Arkansas House OKs sale of unpasteurized milk

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A proposal to allow Arkansas farmers to sell unpasteurized milk has won approval from the state House.

Lawmakers on Saturday voted 60-19 to permit the sale of "raw" milk from cows and goats at the farms where it's produced. Farmers would be allowed to sell up to 500 gallons per month on average.

Supporters of the legislation, which was sponsored by Republican Rep. Randy Alexander, said the government shouldn't restrict consumers' freedom to purchase unpasteurized milk.

Opponents warned raw milk presents an unnecessary public health risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells consumers to avoid raw milk because it can carry harmful bacteria and other germs.

As of last year, at least 30 states allowed the sale of unpasteurized milk, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures.

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