Although I agree that consumers should be able to buy raw milk from a well-regulated, inspected farm – "know your farmer" – like what is done in California and Washington presently. However, I believe that the law needs a warning that is much more stringent than the law now envisions. I think this is what should be posted on the farm and the raw milk container:
"WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and may contain harmful bacteria (not limited to E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Listeria and Salmonella). Pregnant women, infants, children, the elderly and persons with lowered resistance to disease (immune compromised) have the highest risk of harm, which includes Diarrhea, Vomiting, Fever, Dehydration, Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Reactive Arthritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Miscarriage, or Death, from use of this product."
Finally, why should raw milk be treated differently than pasteurized milk, hamburger or peanut butter? Why should a raw milk farmer be immune from liability, but a pasteurized dairy be subject to my ability to sue them on behalf of an injured consumer? If the farmer wants to argue that the consumer is at fault for consuming a product that may well be contaminated, that farmer can presently raise that defense under our civil law. If food is sold that is contaminated the manufacturer – whether Cargill or Farmer Bob – needs to be responsible to the customer. Raw milk outbreaks have happened and have caused extensive damages. Those victims should not be left with thousands or millions of dollars in damages because the product they consumed was raw milk. This is a bad bill as written. It should not pass as is.
Here is the full Senate Bill 434: