Oregon Dairy Farmers Association prepares to fight for raw milk crackdown
Posted: May 22nd, 2012 - 4:45pm
Source: Oregon Live
Oregon's dairy industry is revving up for a new fight over raw milk following the E. coli outbreak last month.
The Oregon Dairy Farmers Association will gather legislators, producers and perhaps state agriculture officials this summer to discuss a possible crackdown on sales of unpasteurized milk in Oregon. Raw milk producers and consumers won't be invited.
"We feel that something needs to be done," said Executive Director Jim Krahn. "We've been saying this for a long time."
The outbreak was traced to raw milk from a Wilsonville farm that sold shares of its cows in exchange for milk. The milk tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, one of the worst foodborne pathogens. It sickened nearly 20 people, including four children who were hospitalized with acute kidney failure. At least two of them could face long-term complications.
That outbreak came 13 years after Oregon first clamped down on raw milk, banning store sales but allowing small farms to sell on-site with no regulatory oversight.
Krahn thinks that's too loose. "I would hope that something would be done to protect children," he said.