Saturday, August 23, 2008

Food Safety, Raw Milk Revisited

Ethicurean has a long post describing the back and forth over a bill to regulate raw milk in California. Now I've mixed feelings on all this. As a retired bureaucrat, I almost always believe there's a role for government regulation. As a long-ago farm boy, I remember the milk inspectors coming and forcing my father to change his operation (install refrigeration for the milk cans), put hot water in the milk house (we had hot water there when we didn't have it in the house), changes not always appreciated. As someone who drank raw milk until college, I liked the taste, but can't take the sometimes quasi-religious fervor mustered on its behalf.

But leaving all that aside, I'm a bit bemused by this thought: suppose a big food processor, a monster multinational corporation, said: we have this brand new product that provides essential minerals and vitamins and tastes great. Oh, we'll promise that it will be almost pure, no more than 10 coliform bacteria per unit.

How far do you think that proposal would get?

Just saying.

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