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Lawmaker: Illness after raw milk celebration just 'bad timing'

By Daniel Uria   |   March 9, 2016 at 4:15 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va., March 9 (UPI) -- Delegates at West Virginia's state Capitol are denying an anonymous claim that several lawmakers became ill after tasting raw milk.

The rumors began after several delegates exhibited similar symptoms in the days following a milk tasting in celebration of the passage of a law that would make consuming raw, unpasteurized milk legal in the state.

The state Bureau of Public Health investigated Tuesday after the anonymous tip, but said no similar cases of illness from raw milk had been reported.

"There's nobody up there that got sick off that milk," Republican delegate Scott Cadle told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. "It's just bad timing, I guess."

Cadle is among several delegates who reportedly fell ill in the days following the milk tasting, but said he was home sick with a stomach bug that had spread through the Capitol building.

Fellow Republican Pat McGeehan also experienced similar symptoms and admitted to tasting the milk out of courtesy to Cadle, but doesn't believe it to be the source of their shared illness.

"[Cadle] caught me in the hallway, offered a cup to me, and you want to try to be a gentleman," he told WSAZ. "I had a small sip and walked away and tossed the rest of it."

The new law does not allow the sale of raw milk, but rather allows people to share a milk-producing animal and use its raw milk.

While Cadle said he's unsure if he broke the law by acquiring the milk from a friend, he remained confident that it played no role in the widespread illness.

"It ain't because of the raw milk," he said. "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."

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