PETERBOROUGH, N.H. — Rep. Ron Paul‘s biggest applause line in a town hall meeting Tuesday night was not about ending wars abroad, the income tax or the Fed but — but rather regulations on the sale of raw milk.
“We have to make our own decisions on most dangers in life … whether it’s alcohol or whatnot” Paul, a congressman from Texas, said in response to a question about how he would stop prescription drug abuse. “But this idea that the [Food and Drug Administration] is going to take care of us — they end up interfering with choices.”
The FDA’s efforts to limit Americans’ health care choices, Paul said, are carried out in collusion with special interests whose own interests include stifling competition.
“Whether it’s the Republican prescription drug program or the Democrats with Obamacare, the drug companies, the insurance companies — they’re the big lobbyists, and they promote things,” Paul said.
“And they would also like to regulate all alternative care and vitamin alternative products, and keep people from it.
“So my ideal, as a symbol of moving in a different direction, I would like to restore your right to drink raw milk any time you want to drink it,” Paul said to wild and sustained applause.
Raw milk can sometimes contain dangerous pathogens that are killed during pasteurization, but is still a popular item in some areas of the country. Under New Hampshire state law, most farmers can sell raw milk in very limited quantities. It cannot be sold in stores or supermarkets. (RELATED: Full coverage of Ron Paul)
Advocates claim raw milk does not contain additives such as growth hormones that some believe are harmful to humans. Farmers’ groups in the state have lobbied for looser regulations to allow them to keep up with the high demand for the product.
A recent Rassmussen poll of likely New Hampshire primary voters found Paul in third place with 18 percent support.