Public health experts warned against legislation that would allow for the sale of unpasteurized milk at the Capitol Monday morning. The seven-member panel, gathered by Rep. Art Staed, D-Cedar Rapids, strongly opposed House Study Bill 131, which would allow for the sale of unpasteurized milk. Experts said drinking unpasteurized milk could be extremely harmful and deadly. Experts said the idea of of raw milk consumption has increased as natural-food enthusiasts claim raw milk holds more nutrients than pasteurized milk, which they went on to say is false. Dr. Ann Garvey, a deputy state epidemiologist, told lawmakers raw milk is 150 times more likely to cause food illness than pasteurized milk.
The panel included California mother Mary McGonigle-Martin who believed raw milk provided more nutrients until her son almost died because of an e. coli infection from drinking the raw milk. McGonigle-Martin said she believed many today “are all suffering from generational amnesia” and have forgotten the illnesses that were prevalent before the pasteurization process was introduced. Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to kill off bacteria.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig, who did not attend the panel.