Oh, if only both sides could lose …

Courtesy of Ivan, I’ve been directed to this press release from the Weston A. Price Foundation decrying a U.S. FDA and California Department of Food and Agriculture crackdown on purveyors of “raw” — that is, unpasteurized — milk. Now, I have very little sympathy for people who think raw milk is perfectly safe and/or somehow better for us than pasteurized milk. After all, pasteurization was seen as a remarkable scientific breakthrough and public health miracle for a reason: raw milk can harbor any number of nasty bacteria — including S. typhimurium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, E. coli O157:H7, Listeria, Campylobacter, and Brucella.

That said, there’s no good reason why consenting adults should not be able to buy and consume raw milk. And, if the claims made in this press release are accurate (and I don’t vouch for the accuracy of anything put out by the Weston A. Price Foundation), these regulatory enforcers really ought to have something better to do. Apparently, what’s gotten their panties in a bunch is the interstate sale by a California dairy of unpasteurized bovine colostrum (also known as “first milk,” it’s the very high protein milk produced in the first few days after birth) for use in pet food. Seems that zoos like to feed colostrum to certain animals, and they prefer unpasteurized product.

Every budget season, FDA officials trudge up to Capitol Hill and complain that they don’t have sufficient resources to perform their really important work. Well, I think we may have identified a good place to cut the enforcement budget.