Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

Reader comments regarding the legalization of raw milk

PD Staff Published on 20 July 2011

Here are some comments Progressive Dairyman has received regarding the raw milk poll.

Yes: We need to be honest with consumers and tell them we as dairymen produce the very best product for humans, as well as bacteria. Sure, pasteurization kills bacteria, but so does old age. I have had enough of academia telling the story of raw milk is dangerous. With the right protocols, I’ll put my milk up against anyone’s, so put your milk where your mouth is. Either raw or pasteurized.
Duncan Smith
Mountain Grove, Missouri



No: I was raised drinking raw milk from my family’s own cow, and I love it. However, when you buy milk from an unknown source, you do not have knowledge of how the cow or milk product was handled. Pasteurization laws came about because of diseases that were passed from cow milk to humans. I would love to trust and believe that all human producers of raw milk took proper care of the cow and her product, but alas … this is not to be. Therefore, I would have to vote “No” to the unlimited sale of raw milk without some kind of safeguards.
Sue Bell

Yes: I have been drinking raw milk ever since I can remember.There would have to be certain rules in place.
Weader Zimmerman
Stanley, Wisconsin

Yes: Raw milk should be legal in all states.
Cynthia Larson
Wells, Vermont

Yes: It should be legal to buy raw milk in all 50 states.
Jim Freund

Yes: With proper testing for the farmer, to ensure the product is clean, yes, I am in favor.
Julie Rawson
Many Hands Organic Farm and Sustainability Center
Barre, Massachusetts


On the fence: I’m having trouble with the question. I don’t think raw milk should be “legalized.” What about simply removing whatever “laws” are in place regarding raw milk? I realize this seems like a play on words, but my question is, “Who has the ‘power’ to ‘make’ raw milk anything?” I don’t think we need a new law, but we ought to remove the barriers to access. What is it about our legal system that makes it so hard to remove laws? Is it laws or regulations that are the problem? Personally, I believe milk, or any other food for that matter, has no business being legalized or illegalized. I’d simply like to ask the lawmakers to “step away from my food, please.”


Yes: Please legalize the sale of raw milk! My husband would not be alive if it was not for raw milk! My husband, our daughter and I greatly suffered from different allergies before consuming raw milk. We cannot go back to the white chalk unrightfully called milk that made us sick in the first place! Legalize raw milk sales.
Judith Mudrak

No: No way! Just asking for one more way for those who want to stop animal agriculture to shoot us down. If one case of spoiled milk gets to the consumer, the media will blow it way out of proportion. Why give them a chance?

Yes: The sale of raw milk should be legal in all states!
Steve and Andrea Zamansky
Findlay, Ohio

Yes: Ultra-pasteurized milk hurts sales. Many consumers feel its nutrients are less available. I’m vacationing in Paris, and a chef I spoke to says he doesn’t like the taste. They keep it on the dry good shelves in France. Somehow the idea of drinking a “fresh cold glass of milk” doesn’t hold when you can store it with the laundry soap. Ultra pasteurization may be nice for processors and retailers, but it doesn’t suit many consumers.


Here are some of the comments Progressive Dairyman has received regarding the raw milk poll.

Yes: I think that retail sale of raw milk and raw milk products should be legalized.
Seth Thiessen
Sasnak Farm

Yes: I have drunk raw milk from my herd for all 50 years of my life and have never gotten sick, unlike town milk.
Tim Lipinski
Canby, MN

Yes: I can purchase alcohol and tobacco. I know they kill. Where is my freedom to buy raw milk? It might kill. If NMPF and IDFA would get a cut out of raw milk sales, then it would be legal in a heartbeat.
William Nissley
Wolcottville, IN

Yes: Look, the last I knew I live in America, and America is founded on choice. If people want to drink raw milk, that ought to be up to them. People drank it raw many years before it was pasteurized. The only thing I’d offer is put a sign that says, “drink at your own risk.”
Shelly Jaquet
Evergreen Lawn Farm
Tampico, IL

Yes: Raw milk should be legal in all 50 states.

It is a simple issue of rights. Do I drink raw milk, no. What right does the government have to prevent a willing seller and a willing buyer of a food product from executing a transaction? Milk seems to be the only farmer-produced product where the farmer (sometimes) cannot sell his unadulterated product direct to the consumer (with the exception of poppies and marijuana).

Why don’t we prevent the sale of other raw products that have been linked to food-borne illness such as pork, eggs and oysters? The CDC statistics show at the most 11 lives have been lost due to raw milk over 24 years. Seriously? More children have been killed by five-gallon buckets and possibly by power windows in cars than people killed by raw milk.

Also, it is really disappointing when I see large farmers (millionaires) try to keep a little guy from supplying a local niche market with raw milk by claiming that it could hurt their market if someone gets sick. Did anyone stop drinking milk when radiation from Japan was detected in it?

We need to recognize that milk, as we produce it, is a commodity. Consumption is mainly controlled by societal factors and trends. I still drink radiated milk, consume dangerous peanut butter and eat tomatoes, all while driving my Mercedes with power windows and a five-gallon bucket in the back!
Milking 2300 head

Yes: I believe that raw milk should be available to anyone who chooses to purchase it. It bothers me that articles quote how many problems are associated with raw milk and fail to mention the number of illnesses that have been attributed to pasteurized milk or commercially available cheese products. The number of illnesses from milk products is actually quite huge, compared to the few from raw milk.

The people who approach me about buying raw milk are quite intelligent and truly believe there are health benefits, not an increased risk of health problems. The most interesting was an immigrant from Columbia. He said he hated the way U.S. milk tasted, as he was raised on raw milk in his native country. The taste of raw milk is different, and in my opinion, better.

I considered the herd share route to begin selling it, but the organization here in Ohio requires you to be a bit more biological in the production than I am, so I never pursued it after that.

I looked up the number of food-borne illnesses on some government website one time. It is quite interesting. Why doesn’t Progressive Dairyman take a real hard look at these numbers and publish them?

As long as alcohol and tobacco are legal, then healthy milk, raw or processed, should be.
Mark Yeazel
Eaton, OH

Yes: Yes, it should, as long as the dairy is Grade A.
Dianne Young
Marshall, NC

No: Walt, I believe we should NOT be allowed to sell raw milk in any state in the U.S.
Gary Kline
Y-Run Farms LLC
Troy, PA

No: I’m hounded now to sell it for making ice cream and cheese. I don’t sell it.
Ms. Sharon Whited
Coffeyville, KS