FDA Sued By Fresno Company Over Raw Milk Interstate Sales Law

Posted on December 17, 2012

Currently, it is not possible to ship raw milk from one state for sale in another state.  The Food and Drug Administration banned this interstate sales method back in 1987 so that potentially dangerous outbreaks of foodborne illnesses would not occur.  When milk hasn’t been pasteurized properly, there’s a risk that it could be contaminated with Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli or more.

However, recent developments have been such that raw milk is allowed in many states as long as it meets certain standards of cleanliness that bring its bacteria levels in line with other pasteurized products.  California is one such state that allows raw milk to be sold, as is neighboring Arizona.  But milk produced here cannot be sold in that state.

The largest producer of raw milk in the country, the Fresno-based Organic Pastures, wants to see that change.  They previously petitioned the FDA for a change to the law in 2008, but the FDA has apparently not made a decision since that time.  This has prompted a lawsuit to be filed against the safety agency by Organic Pastures.  Citing increased demand for non-pasteurized milk and a lack of product in nearby Arizona and other states, the company hopes to see the law altered to allow raw milk produced in one state to be shipped and sold in other states that don’t ban this type of milk.

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