Why is raw milk illegal in some states?
There is a long history and debate surrounding the legalization of raw milk in the United States. Michigan was the first state to require pasteurization of all dairy products sold to the public. A 2009 review of raw milk consumption found that 29 states allow some form of on- or off-farm raw milk sales, but only a few allow sales in grocery stores. CDC has documented fewer illnesses and outbreaks from raw milk in states that prohibit sales.
In 1987, the FDA mandated pasteurization of all milk and milk products for human consumption, effectively banning the shipment of raw milk in interstate commerce with the exception of cheese made from raw milk, provided the cheese has been aged a minimum of 60 days and is clearly labeled as unpasteurized.
The Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR Sec. 1240.61) mandates pasteurization for all milk and milk products in final package form intended for direct human consumption.
"No person shall cause to be delivered into interstate commerce or shall sell, otherwise distribute, or hold for sale or other distribution after shipment in interstate commerce any milk or milk product in final package form for direct human consumption unless the product has been pasteurized or is made from dairy ingredients (milk or milk products) that have all been pasteurized..."
Legislation related to the sale and consumption of raw milk is regularly considered by state legislatures, and state raw milk laws change from time to time. The Real Raw Milk Facts working group has therefore put together a Legislation Packet to demonstrate the risk of raw milk, raw cheese and other raw dairy product consumption as compared to pasteurized dairy product consumption, and recommend against expanding the availability of raw milk/dairy products for retail sale. In addition, the below tables provide information related to various raw milk laws and regulations.
State raw milk laws change from time to time. The below tables provide information related to various raw milk laws and regulations.
Raw Milk Bills and Legislation
Click on this table to find information about recent raw milk bills.
State-by-State Regulations by Point-of-Sale
Click on this table to see which states allow farm and retail raw milk sales.
State-by-State Raw Milk Regulations
Click on this table to see a summary of different regulations listed by state.
Real Life Dangers of Raw Milk
Several families offered to share their stories on video to help raise awareness about the potential risks and negative effects on health from drinking contaminated raw milk.Real Life Stories