Now if you’re a true fan of milk, you probably have gotten your hands on raw milk at some point in your life. And if you haven’t, this law could make it easier for you to get some.

In Iowa, it is currently illegal to sell (or give) raw milk and products made from raw milk to anyone.

The bill would legalize the sale of raw milk on farms, however, selling it in restaurants and farmers’ markets would remain illegal.

Essentially, the bill would make something legal that’s going on already, said Democratic Senator Tony Bisignano in a report from Radio Iowa.

"I don't think in this state people ought to be criminalized for things that they choose to do that don't harm someone else," Bisignano said.

Photo by Brian Suman on Unsplash
Photo by Brian Suman on Unsplash

The Food and Drug Administration put a mandate on raw milk in 1987 which essentially banned the shipment of the product in interstate commerce. Since then, a vast majority of states are allowing raw milk sales, said Republican Senator Jason Schultz.

"If we do this, get it all the way through, there'll be only five states left," Schultz said. "...It's not a political issue. This is just a (decision of): 'Do we want to let the people who want this have access to it?"

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Raw milk lovers say that raw milk offers more nutrients as well as tastes better.  However, critics say that it can contain harmful bacteria.

Iowa Farm Burau, a major agriculture group in the state, has come out in opposition to the bill. Teresa Bjork wrote this in an article about the issue back in 2018 on why they opposed the bill then.

“Why? Because dairy farmers and health experts agree, the risk of food-borne illness from raw milk – especially to children, the most vulnerable population – isn’t worth any unproven health benefits that are touted on the internet, or by our friends and family members.”

Child eating flakes in milk

There is also a concern for pregnant women. Democrat Senator Janet Petersen brings up the concern from Listeria.

"A warning label to prevent stillbirth, miscarriage, death of a newborn, and illness of a pregnant mom I don't believe is too much to ask," Petersen said.

This is not the first time this law has been discussed in Iowa.

It has passed the Senate and is heading to the House to be reviewed.

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