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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

On a day that Wyoming Kills Herdshares, Oregon Quietly Introduces Raw Milk Legislation

Screen shot 2011-01-21 at 4.04.32 PM.pngJoshua Wolfson of the Star-Tribune wrote today that the House Agriculture Committee defeated the bill that would have legalized some sales of raw milk in Wyoming by a 6-3 vote. Two days earlier, the same committee killed legislation that would have removed government oversight of home-produced foods sold directly to customers.  The raw milk bill would have allowed sales through what are known as “herd-share agreements.” Basically, consumers purchase a share of a cow or goat, pay a rancher for a portion of its care, and in return, get some of its milk.  All sales of raw milk are illegal in Wyoming.

However, in Oregon House Bill 2222 was quietly submitted.  The Bill would allow licensing of facilities for processing and distribution of unpasteurized milk. The Bill, if passed, would become operative January 1, 2012. The Bill would authorize the State Department of Agriculture to establish bacterial standards for pasteurized and unpasteurized milk. Makes violation of standards punishable by maximum of $1,000 fine, one year’s imprisonment, or both, and subject to civil penalty, not to exceed $10,000.  You can dowload the full text of the bill.

Judging from the visits that Real Raw Milk Facts has received from Wyoming, Humboldt County California and Wisconsin, I expect to see some visitors from the State just south of me.

  • Doc Mudd

    ” The [Oregon] bill would authorize the State Department of Agriculture to establish bacterial standards for pasteurized and unpasteurized milk. Makes violation of standards punishable by maximum of $1,000 fine, one year’s imprisonment, or both, and subject to civil penalty, not to exceed $10,000.”
    Much, much too lenient consequences.
    The ‘raw milkies’ adamantly claim absolute safety and magical healing powers for unpasteurized milk, so what have they to risk from stiff penalties for failure to comply? Say, a maximum fine of $100,000, civil penalty not to exceed $10,000,000 and maybe life imprisonment (comparable to death/life-long suffering of some raw milk poisoning victims)…or maybe the violator donates a kidney on the spot and pays all the medical bills? This is no more draconian than ‘raw milkies’ are delusional and deceptive.

  • Alan

    I’m glad to live in the free state of Washington where I can legally drink delicious raw milk. No colds or flu for the four years I’ve been drinking it and no bad effects.

  • Dog Doctor

    Alan, congratulations on your good fortune. I had an aunt who smoke a pack a day and died at the ripe old of 90 from a non smoking cause. Growing up never wore seat belts because many of the cars didn’t have them. I count my blessing that I wasn’t hurt. Does it mean that I would recommend smoking or not wearing seatbelts.
    So I hope your luck holds out.

  • Sam

    I have consumed raw milk products on only a couple occasions, and I have never been attacked by tigers. It seems that even occasional use has miraculous effects!

  • Dog Doctor

    Sam and Alan consider yourself lucky and that you did not have Mari Tardiff experience
    http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/raw-milk-a-potentially-risky-elixir/
    Mari Tardiff was one of those sickened in the June 2008 outbreak of Campylobacter connected to raw milk. As a result of her campylobacter infection, Mari developed Guillain Barré syndrome, or GBS, a potentially fatal inflammatory disorder. By the time she was hospitalized in mid June, Mari was essentially paralyzed. Mari was intubated and placed on mechanical ventilation. For weeks on end, Mari’s condition remained unchanged. She was heavily sedated, unable to move, and entirely dependent on mechanical ventilation for survival. In August, there were indications of slight improvement, and the very slow process of weaning Mari off mechanical ventilation began. At the outset, it was not clear that the process was successful. Through incredible effort on Mari’s part, she was fully weaned off mechanical ventilation by August, and discharged to a rehabilitation facility. She spent more than two months at the rehabilitation facility diligently attempting to re-acquire the ability to speak, breathe, and move her arms and legs on her own. She was discharged home in November, still in need of essentially 24-hour care. Since that time, she has worked every day toward achieving her goal, as yet unreached, of walking again. Medical expenses to date exceed $1,000,000.

  • Mae

    Dog Doctor,
    Campylobacter can be found in raw milk if the animal is infected and the udder is not carefully cleaned before milking. It’s pretty rare. On the other hand, campylobacter is present in 47% of the chicken you buy at the grocery store. I wonder why the FDA hasn’t outlawed raw chicken? How can we possibly trust people to handle toxic chicken in their own homes?