State Board Ponders Raw Milk Sales
FDA bans interstate sales due to bacteria danger, but some states allow
Legislators may loosen restrictions on raw milk -- but they're awaiting guidance on how to do it.
Indiana's Board of Animal Health has wrapped up a three-month online comment period on whether to relax a ban on selling unpasteurized milk. Legislators asked the board for recommendations not on whether to lift the ban, but on what limits to set if they do.
State veterinarian Bret Marsh says the board is reviewing issues such as what warning labels to require if the legislature were to allow raw milk sales.
Bacteria in unpasteurized milk can cause a variety of diseases, some of them deadly. The FDA prohibits selling it across state lines, but several states allow dairies to sell it within their own borders. Marsh says the specifics of those laws vary widely.
Marsh says the more than 800 comments ran about 85-percent in favor of raw milk. Some contend there are health benefits, some maintain it tastes better, and others simply want to be able to choose for themselves.
Although the comment period ended Saturday, the board is still analyzing the issue. Marsh says the board has sent a survey to Indiana milk producers, and is meeting with an advisory panel. The board's report is due by December 1.