The BOAH raw milk study cautions that "[d]istributing raw milk for human consumption will increase the risk that someone will become ill from consuming raw milk. But the decision to authorize or not the sale of unpasteurized milk to consumers is ultimately a political decision." However, if the Indiana legislature makes the decision to allow the sale of raw milk, BOAH suggests the following:
Change the current law requiring pasteurization to allow limited distribution of raw milk directly from the farmer producing the milk to consumers and authorize the BOAH to establish minimum sanitary requirements that may reduce the risk of human illness. If Indiana is to move away from the current laws requiring pasteurization of milk and milk products sold to the public, the following principles should be followed:From my legal perspective, one surprise in the raw milk study was the analysis of whether a farmer selling raw milk can obtain liability insurance. BOAH found that five insurers provide 75% of farmowners' coverage in Indiana. Of these five, only two exclude coverage for raw milk sales. Had you asked me before reading the BOAH study, I would have assumed no carrier was willing to insurer against liability for raw milk sales.
1. The Indiana State Board of Animal Health should have the authority to adopt rules requiring permits and establishing sanitation standards for raw milk producers.
2. All farmers producing raw milk for consumption should be held to the same standards.
3. The sale of raw milk should be limited to the farmer producing the milk selling directly to consumer.
The BOAH study certainly is not advocating that Indiana approve the sale of raw milk. But if sales are going to occur, they should be done as safely as possible and with proper liability insurance in place. The BOAH study makes that clear.
To read the complete BOAH raw milk study, click here. (PDF will open).
By Todd Janzen