Keila Rawlinson, a mother of two young children, told the Daily News that she believes raw, or unpasteurized, milk is more nutritious and safer for her family. She owns a share of the cow at Dee Creek Farm, which has been closed by the state and county for distributing contaminated raw milk.
Unpasteurized milk can be sold legally in Washington, if the dairy is licensed and inspected by the state. In California, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Mexico, it can be sold in stores, but not in Washington, where Dee Creek and Rawlinson are located.
Dee Creek Farm did not have the required state license and was warned in August they were violating state law. The Pucketts, who own the farm, say it could cost $30,000 to install all the equipment required for a state license.
Raw milk advocates internationally have found ways to skirt regulations. In Australia, for example, unpasteurized milk is sold frozen in the cosmetic aisles. In Oregon, unpasteurized milk can’t be sold in stores for humans, but it is legal if labeled for pets, so consumers buy the “pet milk” and then take it home to drink themselves.
Many people believe that the current E. coli outbreak could have long-range impacts on legislation in both Washington and Oregon.