In response to the death of a child and the hospitalization of others, the Victorian government has changed the laws around the sale of raw milk.
Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs, Jane Garrett, says the law change is prudent.
“There’s been a lot of confusion about the capacity for humans to consume raw milk and its effects,” she said.
“A lot of these products are in containers identical to drinkable milk and stored in the same locations in shops.”
Producers of bath milk in Victoria contacted by ABC Rural say the law change has been so swift that they don’t know what it will mean for them, or what equipment they’ll need to continue production.
Minister Garrett says she had no choice but to act quickly.
“We did need to act quickly becasue clearly, undrinkable milk was being sold in containers the same as drinkable milk, and clearly people have been drinking it.”
“All of the advice says it is a dangerous activity and it is (already) unlawful to sell raw milk for consumption in Victoria.”
At this stage the law change is only for Victoria.
Another loophole the United Dairyfamers of Victoria (UDV) want closed is a scheme that allows farmers to sell part of their cow to a consumer who is then supplied the production of their cow as raw milk.
Minister Garrett says whilst there are no current penalties for these practices at this stage, the law could soon change.
“There is an investigation being led by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) which all states are participating in.
“We would expect to see results from that.”
Although these rule changes are for producers and sellers of raw milk the Minister says consumers should be wary of the new law.
“If people want to feed raw milk to their children and their children get sick, that may be an issue authorities want to look into.
“People should not be feeding it to their children. People should not be drinking it.”