The Texas Association of Dairymen does not support expanding current Texas law, which allows the sale of raw (unpasteurized) milk only to an individual who visits and buys it directly from the farm where the raw milk is produced. TAD agrees with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that consuming raw milk is a serious health risk.
Raw milk can be harmful, according to the latest CDC study:
- 81 outbreaks of illness due to consumption of raw milk or raw milk products were reported to the CDC from 2007-2012, resulting in 979 illnesses and 73 hospitalizations.
- 81 percent of outbreaks were reported in states where the sale of raw milk is legal.
- Raw milk that caused the outbreaks came directly from a dairy farm 71 percent of the time.
- Children are at the highest risk of illness from raw milk — 59 percent of outbreaks involved at least one child younger than age 5.
- The actual number of illnesses associated with raw milk likely is greater because not all cases of food borne illness are recognized and reported.
Pasteurization is necessary for dairy food safety:
- Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to at least 161 degrees for at least 15 seconds and then cooling it rapidly to kill any disease-causing bacteria.
- Pasteurization is the only way to ensure milk products do not contain harmful bacteria.
No scientific evidence finds that drinking raw milk prevents or cures disease or illness:
- Drinking raw milk offers no health benefits that cannot be obtained from drinking pasteurized milk that is free of disease-causing bacteria.
- Pasteurization of milk has never been found to be the cause of chronic diseases, allergies, or developmental or behavioral problems.
- Many studies have shown that pasteurization does not significantly change the nutritional value of milk and dairy products.
Learn more in the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions about raw milk.
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