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Published September 23, 2013, 10:14 AM

On raw milk

In our view, the state should take careful note of the case for raw milk made by the dairy producers and the dairy consumers who want to buy their product, and then do little, or nothing, to disrupt this part of agricultural commerce.

By: Capital Journal, Pierre, S.D.,

In our view, the state should take careful note of the case for raw milk made by the dairy producers and the dairy consumers who want to buy their product, and then do little, or nothing, to disrupt this part of agricultural commerce. It is a significant part of business for some producers who are only supplying what their customers demand.

It is a simple fact that some people would rather buy raw milk directly from their local dairy farmer than bring it home in a plastic jug or a paper carton from the supermarket. Is that a problem? For those of us who grew up drinking it straight from the cow, it’s hard to conceive that raw milk is the next big threat to South Dakota’s civilization.

And as our letter-writers point out, if there is ever a milk-related illness originating from one of these dairies, it would be easy to trace it to the source. As with other aspects of the local foods movement, these are face-to-face encounters between the customer and the one dairy producer he or she is buying from — there is no mixing of milk that would create a puzzle to unravel in finding the source of a milk-transmitted illness.

That is vastly different from the problems we now see tracing those all-too-common food-related illnesses in our industrialized food system.

We are not born into a sanitary world and there are thoughtful, intelligent people who choose raw milk, knowing full well the risks and the benefits.

And there is no second-hand raw milk floating about the atmosphere to put the rest of us at risk. We should err on the side of personal liberty and personal responsibility on issues such as this.

The nanny state should let the people have their milk.

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