Selling raw milk is illegal in Scotland. Why?

Hi Tap,

Further to reading your articles on the health benefits of raw milk I
thought I would do a search and see if could buy locally from one of
our Scottish farms here in the Borders. As it turns out, it is illegal
to sell raw milk in Scotland. 

That being the case I wonder if an
English farmer is allowed to sell raw milk to someone in Scotland.
Anyway, I came across this very informative site discussing “Is The
Ban Of Raw Milk In Scotland Justified?” By The Lone Conspiracy
Theorist – Scottish Freedom Network – which I think you’ll find very
interesting. http://www.sovereignindependentuk.co.uk/2012/08/11/is-the-ban-of-raw-milk-in-scotland-justified/

 Furthermore, on clicking the “About Us” button you’ll find links to
excellent topics.

Kind regards,
Gordon.

Is The Ban Of Raw Milk In Scotland Justified?

By The Lone Conspiracy Theorist – Scottish Freedom Network –
Before pasteurisation all milk was raw milk. There are many documented health benefits associated with drinking raw milk. One of the advantages of raw milk over pasteurized is that it contains beneficial bacteria, which get destroyed, when the milk undergoes the pasteurisation process.
Pasteurisation was discovered by Louis Pasteur in the mid-1800s and introduced in 1908 to reduce spoiling and the growth of bacteria. While pasteurisation is widely promoted as a way to make milk safe to drink free from bad bacteria it also doesn’t discriminate between bad and good resulting in all bacteria being destroyed. This process destroys the beneficial bacteria acidophilus, the Vitamins C, B12 and B6 and the digestive enzyme required to break down the protein in the milk.
While the health risks that have been associated with drinking raw milk have been well documented, particularly tuberculosis, brucellosis, and bad bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli and Campylobacter the benefits have been largely ignored.
These benefits are many and include ….
  • Raw milk contains multiple, redundant systems of bioactive components that can reduce or eliminate populations of pathogenic bacteria.
  • Raw milk consists of important enzymes that aid in assimilating the nutrients present in milk.
  • Raw milk serves as one of the best sources for calcium consumption.
  • One of the major raw milk drinking advantages is that it contains the beneficial bacteria, which otherwise get destroyed, when the milk undergoes pasteurisation process.
  • The British journal The Lancet reported that resistance to tuberculosis increased in children fed raw milk instead of pasteurised.
  • Drinking raw milk could reduce children’s risk of suffering allergy-related conditions such as eczema and hay fever
  • Also, being organic, raw milk has a higher level of Omega 3 in it, good for the heart, and for the brain!
As can be seen from the list above drinking raw milk provides many benefits over pasteurised.
Also of interest is a study by GSCE students for the BBC programme Countryfile which produced some interesting results.
Three petri dishes were prepared, one with UHT milk, one pasteurised and one raw milk, and left open to the atmosphere. Nothing grew on the UHT sample, it could not support life. Only good bacteria grew on the raw sample, and only bad bacteria grew on the pasteurised one. Why? Well, in the pasteurised sample, the good bacteria once in it were now all dead, leaving a good substrate ripe for invasion by whatever bacteria were around in the atmosphere, whereas with the raw sample, the good bacteria still in the milk repelled any bacteria that tried to invade.
The big question is whether the health concerns that come with drinking raw milk are really justified?
Raw milk like any food, can become contaminated and cause illness. Unlike other foods the dangers seem to have been greatly exaggerated. There are many examples of reporting bias demonizing raw milk. In many cases raw milk has been blamed as the cause of an outbreak when no link has been proven.
A perfect example of this can be found on the FSAs (Food Standards Agency) website where it gives the reason why raw milk has been banned in Scotland.
“The Scottish ban on sales of raw cows’ milk and cream was introduced in 1983 following a number of milk-related illnesses and 12 potentiallyassociated deaths”.
Notice the word “potentially” which indicates that the cause of the deaths have not been proven to be linked to raw milk.
Another example of this reporting bias can be found on the UK parliament site where this was submitted by David Green after an E.COLI outbreak in Cumbria was wrongly attributed to raw milk in 1999. Mr. Green states
“It is disgraceful that the above outbreak is already being associated with unpasteurised milk—notably by those campaigning to ban its use.
Data already available make it clear that the farm with which the outbreak has been associated was selling pasteurised milk and that if that farm was the source; the reason was either a failure in the pasteurisation process or contamination of the milk after pasteurisation—when it is even more vulnerable to re-infection because all competing bacteria have been eliminated. Public comment has also failed to emphasize that the large proportion of infections attributed to dairy products is found in those which have been pasteurised.
I add these further points:
(1) Coliform bacteria (of any type) only enter milk and its products as the result of faecal contamination.
(2) Producers and processors of raw milk are fully conscious of the risk—to them and their customers—and adopt stringent dairy hygiene regimes to guard against it. Producers of milk destined for subsequent pasteurisation rely on that as a safeguard and are inevitably more relaxed in their precautions.
(3) This fact is recognisable from hard data. Standard MAFF milk tests regard milk as acceptable with a coliform count of 100 per ml or less. A raw milk producer I know well (whose product is additionally safeguarded because it is then made into long matured hard pressed cheese which has well known natural antibiotic qualities) consistently turns in MAFF tests with a Coliform count of 1 per ml or less—100 times below the level deemed acceptable by MAFF.
The end result is that milk destined for subsequent pasteurisation inherently presents a higher public health risk than milk intended for raw use. Its initial quality adds no additional safeguard if pasteurisation fails or is by-passed by subsequent contamination”.
Mr. Green makes many good points and highlights that there are also dangers associated with pasteurised milk.
Due to high-volume distribution and its comparative lack of anti-microbial components, pasteurized milk when contaminated has caused numerous widespread and serious outbreaks of illness, including a 1984-5 outbreak afflicting almost 200,000 people.
Safety concerns about pasteurised milk were also raised in a recent study out of Harvard University showing that pasteurized milk products from factory farms are linked to causing hormone-dependent cancers. It turns out that the concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) model of raising cows on factory farms churns out milk with dangerously high levels of estrone sulfate, an estrogen compound linked to testicular, prostate, and breast cancers.
The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.
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3 Responses to “Selling raw milk is illegal in Scotland. Why?”

