Amid Bird Flu Outbreak, Right Wing Loonies Push Raw Milk Consumption

Amid Bird Flu Outbreak, Right Wing Loonies Push Raw Milk Consumption

Bird flu tests are now required for cattle moving between states

Photo by Jim Vondruska/REUTERS

Right-wing youth organization Turning Point USA is promoting drinking raw, unpasteurized milk to its followers during a bird flu outbreak among dairy cows.

Drinking raw milk has always been risky, but a recent H5N1 bird flu outbreak now makes it even more dangerous. The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control have both warned against consuming the product, with a recent FDA post warning that raw milk “can pose serious health risks to you and your family” and has germs in it that can “seriously injure the health of anyone who drinks raw milk or eats products made from raw milk.” Additionally, cats on dairy farms have died after drinking raw milk from bird flu-infected cows.

This has not stopped Turning Point USA from promoting raw milk to its followers. The group recently released a T-shirt for sale featuring an image of a cow and the words “got raw milk?”

The T-shirt description reads, “Spread the word about the perks of raw milk, like good-for-you bacteria and essential nutrients, that get lost in the pasteurization process with this adorable crop top t-shirt printed using eco-friendly inks!”

Turning Point USA host Alex Clark has also repeatedly promoted raw milk on her YouTube channel.

In one video, Clark recommended raw milk to pregnant viewers, quoting a social media post saying that “raw milk is nearly perfect for pregnancy.”

The FDA makes clear the risks of drinking raw milk during a pregnancy: “Pregnant women run a serious risk of becoming ill from the germ Listeria, which is often found in raw milk and can cause miscarriage, or illness, or death of the newborn baby. If you are pregnant, drinking raw milk — or eating foods made from raw milk — can harm your baby even if you don’t feel sick.”

Clark has also repeatedly promoted drinking raw milk on her social media accounts.

In 2023, the organization published a story about the “possible benefits” of drinking raw milk that included three steps for readers to follow to learn about the substance.

Turning Point USA is not the only right-wing entity promoting raw milk. Other media figures and outlets, including Alex Jones’ Infowars, have promoted drinking unpasteurized milk for unproven health benefits. Raw milk has also trended on TikTok. Additionally, Republican lawmakers in Louisiana have recently moved to lift the total ban on the sale of raw milk in the state, worrying health scientists.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

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