A B.C. political party suggests that consumers are getting a raw deal on milk.
The B.C. Libertarian Party states in its October 24 election platform that British Columbians “deserve to have legal access to farm-fresh unprocessed milk”.
The problem is that federal and provincial laws prohibit the sale of unpasteurized milk.
That needs to change, according to the party that advocates individual freedom, personal responsibility, and limited government.
The party noted that unpasteurized milk is legal in 43 states in America, and all European nations.
“The prohibition is obsolete,” the B.C. Libertarian Party stated.
The B.C. government explains online that pasteurized milk is raw milk that has been “heated to a specified temperature and time”.
The procedure is meant to “kill pathogens that may be found in the raw milk”.
“Pathogens are microorganism such as bacteria that make us sick,” according to the province.
These pathogens include Campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria, and others.
Raw milk comes from cows, goats, sheep and other dairy animals.
“By law, all milk sold to the public must be pasteurized and packaged in a licensed dairy plant,” the province noted.
The B.C. Dairy Association, for its part, stated online that there is “no evidence that raw milk has any health or nutritional benefits”.
“In fact the opposite is true. Pasteurized milk is a much healthier choice because you can enjoy all the nutritional benefits of milk without the risk of getting seriously or fatally ill,” the dairy association added.
The B.C. Libertarian Party argues the opposite.
“There is no evidence or documentation to support the prohibition of the sale of raw milk,” the party stated on its platform.
The party claimed that based on “quantitative microbial risk assessments… raw milk is a low-risk food”.
“Despite the law, many commercial dairy farmers are selling their surplus ‘out the back door’ or distributing raw milk to employees, friends, and family,” the party stated.
The B.C. Libertarian Party is fielding 25 candidates in the October 24 election.
The candidates include party leader Don Wilson.
Wilson, a lawyer, is running for MLA in New Westminster.