Pros And Cons Of Raw Milk

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Interests

The parties interested in the raw milk debate can be broadly drawn into two camps. The pro raw milk advocates on one side call for policies that would facilitate raw milk sale and consumption. The pro raw milk coalition is comprised of a combination of nutritionists, small scale dairy farmers, and local food proponents. On the other side is the pro pasteurization camp which includes the vast majority of the dairy industry and virtually every food safety group (Miller 2007, 1). Between these adverse factions are policy makers (state legislators) who must determine a course of action that balances the demands of pro raw milk advocates with health concerns and pressure from the dairy industry.
Of all the interested parties, the farmers selling raw milk and consumers have the most at stake; farmers, because they are the ones who bear the brunt of onerous regulations, potential fines, and loss of livelihood; consumers, because the availability of raw milk in the market is reliant on the outcome of the debate, and
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According to Bob Harmon, chair of animal and food science at the University of Kentucky and former president of the National Mastitis Council, "Consumption of raw milk is risky, and that risk far outweighs the unproven benefits"(Miller 2007). However, safety is not the dairy industries only interest in the raw milk debate. David Pelzer, senior vice president of industry relations and communications for Dairy Management Inc., the organization managing the dairy checkoff states, "Overall, dairy has a positive image among consumers and a tremendous record for safety" (2). He goes on to say that: “These legislative battles are raising raw milk 's profile with consumers, and that raises concerns about protecting milk 's image as a safe and wholesome food,” and that, "A health outbreak caused by raw milk has the potential to tarnish that image and damage the $27.4 billion dairy industry"

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