Friday, August 10, 2018

Raw milk sales legalized in Catalonia

Spain's Catalonia in raw milk controversy, Consumer - THE BUSINESS TIMES - AFP:

July 25, 2018 - "Catalonia is in the eye of the storm again, but not for its independence drive. This time, the controversy is all about ... raw milk.

"The Spanish region's decision last Thursday to allow the sale of unpasteurised cow's milk directly from producers to consumers after it was banned 28 years ago has caused alarm due to the potential health risks involved. Spanish media has published article after article outlining the bacteria-induced danger, health experts have come out against it and the issue has gone viral on Twitter, echoing similar vivid debates in countries such as the United States.

"Catalonia's food and agriculture regional minister Teresa Jorda argues raw milk has 'spectacular' health properties and is safe due to the 'technological improvements in farming equipment' and strict hygiene standards.... But critics are sceptical....

"On Tuesday, Spain's health ministry revealed that a decree allowing the sale of raw milk nationwide had been in the works under the previous conservative government. But the new Socialist executive has decided to suspend this until a 'full analysis' of the issue is done, it said in a statement.

"This suspension does not affect the decision in Catalonia, which has autonomy in food safety matters....

"Jorda also argues the measure will help small farmers increase their earnings as they will be selling milk directly to customers.

"Spain's UPA small farmers' union has asked for the measure to be implemented nationwide. It says Spain's livestock are in good condition which means drinking raw milk is safe, 'always bearing in mind the milk must be boiled and preserved correctly - a maximum of 72 hours from milking'....

"Further afield, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, where many states allow raw milk, warns strongly against it.... According to its most recent statistics from 2007 to 2016, '32 states reported 144 outbreaks linked to raw milk'.

"In Europe, raw milk is [also] legally available in France and Italy."

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