Sending Office: Honorable Roger W. Marshall
SUPPORT Public Health, OPPOSE Expansion of Raw Milk Sales
Consumption of raw milk is a demonstrated public health risk and is opposed by every major health organization in the U.S., including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Just last week, the FDA noted that “This amendment would hinder the FDA’s current authority to provide oversight of raw milk sold in interstate commerce. The FDA has had a longstanding position that raw milk is an inherently unsafe
food that poses a significant health risk to the public.
As a member of the House GOP Doctors Caucus, I write to bring to your attention the significant public health risks associated with the consumption of raw milk. As such, I urge you to join me in
opposing Massie Amendment #30 to the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2). The amendment is designed to allow the interstate sale of unpasteurized (raw) milk and milk products, removing existing regulations prohibiting their direct
Consumption of raw milk has demonstrated public health risks. The link between raw milk and foodborne illness has been well-documented for more than a century. Raw milk is a key vehicle in the transmission of pathogens, including
E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, and
Based on a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unpasteurized dairy products (with limited sales, mostly direct to consumers from farms) resulted in 73 known outbreaks in 14 years– causing 1,571 cases of foodborne illness,
202 hospitalizations, and 2 deaths.
It is even more unfortunate that nearly two-thirds of all outbreaks associated with raw milk involve children. For example, in 2011, five children in California were infected with
E. coli O157:H7 after drinking raw milk; three required hospitalization with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a devastating condition that can lead to permanent kidney failure. At a school event in Wisconsin, also in 2011, sixteen fourth grade students
and adults who drank raw milk donated by a parent later suffered from Campylobacter
infections. It is the responsibility of America’s leaders to make decisions to protect the health of the public, especially children who are unable to make fully informed choices – choices that can have profound harmful consequences for the rest of their
Eliminating the regulations that currently prohibit the interstate sale of raw milk in the United States would increase the risks to public health, exposing consumers nationwide to the inevitable consequence of falling victim to a foodborne illness. No matter
how carefully it is produced, raw milk is inherently dangerous. Americans have become ill after consuming raw milk obtained from farms of all sizes, from cow-share programs, and from licensed, permitted, or certified raw milk producers.
To allow the interstate sale of raw milk and milk products is an unnecessary risk to consumer safety and public health. Therefore, I strongly urge you to join me in opposing Massie Amendment #30.
Roger Marshall, M.D.
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