Lawmakers in West Virginia were so excited about their new legislation that lifts a ban on the consumption of raw milk, they didn’t think about the consequences of drinking some of the potentially bacteria-laden drink in celebration.
“I’m not feeling that great,” Representative Pat McGeehan (R) told local news station WSAZ. “I think it’s probably just some sort of bad stomach virus. There’s definitely some other colleagues that have similar symptoms that I’ve been experiencing.”
McGeehan and some other lawmakers drank raw, unpasteurized, milk to celebrate the passing of a bill that makes it legal before getting sick.
Several lawmakers say a delegate who sponsored the bill, Scott Cadle (R – Mason, 13), brought in the drinks.
“[Cadle] caught me in the hallway, offered a cup to me, and you want to try to be a gentleman,” McGeehan said. “I had a small sip and walked away and tossed the rest of it.”
“I highly doubt raw milk had anything to do with it, in my case,” McGeehan said.
According to the Kanwaha-Charleston Health Department, raw milk can contain dangerous bacteria and parasites.
But, supporters say, raw milk has a higher nutritional content and is more ethical.
“I don’t think it’s any riskier than eating raw oysters or anything like that,” McGeehan said, adding that he believes the milk you drink is a personal choice.
The problem with raw milk is that it hasn’t gone through a process of pasteurization that kills potentially harmful bacteria. Raw milk consumption has lead to illness, even killing people. According to Gizmodo, in 1911, 48 people died and roughly 2,000 people got severely sick in Boston after drinking raw milk.
“There definitely shouldn’t be a law against allowing people to do what they want within the framework of the rule of law,” McGeehan said. “Just be careful.”
Does that go for drinking bleach under the sink too?
Watch WSAZ’s report on the story in the video below: