Small But Profitable Raw Milk Industry Raises Some Safety Questions

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

With approximately 40 raw milk producers based in Missouri, raw milk is a small but strictly regulated industry in the state. But as the sale of raw milk — essentially unpasteurized milk — has increased here, it has spurred questions about whether the product is safe for consumption.

The Campaign for Raw Milk says raw milk is safe and can offer health benefits eliminated by pasteurization. But the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration warn against the consumption of unpasteurized milk.

Tim Lavy runs a dairy farm in Silex, where he raises and breeds cattle to produce the best raw milk for his customers. Because of a state statute, he and other farmers who produce raw milk are required to sell directly to their consumers. By cutting out the middle man, Lavy has been able to increase the amount he makes for each gallon of milk sold, making between $36 and $60 for every 100 pounds of milk, as opposed to the $20 per 100 pounds when selling commercially.

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