December 3, 2023

Virginia Raw Milk Bill Fails in House of Delegates

The Virginia House of Delegates voted against House Bill 2030, which would have legalized the sale of raw milk. The vote was 6 to 15. The bill would have allowed the sale of unpasteurized milk along with other uninspected and unregulated foods at farmers markets, at producer’s homes, and on farms.

Milking a Cow Outside

The Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services both have pages on their web sites that warn against the consumption of raw milk. The page on the DOH site answers myths about raw milk and sets the record straight.

For instance, the statement “Pasteurization kills all of the nutrients and enzymes present in raw milk,” is debunked with this statement, “Pasteurization of milk does not significantly change its nutritional value. You will still get the same health benefits of drinking pasteurized milk as you would with raw milk without the risk of vomiting, diarrhea, or kidney disease.” And human beings cannot use cow enzymes.

The statement, “Many people drank raw milk growing up and never got sick,” is debunked with “no single batch of raw milk will have the same potential for germs and it’s extremely unpredictable as to how each person’s body will react to contaminants present in the milk.”

Other fallacies, such as statements that raw milk cures diseases and pasteurization causes diseases are called untrue. There is no scientific evidence to back u these claims. In addition, pasteurization does not destroy the nutrients we drink raw milk for, such as calcium and protein.

And the statement, “It is safe for me and my family to begin consuming raw milk,” is answered with “NO.” The DOH continues, “the risk of drinking raw milk far outweighs any reward you could obtain from consuming it. There are a plethora of bacteria that could cause harm to you and your family that include Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Campylobacter, Salmonella, or Listeria.”

During the time period of 2006 to 2013, there have been 99 outbreaks linked to unpasteurized milk products that sickened 995 people and hospitalized 77. Seventy-nine percent of those outbreaks were from states that allow raw milk sales and even more people were sickened in neighboring states.

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