Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Opposing Viewpoints: Raw Milk Not All Bad

The following is a letter to the editor of Texas Medicine Magazine responding to an article in the November 2011 issue entitled  "Medicine Opposes Raw Milk Sales Expansion."

Dr. Avila Edwards correctly notes that the advent of pasteurization did decrease the incidence of illness related to raw milk in the past. Current practices in the dairy industry have decreased the likelihood of the pathogens observed in the past being a significant threat today. While I believe that we should make recommendations based on sound current studies, I do not feel it is the place of our profession to condemn a product that few have any experience with, outside of dated studies. I would see no harm in allowing expansion of properly monitored raw milk sales with appropriate labeling.

The public should not be dictated to with regard to their educated choice. Furthermore, trade should not be limited, which would affect predominantly small independent producers, given proper monitoring programs. I was personally raised on raw milk with absolutely no adverse effects, and I know hundreds of others who were, as well. For now, being able to buy raw milk at the point of origin is better than not being able to get it at all, but if future legislation should be presented, these points should be considered and recommendations from our professional organizations made more responsibly.

Steven L. Smith, MD
Fort Worth physician

Read Dr. Jason Terk's response to this letter here.

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