Will Ron Paul End the Ban on Raw Milk?

ron paul, milk, raw milk, dairy, congress, bill, lawU.S. Congressman Ron Paul has introduced HR 778, a bill “to authorize the interstate traffic of unpasteurized milk and milk products that are packaged for direct human consumption.”

Under the bill, the federal government could not “take any action ... that would prohibit, interfere with, regulate, or otherwise restrict the interstate traffic of milk, or a milk product, that is unpasteurized and packaged for direct human consumption solely on the basis that the milk or milk product is unpasteurized.”

Passage of the bill into law would repeal a current federal regulation prohibiting raw milk and raw milk products for human consumption in interstate commerce. The bill would not force a state to legalize the sale of raw milk from local producers, nor would it force a state to allow the sale of raw milk from out-of-state producers in its retail stores. The bill would, however, enable consumers to enter into transactions to obtain raw milk and raw milk products from other states without the transactions being in violation of federal law.

The consumption of raw milk is legal in every U.S. state, but its sale is currently illegal in about half of them.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Again, Congressman Ron Paul rises to the challenge and pushes for sanity and reason, calling the regulatory restrictions on raw milk “unconstitutional.”

The U.S. federal regulation in question (21 CFR 1240.61) states that:

 “…no person shall cause to be delivered into interstate commerce or shall sell, otherwise distribute, or hold for sale or other distribution after shipment in interstate commerce any milk or milk product in final package form for direct human consumption unless the product has been pasteurized….”

If Ron Paul’s bill H.R. 778 passes into law, it will repeal this regulation and enable you to buy raw milk and raw milk products from other states – if it’s not available in your own -- without the transaction violating federal law. Because whereas consuming raw milk is legal in all states, only about half of all U.S. states allow the sale of raw milk products.

And currently, if you were to purchase your milk products from another state where the sale is legal, you’d be violating the law by bringing it, or shipping it, across the border.

This bill would do away with that nonsense.

As Congressman Paul stated when he introduced the bill:

 “My office has heard from numerous people who would like to obtain unpasteurized milk. Many of these people have done their own research and come to the conclusion that unpasteurized milk is healthier than pasteurized milk.

Americans have the right to consume these products without having the Federal Government second-guess their judgment about what products best promote health. If there are legitimate concerns about the safety of unpasteurized milk, those concerns should be addressed at the state and local level.”


And he is right -- demand for raw milk is growing all across the U.S. In Massachusetts, for example, the number of dairies licensed to sell raw milk has grown from 12 to 23 over the past two years alone. And, according to the Northeast Organic Farming Association, dairies are selling more raw milk than they were just five years ago, and consumers call in every week looking for advice on where to find it.

Current Regulations are Based on Flawed Assumptions

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that raw milk can carry disease-causing bacteria. However, what they fail to realize is that raw milk contains good bacteria, enzymes and raw fats that help to boost your immune system and aid digestion, and that raw milk from healthy grass-fed cows are FAR less likely to harbor disease-causing bacteria to begin with.

The process of pasteurization is used to extend shelf life and to immobilize certain bacteria. However, it is normal for milk to contain some bacteria, and human societies have benefited from these bacteria in milk for thousands of years. In fact, bacteria:

  • Are earth’s oldest life forms
  • Are everywhere
  • Are essential for your survival
  • Comprise more than 90 percent of the cells in your body

Raw milk is an absolutely marvelous whole food, and fermented milks have superior nutrient value and digestibility. Today these products are marketed as containing “probiotics,” as if it was something brand new.

Pasteurized milk, on the other hand, is simply not designed for your best long-term health interests, and will invariably cause you problems if you drink it long enough.  

Government agencies would have you believe that if there are bacteria in your milk, it will make you sick. But this is the same type of oversimplified and incorrect logic that allowed pasteurized milk to proliferate the market in the first place.

In reality, bacteria is in milk for a reason, and as long as it comes from a healthy cow, the good bacteria will keep the bad bacteria in your gut  in check, and will proceed to do the same inside of your body.

The public obsession with killing bacteria misdirects efforts at improving public health -- because relatively few bacteria are pathogenic. By constantly sterilizing, pasteurizing, and disinfecting, the balance is actually tipped in favor of the pathogens!

Time to Correct the Error

Now is a great time for you, as a concerned consumer (whether you actually drink raw milk or not), to take notice and join in the efforts to allow people everywhere to pursue health and not be thwarted by regulations based on flawed assumptions.

H.R. 778 has been assigned to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and is currently seeking co-sponsors. You can track the status of the bill by entering “HR 778” in the Search field for “Bill Number” on  www.thomas.gov.

More Reasons Why Raw Milk Good for You 

Pasteurizing milk not only kills potential disease-causing bacteria, it also wipes out all the beneficial bacteria, and destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamins, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamin B12 and vitamin B6, and, yes, promotes pathogens. It can, and frequently does, also cause allergies and other autoimmune dysfunction.

From a health perspective, there’s simply no rational justification to ever drink pasteurized milk, even organic pasteurized milk.  

Raw milk, in contrast has numerous health benefits, as it:

  • Still contains all of the valuable enzymes that are destroyed during pasteurization. Without them, milk is very difficult to digest. So if you have a lactose intolerance, it will simply disappear once you start consuming raw dairy products.
  • Is an outstanding source of healthy, “good” bacteria and micronutrients, including lactobacillus, acidophilus, and vitamins, which are virtually eliminated by the pasteurization process of commercial milk. It is an outstanding nutrient to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your intestine.
  • Still contains natural butterfat, which is homogenized or removed in commercial milk. Without butterfat, your body cannot absorb and utilize the vitamins and minerals in the water fraction of the milk. Butterfat is also your best source of preformed vitamin A, and contains re-arranged acids with strong anti-carcinogenic properties.
  • Does not contain synthetic vitamin D, which is known to be toxic to the liver, yet is still added to most commercial milk.
  • Contains healthy unoxidized cholesterol.  

And if that’s not enough, raw-milk drinkers also rave about these additional benefits:

  • You feel the health benefits: Raw milk is not associated with any of the health problems surrounding pasteurized milk, such as rheumatoid arthritis, skin rashes, diarrhea, and cramps. Even people who have been allergic to pasteurized milk for many years can typically tolerate and even thrive on raw milk.
  • It tastes better: As with any food, fresher is always better and this applies to milk as well. Fresh raw milk is creamier and better tasting than pasteurized milk that has a shelf life of several weeks.

You do have the right – in fact, the obligation – to come to your own conclusions about what’s healthy for you. It’s part and parcel of eating for your nutritional type, which is the best way for you to optimize your health as what’s good for someone else may not be so great for your particular biochemistry.  

Shouldn’t we all have the right to choose which kind of milk we want to drink?

I think so. And thankfully, so does Ron Paul.

+ Sources and References
  • Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund February 1, 2009
  • 111th Congress 1st Session, H.R. 778