LETTER: Let Australians drink raw milk
AS THE daughter and sister of dairy farmers, I feel I must respond to Rod McLean's letter concerning raw milk (TC April 5).
Mr McLean is theoretically right in that pathogens can exist in raw milk. However, they are most unlikely to do so in Australia. All milk is tested to a very high level and cows are inoculated against diseases such as brucellosis.
As far as I know, there have been no occurrences of TB related to milk for a very long time. In any case, it would of course be possible to have special regulations for raw milk for sale, including a careful testing regime.
Raw milk is legal in the European Union (though member countries may apply their own regulations to its sale), in 28 states of the US, and in New Zealand under highly regulated conditions.
I have not heard of any major health issues relating to it in any of these countries. Of course, many of us grew up drinking raw milk (before the current testing regime), and have never had any problems. I will continue drinking it, when I am able, for the rest of my life.
There is evidence that the heating process involved in pasteurisation destroys beneficial enzymes, bacteria etc. along with any harmful organisms which might be present.
There is also evidence that some people who have difficulty tolerating milk do better with raw milk. Homogenised milk is worse than pasteurised, as it is processed even more, so I try to buy non-homogenised milk when I can.
Many nutritionists now advocate the benefits of unprocessed whole foods. Raw milk is a wonderful whole food full of great nutrients, which is being denied to Australians by baseless scare campaigns.
I would really love our government to join others in allowing the sale and consumption of raw milk, subject to appropriate regulations and with a balanced public education campaign outlining the pros and cons.
Please allow Australians to make up our own minds about whether to drink raw milk, and drop this nanny state approach!
Marie Cameron, Newtown