29 Mar 2016

Minister stands firm on raw milk rules

9:02 am on 29 March 2016

Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew is making no apologies for tough new regulations for raw milk producers.

Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew

Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew Photo: Radio NZ / Alexander Robertson

Raw milk is not pasteurised and while its consumers swear by its health benefits, it can harbour listeria, campylobacter and E-coli bacteria.

An MPI spokesperson said in the last six months alone there had been 13 infections directly linked to raw milk consumption.

Only farmgate sales and home deliveries of raw milk would be allowed from November.

Some farmers said the new regulations could drive as many as half those selling raw milk out of the business.

Mrs Goodhew said the rules simply brought the milk into line with other products being sold to the public for consumption, and aimed to keep people safe.

"It does only put these producers on a par with other food producers who sell high-risk products such as, for instance, shellfish."

She said there had not been any regulations in the past, so for some businesses it would be a big change.

She said any estimates around how many businesses would go under were only a guess.

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