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Report: Indiana Needs To Clarify Raw Milk Safety Standards

raw milk

Photo: Kristen Taylor (Flickr)

Raw milk sold at the Berkeley market in California. Raw milk cannot legally be sold in Indiana.

The Indiana Board of Animal Health advises the General Assembly break the status quo and either strengthen or loosen state laws regarding the sale of raw milk, which is currently banned.

The report, which was prompted when lawmakers requested more information on the sale of raw milk after declining to act on the issue last session, recommends either requiring all milk to be pasteurized or allowing raw milk to be sold after the Board of Animal Health establishes safety standards. It also includes research into current practices, laws in other states, input from an advisory panel of stakeholders, a survey of licensed dairy producers and comments from a public hearing conducted online and through the mail between June and September.

The hearing included feedback from Hoosiers who have access to raw milk by purchasing a share of a cow, skirting the state’s ban. Bloomington resident Barbara Lehr, who is one of the people who gets raw milk that way, says she likes knowing exactly what’s going into her food.

“I feel a greater sense of health from having used local, organic, humanely-raised animal products,” Lehr says.

Oldenburg State Senator Jean Leising is opposed to selling raw milk and points out the report does say consuming raw milk increases the chance of illness.

“It’s just one of those risks that I don’t understand why we would unnecessarily want to take,” she says.

Leising expects bills for both options next session but says it is too early to guess which path the legislature will choose.

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