Washington Post reporter Thomas Bartlett wrote about raw milk and the group of people who "swear by the virtues" of unpasteurized milk in an October 1st article.
In Maryland, where I live, as in most other states, you can’t walk into a store and buy raw milk. That’s because, while possession of raw milk is legal, selling it is a crime. It’s also a violation of federal law to transport raw milk across state lines with the intent to sell it for human consumption. The Tennessee dairy that sold it to me offers raw milk as pet food. The dairy’s Web site warns that "due to significant legal and liability issues, we cannot and will not answer questions regarding human consumption of these or any other raw milk products — please don’t ask."
Barrett mentions that in a conversation with a Maryland health official raw milk was compared to heroin or marijuana.
The raw milk underground isn’t for the faint of heart. Some who believe raw milk is nature’s perfect food have to break — or find creative ways to skirt — state and federal laws. Then they have to ignore the warnings of medical associations and government agencies that rank drinking raw milk alongside BASE jumping and gas huffing. The Food and Drug Administration even compares it to playing Russian roulette. And yet there are thousands of folks all over the country who eagerly seek out raw milk, even though it can be expensive, difficult to obtain and — oh, yes — illegal to sell. In some states, health agencies are cracking down on raw milk suppliers.
Barrett interviewed researchers from the FDA and learned the FDA’s position: "The FDA says raw milk advocates ignore science and put their faith in dubious anecdotes about its supposed health benefits."
He goes on to write that "The triumph of pasteurization seems like a victory for human progress."
So why do so many people swear by drinking raw milk???