Md. considering lifting raw milk restrictions

US - It may look just like milk at the store, but dairy farmer Donald Dell says this creamy white liquid is superior. It hasn’t been pasteurized.
calendar icon 16 March 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
And as a growing number of people seek so-called “raw milk,” Maryland lawmakers are considering a law allowing the state’s embattled dairy farmers to sell milk straight from the cow for niche customers who prefer it.

“The milk you buy at the store is hardly milk,” said Dell’s grandson, Gary Dell, who oversees operations at the family’s 470-acre Cranberry Meadows dairy farm just outside Westminster. “It’s been beat up, burned up, torn up and mixed back up again.”

Gary Dell told The (Baltimore) Sun he’d be happy to sell raw milk, even though pasteurization can prevent some bacteria from reaching consumers.

The change is needed, Gary Dell said, for a dairy industry in sharp decline.

The industry “can’t get any worse than it already is today,” he told the newspaper.

A committee in the Maryland House considered a bill Thursday allowing raw milk sales. Not everyone thinks it’s a great idea. Earlier this month two people in Pennsylvania were sickened from drinking raw milk, leading to a warning from that state’s health department.

Twenty-eight states allow raw milk sales, The Sun reported. Some others, including Virginia, allow multiple owners to buy a cow and share its milk.

Despite the fans of old-time milk, the Maryland Farm Bureau and the state Health Department’s division of milk control oppose the legalization of raw milk sales.

“We don’t need to open up or expose people to a risk we know is dangerous, for whatever benefits,” said Ted Elkin, head of the state’s division of milk control. “When you have an outbreak, children are often affected. Their immune systems are not completely intact.”

The risk that such milk could sicken a consumer is too great a liability for the ailing dairy industry to bear, according to the Farm Bureau.

Source: The Daily Times
© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.