WV passes raw milk consumption bill, despite FDA warnings

West Virginia lawmakers passed a bill 81-19 to allow the consumption of raw milk throughout the state.
This bill would not allow for any regulated sales of raw, unprocessed milk but enables those who own milk-producing animals to provide the milk to community members.
Those who own the aforementioned animals must sign a contract of ownership for the animals, and those willing to consume the milk must sign a form acknowledging any health risks linked to raw milk.
Raw milk is directly from an animal and has not been through pasteurization, a process involving heating milk until bacteria and germs are killed.
The United States Food And Drug Administration has plenty of literature on the subject. Although it legally does not carry jurisdiction in this matter, the FDA still warns against consumption.
This literature says raw milk contains “ a variety of disease-causing pathogens as demonstrated by numerous scientific studies.”
These pathogens include E. Coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter, which leads to campylobacteriosis, an illness lasting about a week with symptoms of diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever.
Pregnant women should take extra precaution. The FDA warns about the bacteria Listeria. Listeria is found in soil, water, some animals, raw milk and anything that may be produced by raw milk.
The FDA states Listeria can lead to miscarriage, fetal death or illness of a newborn child.
Although there is plenty of evidence against the consumption of raw milk, West Virginians who have a Paleo Diet would argue for its benefits.
A Paleo Diet involves high protein intake, high fiber intake, a higher intake of monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats, potassium and vitamins, while limiting carbs and sodium.
Proprietors of this diet may argue raw milk consumption has more benefits than the FDA or the Center for Disease Control would admit.
There are arguments for nutrition claiming pasteurization reduces nutritional milk quality.
Arguments state consuming raw milk helps those who may be lactose intolerant overcome their intolerance.
William Izzo can be contacted at [email protected]