LETTER: Raw milk bacteria is helpful

Farm Forum

My appreciation goes out to Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch for having listened to citizen input and for having revised the proposed raw milk regulations to make them applicable only to the sale of raw milk. However, the redrafted rules still contain the new requirement of a bacterial count level of 20,000/ml, which is extremely low! The current regulations allow for a bacteria count of 500,000/ml. My concern is that there is no allowance in the regulations for a differentiation of bacteria detected.

People such as me who choose to drink raw milk, do so primarily because of the beneficial bacteria, which pasteurization destroys. These beneficial bacteria aids the digestive process which in turn helps cleanse the human system of toxins. Yet the proposed testing will not differentiate between strains of bacteria and will lump them all into a single sum of 20,000/ml.

If these regulations go into effect, then most likely raw milk will not pass the test and will be deemed “unsuitable” for human consumption. If the current 500,000/ml count is considered safe now, then why change it?

Francis DiCesare

Rapid City