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Raw milk is still illegal in Montana, as the state’s Senate killed a bill that would have allowed for limited sales of the unpasteurized product.
“It does not provide adequate disease, drug or antibiotic testing,” Krista Lee Evans said of House Bill (HB) 325. Evans represents the Montana Milk Producers Association.
“We have found through the years and years of public health work … that pasteurization does its work,” state Sen. Jill Cohenour, a Democrat, said. “It protects us from the sicknesses that can come from raw milk.”
HB 325 would have allowed farmers to sell raw cow, sheep and goat milk directly to the public, AgWeek reported. Sale of raw milk in retail stores still would have been illegal.
HB 325 was written and introduced by State Representative Nancy Ballance and sponsored in the Senate by Keith Regier. Both are Republicans.
Ballance called HB 325 the “ultimate freedom bill.” Ballance introduced similar bills that failed in 2013 and 2015.
“Processing foods takes valuable nutrients out of the food,” Regier said. “Steamed or raw vegetables are said to be healthier. Many of you eat salad with raw ingredients.”
Raw milk sales are illegal in 20 states, according to Procon.org. Eight states allow raw milk to be sold through cow share agreements, 17 states allow sales direct from the farm and 13 states allow it to be sold in stores.
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