Raw milk advocate says choice should be up to consumers

Farm Forum

Julie Rosin doesn’t want raw milk to have a warning label.

The Selby-area farmer and raw milk advocate owns Rosin Organics along with her husband, Bill.

On the farm, she milks her cows by hand and filters and bottles the milk by hand.

Rosin has been drinking raw milk for most of her life and has been milking her own cows for the last decade. Raw milk is not pasteurized.

She disagrees with new proposed raw milk safety regulations.

“If people can go into the store and buy spinach that might have E. coli on it or buy tiger meat (raw hamburger mixed with spices) and raw oysters, I don’t see why they can’t get raw milk,” she said.

She hopes raw milk regulations proposed by the state Department of Agriculture won’t extend to all raw milk.

“I have a small base,” she said of her farm.

Those seeking raw milk from her farm bring their glass gallon or half-gallon jugs.

“It’s all glass, and it’s always clean,” Rosin said. “I just put the milk in it.”

She said she’s talked to larger raw milk producers in the state about proposed regulations regarding the sale of raw milk, including labeling and testing. New regulations wouldn’t necessarily affect Rosin and her business, which primarily offers organic eggs, poultry and meat.

The sale of raw milk is prohibited in 20 states. Rosin maintains that any food product can be contaminated and that consuming raw milk is no more dangerous than other foods.

Rosin said she believes the heating process of pasteurization kills off good and bad bacteria, making pasteurized milk harder on the body.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not recommend unpasteurized dairy products. Rosin said those who seek raw milk are informed and educated and that additional protections are unnecessary.

The state currently requires raw milk to be labeled as such.

“It’s not like we’re selling it to unaware consumers. They know it’s raw and not pasteurized,” she said. “They don’t need to be protected from themselves.”

She doesn’t agree with warning labels that would have to be put on raw milk bottles.

“Labeling regulations are OK, but I don’t know what the warning is for,” she said. “You’re not selling cigarettes. It’s milk.”

Demand for raw milk has been increasing, Rosin said. She said she has gotten requests from all over the state for raw milk, but refers callers to Grade A dairies.

She said the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which she refers to as the “U.S. Duh,” demonizes raw dairy products, including butter and cream.

“It should be up to the individual consumer,” she said.

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