Posted on May 20, 2011 - by

Moo-ved to Action on the Right to Raw Milk

Photo: James Buck/The Washington Post

If you happened to walk by the Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill this Monday morning, you might have noticed an unusual guest: a Jersey cow named Morgan munched on the lush grass while volunteers passed out cups of still-warm milk, direct from her teats.

Members of the Grassfed on the Hill buying club, who purchase meat and raw milk of pasture-raised animals from DC-area farmers, brought the farm to Washington to protest the FDA’s attempt to file a permanent¬†injunction against Pennsylvania farmer Dan Allgyer, who sells raw milk to buying club members. If the federal court approves the injunction, Allgyer would be forced to stop selling unpasteurized milk across state lines.

The sale of unpasteurized milk is legal in many states, either in stores or on the farm. Other states allow herd sharing, whereby consumers pay farmers a fee to keep and care for “their” cow, and in return receive a supply of milk. (Use this interactive map from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund to learn more about the legality of raw milk in your state.) However, federal law prohibits interstate sales of raw milk, citing safety concerns about bacteria that may be present in “uncooked” milk, including E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella, and Campylobacter.

Consumers who seek out raw milk do so for a variety of reasons: the fuller taste,¬† health benefits such as gastrointestinal support, a desire to support local economies, or just for making cheese. Protesters gathered at Monday’s rally carried signs demanding the freedom to choose unpasteurized milk.

Are you a raw milk drinker? Why or why not? How should consumer choice and concern for public health be reconciled in this case? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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We'd love to hear yours!

  1. Carrie said:

    I wish I had access to raw milk. Not sure where to find any but I would love to taste it. I find the government is overstepping their bounds and allowing people to eat crap with all kinds of chemicals on it but denying people things in they are not going to see a profit from all in the name of food safety.

  2. Jenny Holm said:

    You can find a source for raw milk near you at at here:

    or contact your local Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader:

  3. Sandra Brougher said:

    We started buying raw milk about 2 months ago from a local farmer. Here in TX you can only buy it at the farm and I am very lucky that it is only 20 minutes down the road.
    I have to say my kids LOVE it as does my husband. We tend not drink as much milk as in the past because it is so rich and wholesome.
    Also, I would like to point out that my sons acne has cleared up and my younger sons allergies have reduced to almost non existent level.
    Go raw milk!!

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