The 1908 Evans Pasteurization Ordinance was the first law in Chicago to require the testing of dairy cows for tuberculosis. Milwaukee inspired the ordinance when it forbade the selling of milk from tubercular cows within its city limits. Soon, many Wiscinsin farmers were selling their sick cows to the farms in more lenient Illinois. Declaring that »Chicago does not want it if it is not good enough for Milwaukee« Health Commissioner W.A. Evans pusher for passage of the ordinance that bore his name.
Yet the ordinance had three fatal flaws. The first was Chicago’s perennial problem – the city had legal authority to require testing only of the relatively few cows housed by dairy farmers within city limits. Second, despite the ordinance’s name, pasteurization was neither a primary nor a permanent aim of the law. The law stipulated that milk be pasteurized only until the city established TB testing procedures for urban dairy cattle. Finally, the ordinance did not define pasteurization, leaving the safety of even pasteurized milk in doubt.
- Wolf, Jacqueline H. Don’t kill your baby. The Ohio State University, 2001.