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Raw Milk Advocates and Health Officials Step Up Dispute

To a small but growing and dedicated community, raw milk is viewed as a cure for asthma, gastrointestinal disorders and quite a number of other illnesses. But state departments of agriculture view unpasteurized milk as a germ-ridden drink.

The dispute heated up in mid-April. First, there was a national conference of pro-raw-milk advocates in Wisconsin; then, a well-financed website warning of raw milk's risks was put online.

The Wisconsin symposium included dairyman Mark McAfee, who delivered the keynote address, "Raw milk as medicine -- Proudly violating FDA drug laws."

Retail sale of unpasteurized milk is legal in only 10 states.  There is an outright ban on it in another 10. Elsewhere in the U.S., it is legal only at the farm, and then only when people buy "shares" in a cow so they're technically drinking their own milk.

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