Investigators are asking questions on dairies, posing as raw milk buyers to see if dairy owners will sell them some of the unpasteurized milk. When they do in states like Ohio, where the sale of raw milk is illegal, they have their licenses revoked and are heavily fined.
Raw-milk advocates tout the health benefits of the unpasteurized product, but health experts say that the raw product has a higher risk of harboring bacteria such as E. coli, which can cause not only upset stomachs, but can be potentially fatal.
County health directors are told to be on the lookout for any sort of raw milk sales, whether they be on farms or in farmer’s markets, says the Knight-Ridder Tribune. Farmers are allowed to drink milk from their own cows without pasteurization, but are also prohibited from giving raw milk to “herdshare” or “cowshare” owners as well.
The Food and Drug Administration lets each state regulate raw-milk sales, but it is illegal to sell across state lines. The Centers for Disease Control and the American Medical Association also have warned against drinking unpasteurized milk.