not worse than raw milk; preparation of fast foods is heavily regulated.

            And I don’t look to the Bible for medical advice; back then they believed that demonic possession caused illness such as epilepsy.

            Enzymes in your body cannot destroy bacteria. Raw milk harvested from grass fed animals does not contain enzymes that kill off bacteria. Healthy cows carry bacteria and shed it in their feces and milk.

            There are no studies about raw milk causing 50% of foodborne illnesses before pasteurization; there are statistics and public health facts. In fact, it’s worse than I thought: As distillery dairies became common in the early 1800s, many deaths from diseases such as infant diarrhea, scarlet fever, typhoid, undulant fever, and human tuberculosis were caused by contaminated milk. Infant mortality (often due to diarrhea and tuberculosis) rose sharply, accounting for nearly half of all deaths in New York City in 1839.

            And: It wasn’t until 1914—compelled by a typhoid epidemic linked to unpasteurized milk—that New York City finally enforced a pasteurization rule. Seven years later, the city’s infant death rate, which had hovered at an appalling 240 of every 1,000 live births, had dropped to 71 deaths per 1,000, a victory many credited to pasteurization.

          • paula Hall says

            So far I have only been able to find statistics for a samonella outbreak which was related to pasteurized milk. This is far more from just one outbreak of disease than all of the raw milk deaths. What cost is that to the public health? I’ve quoted it below:

            And on quite a number of occasions, pasteurized milk has led to widespread outbreaks of illness (for example, the 1985 Salmonella outbreak in the Midwest that sickened some 200,000 people and led to 18 deaths.

            Also, have you seen the pictures of Pottenger’s Cats. They will make you a believer in raw milk nutrition for sure. Also, there is a problem with immunity in the public sphere today. That of people being overmedicated with antibiotics. It is the healthy bacteria in the gut of humans and animals that kill deadly pathogens. Yes, raw milk would be dangerous for overly medicated people who have lost much of their immune function to overly prescribed antibiotics. But by allowing people to purchase their milk through private buying contracts and with a public health education effort made to address the fact that people’s immune systems are weak today, the moral law ought to be satisfied.

          • Linda Larsen says

            Of course pasteurized milk has caused outbreaks; no one ever said it did not. ANY foodborne illness outbreak is costly to public health.

            The CDC has conducted a study that concluded raw milk is 150 times more likely to cause foodborne illness than pasteurized milk because it is inherently contaminated with bacteria.

            Milk is not a necessary food for human health. I know that raw milk is not more nutritious than pasteurized milk because the main nutrients in milk are not affected by pasteurization.

            Healthy bacteria in the human gut cannot kill pathogens. There are currently 19 people ill in a raw milk outbreak in Oregon. Fifteen of those victims are children; four are hospitalized with kidney failure. Yes, children’s immune systems are still developing and are naturally weaker, which is why they are more susceptible to the pathogens in raw milk.

            Good bacteria in the gut are re-populated by eating probiotics and prebiotics, neither of which are in raw milk.

            Public health is not satisfied by simply warning consumers about the dangers of a product. There are warnings on raw milk today; that didn’t stop those four children from developing hemolytic uremic syndrome. Raw milk is dangerous for anyone; perfectly healthy people can become horribly ill and injured by drinking raw milk.

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