If a Tennessee state senator gets his way, it may be illegal to drink unpasteurized milk, even if it’s your own animal.
In Tennessee, a medical doctor and state senator wants it to be illegal to drink fresh, unpasteurized milk, even if from your own animal.
Senator Richard Briggs has a proposed bill that would take out the current language guaranteeing your legal right to drink unpasteurized milk from an animal you own or partially own.
Currently, Tennessee citizens are legally allowed to get raw milk for their own consumption provided they have total or partial ownership interest in any animal with hooves. As a result, in seven states, there are arrangements called ‘herdshares.’ Members of the private buying clubs can buy partial ownership in, or ‘shares’ of cows or herds of cows so they can have unpasteurized milk for their consumption.
According to RealMilk.com, raw milk is to some extent legal in 43 states. But, if Tennessee outlawed herdshares, as this bill would, then the citizens of Tennessee would not legally be able to buy or consume raw, unpasteurized milk.
The rumor is that Senator Briggs introduced the bill after there was an E. coli outbreak in Knox County. Though the outbreak was never tied to raw milk, it seems lawmakers are targeting raw milk as the culprit.
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Homesteading and farmsteading advocates believe the law targets them without having science behind the targeting, and would make their informed decisions illegal, stealing their rights to what they feel is best for their bodies. Some cite that drinking several cans of coke isn’t safe, but it’s legal. There’s no proof that raw milk is any more dangerous than drinks proven to have carcinogens and still, it may be illegal.