Tennessee Lawmaker Wants to Criminalize Drinking Fresh Milk from Your Own Cow

In Tennessee right now, there is a bill that would remove access to raw milk. Families would become a criminals in Tennessee consuming unpasteurized milk from the family cow, goat or sheep. Naturally, this is ridiculous, because raw milk is not dangerous in the majority of cases. Romaine lettuce causes far more outbreaks of food-borne illness. (Heck, so does cantaloupe and peanut butter, and pasteurized ice cream.) 

According to State Senator Richard Briggs , a medical doctor turned legislator his justification for regulating the consumption of raw milk on your own property.

"Adults have the right to make choices, even potentially harmful ones, as long as they are informed and understand the consequences. Children don’t. Adults who drink contaminated milk usually recover in a week or so. Young children can develop prolonged, potentially fatal illnesses (Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome) like we’ve seen in Knox County. Some never recover or have permanent brain damage. Over 25 young children have become ill from contaminated raw milk in the last 5 years.

Cow share dairies should be mandated to notify customers when a suspected outbreak with contaminated raw milk occurs and cease selling raw milk until the source of illness is determined. The diaries should not be able to prohibit Health Department investigators from testing their milk and cows."


The proposed law was apparently triggered by a E. coli outbreak in Knox County, according to a blog post by the famous regenerative farmer and author Joel Salatin. 

”Of course, as is common in these cases, the outbreak was never actually tied to raw milk, but government bureaucrats color any opportunity to question and science generally flies out the window,” Salatin writes.

Safety is subjective, Salatin notes, and therefore should be left up to the informed consumer. 

”I don’t think it’s safe to drink 3 cans of Coca-cola a day, but that’s legal. I don’t think it’s safe to eat veggie burgers, but people do. It comes down to who owns the person. As long as the state owns the person, which is where America is right now, nothing is beyond the regulatory purview of the police, the ultimate enforcer of the laws.”

Based on this Legislator's line of thinking we should probably outlaw lettuce and commercial ice cream as well due to repeated threats from e coli tainted lettuce and a months long problem with listeria in a commercial ice cream manufacturing facility. Food borne illness is everywhere. Even in pasteurized products like Blue Bell Ice Cream had outbreak - that made 10 people sick and killed three othersEven with government inspectors there for decontamination and declaring them good to go; they kept finding listeria upon restarting the factory. -Kathy Bartlett Parham responded on his facebook page.

Kayla Wright ...when a politician thinks it’s OK to regulate what you’re allowed to consume from your own farm. What’s next? Outlawing backyard gardens because house cats are a common source for toxoplasmosis?


One resident commented about the herd sharing laws in the United States.

As of 2017, there are 11 states, not 8, which permit herdsharing by either law or written policy (CO, IN, KY, MI, MT, ND, OH, TN, VA, and WV). Together, they comprise 17.8% of the total US population. In total, 43 states have legal raw milk distribution (sales or herdsharing) enshrined in either law or written government policy - comprising 92.6% of the total US population. In only 7 states is raw milk illegal (DE, HI, IA, LA, NV, NJ, RI).

In addition, legalization does not correlate with outbreak rates, despite what your friends at the CDC might try to claim. Since 2010, legalization has increased while outbreaks have decreased - relative decrease of 30% in outbeaks. This coincides with the availability to farmers of HACCP-based training programs for safe raw milk production. If you factor in consumption rate increases, the decrease in outbreak rates is even more dramatic! I suggest you check out this article by Whitehead and Lake HERE which uses the CDC's own data - especially check out Figure 6 for how RAWMI training enabled PA to get its outbreak rates under control.


Michael Alan Williamson says, "This bill will do very little to stop child illness from parental decisions, and endangerment is already a prosecutable crime. This will however limit the liberty of Tennesseans and set the groundwork for further infringement of freedoms. I’ve never been what I would consider a political activist but if this bill becomes a law I will lend my voice and every waking hour to routing out the well wishers from office and battling silly ideas like this for the rest of my days. 

Amy Brewer ...The bottom line is that it is our right as parents to make this call, not the government. It is our job to educate ourselves, check our sources, and ensure that everything we can give our children is the very best. No one knows what is best for our children except us, the parents, who know and love our children more than the government or anyone else ever could. I urge you to drop this bill!

These Tennesseans love their raw milk. So does Idaho! We need more eyes and support to make sure that we keep up on the rules and statutes for Idaho. Here are the Idaho Raw Milk Regulations and Rules that are under review at the 2019 Legislative session

We must be always alert to make sure that our freedoms are not infringed.



 42 peer-reviewed studies proving the health benefits of raw milk: http://bcherdshare.org/the-health-benefits-of-raw-milk

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