We talk a lot about government's role in food, how its role is a little too laissez-faire. Not enough inspection, not enough protection, too much deception on food labels.
But the one role the government is right on top is the "danger" of raw milk.
As we saw on the "Colbert Report" last night, gun-wielding police officers crashed into a health food store in Venice, CA to address the concern over raw milk.To drive the point home that this really happened, the show labeled the footage as:
"Actual Footage" "Yes, this happened" "Seriously, Google it" and "This is Real"
One woman in the store described how the officers were frisking people in the store.
While the law varies from state to state, there are notable exceptions where raw milk is allowed. California allows raw milk if a business has proper permitting, Other states allow raw milk if you own part of the cow.
The potential for disease associated with raw milk is possible — and it certainly has happened. But again, the law doesn't completely ban raw milk.
This is more about inconsistency of policy. We won't inspect our food supply to try and ensure food safety on that level, but we spend resources attacking a product that is legal in most cases and available for hundreds of years.
If the laissez-faire policy is seen as biased toward corporate farms and against small farmers, the credibility of our food safety crumbles like cheese made from raw milk (which is safer because of the process to make cheese).
Stephen Colbert made a joke about war being declared on raw milk. There are a lot of people who would rather have less of a battle over raw milk and more of a battle on meat, eggs, and vegetables.