Some proponents want the bill to carve out almost all liability for raw milk producers. If supporters think raw milk is so safe, why do they want immunity from lawsuits?
Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) March 31, 2010
National food safety lawyer Fred Pritzker is calling on the Wisconsin legislature to kill a bill that would allow public sale of unpasteurized milk.
The Wisconsin bill that would allow raw milk sales direct from farms licensed by the state runs counter to what the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been warning for decades: Raw milk is a health hazard that can cause serious illness and wrongful death.
"This legislation would not only allow a dangerous product into the stream of commerce, some proponents want the bill to carve out almost all liability for raw milk producers,'' said Pritzker, a leading food poisoning attorney who has represented victims of contaminated raw milk. "This would be virtually unprecedented and dangerous. If supporters think raw milk is so safe, why do they want immunity from lawsuits?''
Even if the bill moves forward without the immunity clause, America's Dairyland would be setting a shameful example for the rest of the country by passing a law that its own public health officials have labeled as irresponsible, Pritzker said.
With microscopic fecal contamination from cows unchecked by pasteurization, outbreaks of foodborne illness linked to raw milk are inevitable.
Less than a week ago, FDA alerted consumers to a raw milk Campylobacter outbreak in Michigan associated with products from Forest Grove Dairy in Middlebury, Indiana. At least 24 people have been sickened in the outbreak and state epidemiologists from Michigan, Illinois and Indiana have been joined by FDA in their investigation of the outbreak.
The federal agency said in its latest consumer alert that contaminated raw milk was to blame for 1,614 illnesses in the U.S. from 1998 to 2008. Two of the victims died and 187 were hospitalized.
The FDA advisory said harmful bacteria in raw milk is especially dangerous for pregnant women, the elderly, infants, young children and people with weakened immune systems. Besides Campylobacter, raw milk can carry E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella or other potentially lethal pathogens spread by the feces of cows.
"It's irresponsible for the Wisconsin legislature to give farmers the choice of selling raw milk when science has proven that raw milk is no more nutritious than pasteurized milk,'' Pritzker said. "It's a trap that will inflict an enormous toll on families who will be stricken by illness.''
Mr. Pritzker is a nationally recognized food safety lawyer who has represented victims in practically every major outbreak of food poisoning in the U.S. He has recovered millions for victims of campylobacteriosis and other foodborne diseases. For more information, contact Fred Pritzker at 1-888-377-8900 (TOLL FREE) or 612-338-0202, email Fred at fhp(at)pritzkerlaw(dot)com or visit our website, http://www.pritzkerlaw.com. The firm represents food poisoning victims nationwide and has offices at Plaza VII, Suite 2950, 45 South Seventh Street, Minneapolis, MN.