One argument that has been raised against legalizing raw milk (read about HB 46 in Texas) is that, in essence: “If you make it easier to get raw milk legally, more people will drink raw milk, and more people will get sick.” While that argument is intuitively appealing, it is contradicted by the CDC’s data.
Industry and medical groups have claimed that raw milk is dangerous, but the data contradicts their claims.
Any food can be the source of foodborne illness under the wrong conditions. The issue isn’t whether some people have become sick from raw milk on occasion – the issue is whether raw milk poses such an unusually high level of risk that it justifies the government forcing people to drive several hours to the farm to obtain it.
All of the data discussed below is from the CDC for the 13-year period from 1998 to 2010.