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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Raw Milk – Not Necessarily Safer

Last Friday I spoke with NPR about the safety (or lack thereof) of raw milk. Listen to the full 10 minutes:

Here is the interview transcript in part:

Bill Marler is a Seattle-based lawyer who specializes in cases of food-borne illness. He’s also the founder of a nonprofit consulting firm that teaches food companies how to make their food safer. He doesn’t blame raw foodists for wanting natural foods, but he disagrees that they’re safer.

The bugs that exist today aren’t the same as they were 50 years ago, he says. "It’s a different world, and you have to pay attention, especially for young children."

E. coli, salmonella and listeria are all fecal bacteria. "It’s very difficult to create a sanitary environment when cows don’t wear diapers," Marler says. It’s harder still to produce raw milk safely at the volume that retail stores demand.

"It’s not something you can see, taste or smell," he adds. "There’s very little margin of error for these bugs."

If people want to consume raw milk, Marler says, they need to purchase it directly from the farm. "They need to go and look that farmer directly in the eye. They need to see the facility — and it also needs to be regulated by state and local authorities."