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.
Benefits of Milk Pasteurization Confirmed–Again
Farm Journal, Feb. 20, 2019
People in 19 states exposed to Brucella bacteria from drinking raw milk
Food Safety News, Feb. 11, 2019
Get checked, CDC advises those who drank raw milk from this Lancaster County farm in past 3 years
Lancaster Online, Jan. 28, 2019
Father of toddlers critically sickened by E. coli: ‘Not aware this was remotely possible’
Knoxville News Sentinel, June 15, 2018
Texas dairies ask the Legislature to help keep milk safe
Texas Tribune, June 5, 2018
Almost Every American Who Got Sick From Dairy Was Consuming Raw Milk or Cheese
Gizmodo, May 18, 2018
Listeria problems with soft cheeses increasing in the U.S.
Food Safety News, April 27, 2018
Texas raw milk Brucella contamination hits 7 states
Food Safety News, Sept. 15, 2017
Texas investigates brucellosis, warns against K-Bar raw milk
Food Safety News, Aug. 15, 2017
CDC: Raw Milk, Cheese Cause Almost All Dairy Foodborne Illness
Food Safety News, May 18, 2017
What are the odds? 840 times more likely for raw milk drinkers
Food Safety News, May 2, 2017
The risks of consuming raw milk
Taylor County Extension Agent, April 30, 2017
Two Dead From Raw Milk Cheese Contaminated With Listeria
NBC News, March 9 2017