Tennessee Reconsidering Raw Milk Distribution


In consistency with trends in relaxation of restrictions on distribution and consumption of raw milk, Tennessee allowed cow-share schemes to operate. Following an extensive outbreak of Shiga-toxin producing E.coli (STEC) among children, a bill is being introduced into the State Senate to restrict consumption of raw milk to the sole owner of the producing cow. The outbreak which affected at least 18 children in East Knox County was traced back to the French Broad Farm which operated a cow-share scheme.

The sponsor of the bill, State Senator Dr. Richard Briggs, introduced Senate Bill 15 bases his opposition to raw milk on his professional standing as a cardiologist and a reserve Colonel in the U.S. Army with a long period of active duty. He recognizes the right for people to have the freedom to eat what they want but he maintains the responsibility of the State to ensure that food and drink are safe. Currently twenty states ban the sale of raw milk for human consumption with thirteen allowing some form of restricted retail sale. Seventeen states confine sales to the farm on which raw milk was produced.

Providing raw milk to children is a form of abuse.