Raw-milk fans complain that pasteurizing milk destroys nutrients, enzymes and other beneficial bacteria, and it is becoming popular with people who believe it is more healthful or tastes better, according to the Washington Columbian.
However, countless researchers and food scientists agree that the benefit of destroying the harmful bacteria (through pasteurization) far outweighs the supposed benefits of retaining those helpful microorganisms.
Blair Thompson, spokesman for the Washington Dairy Products Commission says that “No one, and I repeat no one, has any business consuming unpasteurized raw milk. It can contain some pretty serious microorganisms, such as listeria, such as salmonella, and the most serious of all, E. coli. It’s an urban myth that raw milk is somehow healthier. That’s a belief, not a fact.”
Oregon outlawed retail sale of raw milk in 1993. In Washington state, it’s legal only with a state license, and only six dairies have that license.
John Sheehan, director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Dairy and Egg Safety, says drinking raw milk is “like playing Russian roulette with your health.”