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FSA Board Asks For More Evidence on Raw Milk Sales

July 24, 2014

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) Board have asked for more evidence on specific pathogens and any proposed testing regime before they consider relaxing rules around raw milk sales.

The decision comes after a review of current controls and a four month public consultation which launched in January concluded that the system is adequate in managing any risks posed by drinking raw milk. There has been strong support for a widening of access to raw milk, including possible sales from vending machines.

Steve Wearne, Head of Policy at the Food Standards Agency, explained the thinking behind the review: “Throughout this review process we have sought to balance consumer protection with consumer choice. It is clear that the current raw milk regulations have worked well to control the risks from raw milk,” he said. “We are not advising that these controls should be removed completely as they are necessary for continued consumer protection. However, we believe there is the opportunity for us to make changes which balance modest liberalisation of sales with controls on production that ensure continued consumer protection.”

Any changes would only cover England, Wales and Northern Ireland as raw milk sales are banned in Scotland. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is currently undertaking its own review of the risks associated with raw milk, and the FSA Board has already stated it will not consider changing the current regime until this work is published.

You can view the latest minutes of the EFSA study here