  1. Paul says:

    You can get it just over the border in Cumbria if you want some, I get it all the time. It is near Birdoswald, near Gilsland, just off the A69.

    They only have a web page, but I get mine from the Farmers Market at Brampton on the last saturday of the month and Carlisle Farmers market on the First friday of the month, plus the odd trip out there to get some from the tea room when it’s open.

    http://www.slackhousefarm.co.uk/

  2. Julia says:

    I am quite pleased that I have found a place in Bath to buy raw milk. It’s only once a week at the Farmers Market, but that’s still reduces our use of the processed stuff.
    I also have heard you can buy it at Stowford Farm near Trowbridge. Thanks to The Tap blog for getting me into this.
    I used to buy raw milk when on the Scillies, but since they have been selling their milk to shops and using it to make other shop products such as ice cream, the whole lot has been pasteurised.
    I wonder if it’s only possible to get raw milk in England when you buy direct from the farmer?
    Many of our regulations apply to buying and selling, if things are given away, the laws don’t apply. It’s quite likely that if things are sold on via a third party, different laws apply. Possibly pasteurisation is a requirement for third party selling.

  3. http://www.realmilk.com/safety/real-milk-powerpoint/

    this is nice powerpoint presentation about benefits and prejudices and biases conected with RAW MILK 🙂

    by the way – its NOT well documented – when it comes to all those healt problems – there was lot of mistakes done with researches.. raw milk is actually fighting those illnesses 😉
    enjoy, Peter

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