Raw Milk Ban
Posted on: 9/10/2014

Published in multiple papers statewide.

Letter to Editor:

The Illinois State Medical Society strongly urges for an Illinois ban on the sale and distribution of “raw” or unpasteurized milk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other medical and health organizations, raw milk that is not pasteurized may contain a wide variety of harmful bacteria, including Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria and other harmful bacteria, that can cause serious illness and in extreme cases, death.

Pasteurization, simply put, is heating milk to a high temperature and then rapidly cooling it to eliminate harmful bacteria yet maintaining the milk’s freshness for an extended period of time.

Federal law prohibits dairies from distributing raw milk across state lines in final package form and about half of U.S. states prohibit the sale of raw milk completely. Studies show that children can be most susceptible to illness due to consuming unpasteurized raw milk from dairy animals. Although Illinois currently has no rules pertaining to the sale of raw milk, the Illinois Department of Public Heath is considering new rules and regulations regarding the sale and production of raw milk.

The medical society believes allowing for the sale of unpasteurized raw milk to consumers in Illinois in any form puts the public at considerable risk and should not be allowed.

William A. McDade, M.D., Ph.D.
President, Illinois State Medical Society

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