What Your Pets Have To Do With Illegal Raw Milk

Americans eager to sip hard-to-find unpasteurized milk are hiding behind products labeled for animal consumption.

Fluffy is just a front for illegal raw milk consumption.
National Journal
Marina Koren
April 8, 2014, 11:34 a.m.

The idea of con­sum­ing pet food sure sounds gross, but some Amer­ic­ans are do­ing it.

The pop­ular­ity of raw, un­pas­teur­ized milk is grow­ing, and people are turn­ing to buy­ing it in jars labeled “for pet con­sump­tion only” to cir­cum­vent laws pre­vent­ing its sale and dis­tri­bu­tion to hu­mans. In some states, the leg­al loop­hole is help­ing fuel a bur­geon­ing un­der­ground net­work of raw milk.

“No one is feed­ing this to their pets,” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. told The Wash­ing­ton Post last week, after in­tro­du­cing two bills that would free raw milk from Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion over­sight. “They are buy­ing raw milk for them­selves and their fam­il­ies. And they are do­ing it be­cause we have some very stu­pid laws out there.” Massie said he grew up drink­ing un­pas­teur­ized milk, which does not un­der­go a heat­ing pro­cess to kill bac­teria.

Fed­er­al law pro­hib­its the sale of raw milk for hu­mans between states, and half of the coun­try has banned its sale. But there is no fed­er­al ban on the sale of raw milk for pets between U.S. states, nor is there an FDA pre-mar­ket ap­prov­al pro­cess for raw dairy products labeled strictly for pet con­sump­tion.

The sale of raw milk for pets is leg­al in many states, if pro­du­cers meet re­quire­ments for selling com­mer­cial feed. Michigan, New Mex­ico, and Ohio ban its sale “through either writ­ten law or de­part­ment­al policy,” ex­plains a raw-milk cam­paign web­site, owned by the We­st­on A. Price Found­a­tion, the Wash­ing­ton-based non­profit that’s been fuel­ing the raw-milk move­ment. Alaska, Ari­zona, Col­or­ado, Texas, and Wash­ing­ton re­quire the in­clu­sion of a dye in raw milk for pets. Only North Car­o­lina, Geor­gia, and Flor­ida have raw-milk pro­du­cers “who have re­ceived per­mits or are oth­er­wise in com­pli­ance with the law.”

Raw-milk con­sump­tion has been linked to in­fec­tions such as sal­mon­ella and E. coli in hu­mans, as well as kid­ney fail­ure and even para­lys­is. But con­sump­tion has doubled in the past five years.

Pro­ponents say raw milk tastes bet­ter and con­tains be­ne­fi­cial en­zymes and cur­at­ive prop­er­ties that the pas­teur­iz­a­tion pro­cess des­troys. Dur­ing this le­gis­lat­ive ses­sion, The Post‘s Kim­berly Kindy re­cently re­por­ted, 40 bills to leg­al­ize un­pas­teur­ized milk with­in state bor­ders have been in­tro­duced in 23 states. Food safety agen­cies, dairy in­dustry or­gan­iz­a­tions and many health ex­perts op­pose such le­gis­la­tion.

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion es­tim­ates that 1 per­cent to 3 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans are drink­ing it. And for some of them, that means buy­ing “pet food.”

Massie’s bills are un­likely to pass, with a le­gis­lat­ive track­ing ser­vice put­ting their chances at 2 per­cent. Wheth­er that’s pas­teur­ized or not, we don’t know.

What We're Following See More »
BAD NEWS FOR CLINTON
Trump and Clinton Equally Disliked
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

According to the most recent Gallup poll, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are equally disliked. The poll, conducted between July 18 and July 25, shows both major party candidates for president are viewed favorably by 37 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 58 percent of respondents. This poll is bad news for Clinton, who has received better favorable and unfavorable ratings in nearly every poll over the last year.

Source:
VP PICK TAKES DIFFERENT TONE THAN TRUMP
Pence: “Serious Consequences” if Russia Hacked DNC
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The same day that Donald Trump encouraged Russia to hack the State Department and "find the 30,000 emails that are missing," the GOP nominee for vice president took a more serious approach. "If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences," Pence said in a statement. Trump's comments at a press conference this morning were rebuked by individuals across the political spectrum, while some on Trump's team, including prominent surrogate Newt Gingrich, have called his comments a "joke."

Source:
ECONOMY STABILIZING
Fed Leaves Rates Alone, but Signals Hikes to Come
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The Federal Open Market Committee today voted to leave interest rates alone, but "upgraded its assessment of the economy’s recent performance and said near-term risks to the outlook have diminished, effectively leaving the door open to raise rates later this year, possibly as early as September."

Source:
CHARM OFFENSIVE
Pence Is Trump’s Man on Capitol Hill
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Spurred by VP pick Mike Pence, a former congressman with close ties to many lawmakers, the Trump campaign in recent weeks has stepped up its courtship of wary Capitol Hill Republicans. And the efforts appear to be bearing fruit." Central to the charm offensive: invitations to more than a dozen "Senate and House members into his family’s private box for some power-schmoozing with him and his kids" during the Republican National Convention.

Source:
PAUL RYAN: STOP IT
Trump Encourages More Spying by Russia
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump essentially encouraged more Russian espionage against Democrats in a press conference this morning. "Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” That prompted Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan to say: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.”

Source:
×