Straight From the Source

Texas Medical Association challenges HB 46

Straight From the Source

Raw milk enthusiasts certainly aren’t shy when it comes to expounding the benefits of farm-fresh milk. From providing protection against asthma and allergies to espousing a higher density of vitamins A, B, C, and D, raw milk supporters are serious about their favorite beverage.

It comes with no surprise that raw milk advocates are none too pleased with the Texas Medical Association. In testimony given to the Texas House Public Health Committee, the Texas Medical Association blasted raw milk. In addition to calling for an outright opposition of House Bill 46, Dr. Edward Sherwood testified: “Physicians understand that many individuals believe consuming raw milk will help improve their health. However, no scientifically rigorous studies exist that show health benefits from drinking raw milk over pasteurized milk. But we are well aware of the most recent national study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that showed that 60% of the dairy-related disease outbreaks were related to unpasteurized products.”

The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) strongly disputes these claims. According to the worldwide nutrition education nonprofit, the CDC data mischaracterized the risk involved in consuming raw milk and did not actually show a correlation between increased illness and consumption of raw milk. “CDC used the number of ‘outbreaks’ to make raw milk look bad. CDC defines an outbreak as two or more illnesses, and outbreaks involving raw milk or raw milk products involve far fewer individuals than outbreaks involving pasteurized milk. What really counts is the number of illnesses,” says Sally Fallon Morell, president of WAFP.

According WAFP, there are on average 41 illnesses attributed to raw milk each year, of which about 23 are confirmed, compared to an estimated 876,209 foodborne illnesses per year in the U.S. “Clearly government agencies are applying a double standard to raw milk, singling it out as ‘inherently dangerous’ when other foods obviously pose a greater threat to health,” adds Morell.

Ultimately, HB 46 is about access and personal choice. The bill sponsored by Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton) would allow licensed dairy farmers to sell raw milk at farmers’ markets, make home deliveries, and allow for other delivery arrangements with their customers. Currently, customers can only get their fix from the farm. HB 46 would increase accessibility as getting to a dairy isn’t always convenient. As the number of family-owned dairy farms has diminished, raw milk has made it possible for farmers to remain financially and environmentally sustainable. Limiting access is just udder nonsense.

For more information, visit farmandranchfreedom.org.

Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

If you want to submit a recipe, send it to food@austinchronicle.com

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Food Legislation before the Texas House of Representatives
Taste Test
Taste Test
Farmers market food sampling bill passes Texas House

Anna Toon, May 13, 2013

Public Hearing on Two Local Food Bills
Public Hearing on Two Local Food Bills
HB 46 and HB 910 would increase support to family farms

Anna Toon, March 1, 2013

More by Anna Toon
To Have and to Eat
To Have and to Eat
A Chronicle food writer says goodbye to Austin

Dec. 31, 2015

Fanning the Flames
Fanning the Flames
Cultivo Salsa heats up

Aug. 21, 2015

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Food Legislation before the Texas House of Representatives, HB 46, Texas Medical Association, Dr. Edward Sherwood, Rep. Dan Flynn, CDC

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle