Arkansas Raw Milk Bill Fails Before House Panel

Mar 15, 2013

A proposal to allow Arkansas dairy farmers to sell unpasteurized milk has failed to clear a House  committee.

The House Agriculture Committee on Friday voted 9-8 against the bill, which would have permitted the sale of "raw" goat and cow milk at the farm where it was produced.

Farmers would have been allowed to sell up to 500 gallons per month on average.  

Republican Rep. Randy Alexander of Fayetteville sponsored the measure. He said that farmers should be able to sell unpasteurized milk on their farm as a matter of fundamental freedom. Others supporters said they wanted to buy local milk and have a stronger connection to where their food comes from.  

Opponents, including the state Health Department, said consuming unpasteurized milk could put consumers at greater risk for illness.