A group of West Virginia lawmakers got sick last weekend after drinking raw milk to celebrate passing a raw milk-related bill, but the state delegate who distributed it insists the unpasteurized milk wasn’t to blame.
State Del. Scott Cadle (R) told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that people got sick because the Capitol building “is a big germ.”
“It ain’t because of the raw milk,” he told the newspaper. “With that many people around and that close quarters and in that air and environment, I just call it a big germ. All that Capitol is is a big germ.”
He also said that mass illness is common when the state legislature convenes, calling it “the Capitol crud.”
The paper also reported the state’s public health bureau opened an investigation Tuesday after receiving a complaint about the raw milk.
Cadle told the newspaper that he passed around raw milk to those who wanted to “live dangerously” on Thursday in the House chambers. He then missed work Monday because of a stomach bug, but returned to the Capitol on Tuesday.
He said it was just it bad timing.
“There’s nobody up there that got sick off that milk,” he told the paper.
The legislation Cadle was celebrating doesn’t even legalize the sale of raw milk, according to the Gazette-Mail. Instead, it would allow “herd-sharing” agreements so people could buy a share in a cow in order to use the animal’s raw milk, as long as they signed an agreement acknowledging the health risks.
Cadle would not specify which local dairy gave him the milk or at what price. State law bans the sale and distribution of raw milk, but Cadle said he was unaware.
“I might have been breaking the law,” he said. “Hell, I don’t know. I gave it away.”
Watch local news station WSAZ’s interview with Del. Pat McGeehan, who also drank the raw milk before falling ill, below: