Organic Consumers Association

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Is Raw Grass-Fed Milk Safer Than Pasteurized?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Health Raw Milk page.

As you're probably aware of by now, there's a war being waged against raw milk. While raw milk sales or distribution are legal in many US states, and progress has been made toward improving access, there's strong opposition to this trend. Each victory is hard-won.

Our federal health agencies claim to be protecting us from this 'dangerous' product.   As you walk down the aisles of junk food at your local grocery store, pass by the liquor section, and watch individuals buying cartons of cigarettes - you have to wonder is this really about our personal safety or the safety of the milk industry.

Criminal trials centering around raw milk are scheduled to take place in both Minnesota and Wisconsin this year, and a new bill threatens to make herdshare illegal in North Dakota.

(A herdshare is a private agreement between a farmer and an individual in which the farmer is paid to take care of an animal, cow for example, that belongs to one or more people. You essentially pay a onetime purchase fee to "buy a share" of a farmer's herd, which entitles you to the benefits of owning that cow, such as a certain amount of milk each week.)

On May 20, the trial of Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger began at the Sauk County Courthouse. Hershberger is charged with four criminal misdemeanors that could result in a jail sentence of up to 30 months, along with fines totaling more than $10,000.

As previously reported, Hershberger's farm was targeted by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) for supplying a private buying club with raw milk and other fresh produce.   
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