Government, public health and dairy industry officials want to restrict the sale and distribution of raw milk, citing safety concerns. But small dairy farmers, organic consumers' advocates and raw milk drinkers say that safety isn't the real issue -- it's control of the dairy market.
In January, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) proposed new regulations that would ban off-the-farm sale and distribution of raw milk. Prior to making the regulations public, MDAR issued cease-and-desist orders to four milk-buying clubs.
While no one has died in Massachusetts because of raw milk, three people died in 2007 from Listeriosis from pasteurized milk.
According to In These Times:
"Considering the relative safety of raw milk and its possible health benefits, campaigns against its legalization are surprisingly intense, and not just in Massachusetts."
David Gumpert, author of The Raw Milk Revolution, argues that regulation is "not about safety -- it's about protecting markets."