Raw Milk

A multi-state raw milk cheese outbreak occurred in 2016-2017 which hospitalized all eight people involved.  One illness was reported in a newborn.  Two people died, including one Vermonter.  More information on the outbreakan article on a recent CDC paper and the CDC's Raw Milk Website.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful germs, including bacteria and viruses.  Pasteurization is a process that heats milk to a certain temperature for a set period of time to kill these harmful microbes.  Raw milk and products made from unpasteurized milk including yogurt, pudding, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and processed cheeses are sold in Vermont. The VVMA, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other groups oppose the sale of raw milk because it may contain dangerous bacteria that can pose serious health risks. Legislation to expand the sale of raw milk continues to be introduced and passed, despite the opposition and testimony against it by the VVMA and other groups, including the Vermont Department of Health.

The information below was compiled in opposition to the legislation passed in May of 2015 to expand the sale of raw milk.  

In 2021, the House Agriculture Committee took testimony on H.218, a bill that expands raw milk markets to non-producers farmstands and to CSAs.  Below is testimony provided by the VVMA and the Dept. of Health on the proposal:

Raw Milk with Dr. Kent Henderson and Dr. Natalie Kwit from the VT Dept. of Health on 2/23/21:

You can read the written testimony of Dr. Henderson and Dr. Kwit here:  https://legislature.vermont.gov/committee/document/2022/8/Bill/322488#documents-section

It's important that your legislators hear from veterinarians about this important public health issue!  Contact your legislators today. To find your legislators and how to contact them, click here.

If you have any questions, please contact VVMA's Government Relations Committee Chair Dr. Kent Henderson (Northwest Veterinary Associates, Inc.) or One Health Committee Chair Dr. Ruth Blauwiekel (UVM) or VVMA Associate Director Linda Waite-Simpson at 802-878-6888 or [email protected].