I was asked by a Delegate during the meeting for main points to present. This is a one page (plus second page of links) fact sheet I've written that I highly suggest you copy and paste to send via email to ALL Health Committee Members BEFORE THURSDAY.
The list of those to email on House Health Committee:
Senate SB30 to Legalize Raw Milk Herd Shares
Many West Virginia residents consume raw milk despite the state's restrictive stance. Residents travel over the borders to Ky, Oh, Pa and Va where herd-shares or sales are legal and bring raw milk back into WV. The majority of farms with dairy animals in this state consume their milk unpasteurized. Sales take place within the state, regardless of the law, as well. Our regulations currently are not deterring residents from buying raw milk, but they do prevent our small farmers from legally operating with a herd share program or from sales.
One in 6 people become sick each year from food borne illness. All foods can become contaminated and all foods carry risk. Many foods sold in stores around the county are proven many times more dangerous than raw milk, like shell fish, raw fish, meats and raw produce. This is fact, not opinion. It is backed up by hard data through the FDA, CDC and independent agencies year after year.
The government's opposition to raw milk sales is not based on food safety, it is based in economics that benefit Big Agriculture and allows a monopoly on the entire dairy industry. This only harms the small farmer. It does not protect, as we are often mislead to believe.
Though at least 10 million people consume raw milk a year, the deadliest food illness outbreak in over a decade comes from Cantaloupe. Raw milk doesn't even rank among the primary foods causing significant outbreaks in decades. Yet, Cantaloupe is not illegal and is not regulated to be sold only “pre-cooked.” We are still able to enjoy ordering our steak and burgers rare, our eggs over easy and our seafood and sushi raw.
Additionally, there is no proven link to notably higher rates of illness among buyers of raw milk and producers of the milk.
The CDC estimates 48 million food borne illnesses yearly, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Of those numbers, 0.0005 of the reported illnesses are related to raw milk. That breaks down to 42 illnesses a year. No deaths have been reported from raw milk consumption in decades in America. Many products that remain legal in our state that are truly dangerous, like prescription and non-prescription drugs, tobacco and artificial sweeteners.
In 2013, according to data from the CDC, the largest outbreaks of illness were as followed:
10. E. coli / Onion chicken salads, 33 sick.
9. Salmonella / Hacienda Don Villo in Channahon, IL, 35 sick.
8. E. coli / frozen Farm Rich foods, 35 sick.
7. Salmonella / imported cucumbers, 84 sick.
6. E. coli / Federico’s Mexican Restaurant in Litchfield Park, AZ, 94 sick.
5. Salmonella / Foster Farms chicken, 134 sick.
4. Hepatitis A / Townsend Farms frozen organic berries, 162 sick.
3. Salmonella / Firefly restaurant in Las Vegas, NV, 294 sick.
2. Salmonella / Foster Farms chicken, 416 sick.
1. Cyclospora / salads and cilantro, 631 sick.
The Top Ten most dangerous foods according to a statement released by the FDA were: Leafy Greens, Eggs, Tuna, Oysters, Potatoes, Pasteurized Cheese and Ice Cream, Tomatoes, Sprouts and Berries. These are all sold, largely, without being pre-cooked.
In 2015, Candied Apples have hospitalized 334 people and killed 7; In 2014, Soy sprouts killed 2 people; In 2013, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheeses, a pasteurized dairy product, hospitalized 6 people, with one death; In 2012, Frescolina Marte Brand Ricotta Salata Cheese, a pasteurized dairy product, hospitalized 20 people, with 4 deaths; According to the Chicago Tribune, an1985 a large Salmonella outbreak from milk in USA was from Hillfarm dairy in Illinois that pasteurized the milk produced there.
So to reiterate: At least 10 million Americans drink Raw milk and raw milk causes 42 illnesses a year, that means while bring consumed 3,650,000,000 times each year, only 42 times, did the product make a person ill.
Important links from statistics and information provided:
RAW Milk West Virginia Dairy Farm WV SB30 RAW MILK BILL Herd Share