Raw milk advocates push to expand sales

DES MOINES — Raw milk advocates’ efforts to expand availability across the U.S. have not slowed despite health officials’ assertions that it’s dangerous to drink milk that hasn’t been heated to kill bacteria. Efforts to legalize raw milk sales in some form have succeeded in 42 states, and expansion pushes are ongoing this year in states including Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, Rhode Island, North Dakota and Texas.

“We are concerned that increases in legislation of raw milk can certainly lead to increases in outbreaks of illness in those states,” said Dr. Megin Nichols with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC warns against drinking raw milk, especially by children under age 5, older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.