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Organic Valley CEO George Siemon
Organic Valley CEO George Siemon

Organic milk coop bans raw milk

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Yesterday, David Sommerstein reported on the raw milk wars. Advocates of unpasteurized milk say it tastes better, is better for you, and helps small family farms. Food safety and public health officials say raw milk can harbor dangerous bacteria like E Coli, and isn't worth the risk. Recently, an unlikely actor stepped into the middle of the debate. In a split 4 to 3 vote, Organic Valley dairy cooperative decided to prohibit its farmer members from selling raw milk. The vote followed nearly a year of emotional debate. Organic Valley is one of the leading brands of pasteurized organic milk. Based in Wisconsin, it has more than 1600 farmer-members. 20 of them are in the North Country. Some of those members had sold raw milk or cheese on the side to supplement their business. George Siemon is Organic Valley's CEO and one of its founders. He told David Sommerstein the decision to prohibit raw milk sales had as much to do with liability and safety concerns as business.

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