Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
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Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms and protecting
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Raw Milk Illnesses And Warnings Don't Scare Everyone

Jaimarie Ely

Article from

Vermont health officials believe raw milk made three people sick in Orleans County. Two people ate ice cream made with the milk; another drank milk from the same producer.

The Vermont Health Department and the Vermont Agency on Agriculture warn against drinking raw milk, because they say there could be serious health related issues. Some people don't feel it is unsafe.

"With any food product there's always the potential, but really in raw milk is comes down to having healthy cows and having a process that is clean and really thorough, and if you have those two things you've got milk that is likely safe," Evan Reiss said

Reiss and Lindsay Harris are co-owners of the Family Cow Farm Stand in Hinesburg Vermont.  The business opened recently with a focus on the sale of raw milk. Harris says raw milk is not heated up to kill bacteria like the kind sold in stores.

"Our milk we harvest from the cows and pour it through a filter and then we cool it down and that's how people buy it," Harris said

Both owners have been drinking raw milk for a few years.

"I moved to Vermont about five years ago and once I moved to Vermont I had tried it a few times and I loved it so much I had to buy my own dairy cow," Harris said

They say they've seen a lot of interest in their product. "It doesn't surprise me that people are catching on, tasting it and it just grows like wildfire," said Reiss

The law limits the amount of raw milk farmers can sell to 50 quarts per day. The milk can only be sold on the farm it came from, and those farms don't have to be inspected.

Harris and Reiss are working to further change the legislation regarding raw milk sales. They would like to be able to sell more and say they wouldn't mind inspections.

A raw milk open farm day is being held Sunday with more than 30 farms participating. To learn more visit



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