Raw Milk Legalization Blocked in House Committee

Raw Milk Legalization Blocked in House Committee

A House panel Friday rejected legislation that would have legalized the sale of raw milk.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A House panel Friday rejected legislation that would have legalized the sale of raw milk.

HB 1536 allows for the sale of unpasteurized milk at Arkansas farms only.

Supporters say it would allow those who want to enjoy raw milk the ability to do so without the potential for someone to inadvertently consume the product.

The Arkansas Department of Health voiced concerns about lack of quality control or the ability to spot check farms to make sure the milk is safe to consume.

Mike Flagg with Hiland Dairy says he is concerned with potential bad press for the industry if someone were to become ill as a result of consuming raw milk.

"We felt that the negative publicity from raw milk sales if somebody got sick would hurt the dairy industry and hurt dairy consumption in the long run and that's not what we want," Flagg says.

The legislation needed 11 votes to advance to the House floor but picked up only eight.

Chef Lee Richardson says not allowing the sale of raw milk is "a real setback for personal choice."

Bil sponsor Randy Alexander (R-Fayetteville) says he plans to bring the bill back up later in the session.
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