Health & wellness

Daily Dose

Why is it still legal to buy raw milk in Mass.?

Most dairy-related food poisoning outbreaks are related to raw milk, and a minority of states - including Massachusetts - that still allow the sale of unpasteurized milk are responsible for the vast majority of these outbreaks, according to a report released last week by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That leads me to wonder: Why is it still legal in Massachusetts to sell raw milk and raw milk products?

Consider the findings of the CDC study, which looked at dairy outbreaks from 1993 to 2006 that occurred across the country. Raw milk and raw milk products accounted for 1 percent of milk consumption, yet such products were responsible for 60 percent of the outbreaks linked to dairy foods.


During the 13-year study period, there were 121 dairy-related disease outbreaks, which caused 4,413 illnesses, 239 hospitalizations, and three deaths. The bulk of hospitalizations were linked to raw milk consumption and usually in states where it was legal to sell raw milk.

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In 2008, eight Massachusetts residents were sickened by campylobacter found in raw milk, and a 1998 outbreak of salmonella in raw milk sickened 47 and led to two hospitalizations.

Vito971 wrote: If you’re feeding raw milk to your kids you should go to jail for child endangerment.

FinnH wrote: The majority of raw milk drinkers are convinced that it is somehow “better’’ than pasteurized milk. I wonder how many of them still think that after it makes them sick?

JC126 wrote: You can only buy raw milk at farms, not in stores. So why don’t you let ADULTS decide for themselves whether they want to take the risks and buy raw milk?


Ladybeetle wrote: It would be interesting to see statistics for Massachusetts specifically, since we have, I think, a fairly high level of regulation and inspection of raw milk.