Federal Issue Brief

 H.R.1830/ S.1955, To Authorize The Interstate Traffic of Unpasteurized Milk and Milk Products That Are Packaged For Direct Human Consumption

AVMA Position:

Nonsupport

Current Status:

H.R. 1830 was introduced on 5/11/2011 by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX-14th) and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. S.1955 was introduced on 12/7/2011 by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Summary:

H.R. 1830/ S. 1955 would prohibit any federal department, agency, or court from taking any action that would prohibit, interfere with, regulate, or otherwise restrict the interstate traffic of milk, or a milk product, that is unpasteurized and packaged for direct human consumption based on the determination that solely because the milk or milk product is unpasteurized, it is adulterated, misbranded, or otherwise in violation of federal law.

Key Points in Opposition:

  • While there are states that allow the sale of unpasteurized milk and milk products for direct human consumption, this legislation would allow the transport of unpasteurized milk products in interstate commerce thereby amplifying the existing hazards of raw milk consumption and making foodborne disease outbreak investigations more difficult and time-consuming.
  • The legislation is inconsistent with the AVMA policy on raw milk: 
    • Because apparently healthy cows and goats can shed in their milk organisms which are pathogenic to human beings and may cause diseases such as brucellosis, campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis, and tuberculosis; and, inasmuch as milk handlers may introduce pathogenic agents during the handling of unpasteurized milk, only pasteurized milk and milk products should be sold. Furthermore, the AVMA supports laws requiring pasteurization of all milk to be sold within a state and consumed as fluid milk or to be used in the manufacture of dairy products. The AVMA discourages the sale of unpasteurized milk or other dairy products; however, in those states where the sale of such is allowed, those products should be labeled "Not Pasteurized and May Contain Organisms that cause Human Disease."

AVMA Contact:

Dr. Ashley S. Morgan, Assistant Director, Governmental Relations Division, 202-289-3210.