NMPF Urges Members of Congress to Oppose Legislation Liberalizing Raw Milk Sales
Due to the significant public health risks associated with the consumption of raw milk, the National Milk Producers Federation is urging members of Congress to oppose HR 4307 and HR 4308, introduced in 2104 by Rep. Thomas Massie (KY‐04). These bills would remove existing federal regulations prohibiting the direct sale of raw milk, consumption of which has been opposed by every major health organization.
The letter, jointly submitted May 19th by NMPF and the Interational Dairy Foods Association, points out that consumption of raw milk is a demonstrated public health risk. The link between raw milk and foodborne illness has been well documented in the scientific literature, with evidence spanning nearly 100 years. In fact, the CDC concluded that unpasteurized milk was 150 times more likely to cause food‐borne illness outbreaks than pasteurized milk, and such outbreaks had a hospitalization rate 13 times higher than those involving pasteurized dairy products.
Annual Survey of Antibiotic Residues in Milk Finds Continuing Improvement
Dairy farmers continued in 2012 to improve their already stellar track record of keeping antibiotic residues out of the milk supply, with the most recent national survey finding that only 0.017% of all bulk milk tankers, or 1 in 6,000 loads, showed any sign of an animal antibiotic drug residue. On-farm vigilance in following drug withdrawal times has led to a steady decline in antibiotic residue, falling from an already low level of 0.061% in 2002, a decline of nearly 75% in the last decade.
These figures are based on information reported to the FDA’s National Milk Drug Residue Data Base by state regulatory agencies under the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments. Data are reported on the extent of the national testing activities, the analytical methods used, the kind and extent of the animal drug residues identified, and the amount of contaminated milk that was removed from the human food supply.
All milk loads are tested for antibiotics, and any tanker which tests positive for a drug residue is rejected before entering a dairy plant and does not enter the market for human consumption.