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Indiana Begins Gathering Input for Raw Milk Study

Indiana officials begin gathering online input this week for a study on the sale of raw milk. The information will be turned to the 2013 General Assembly.

Current Indiana law prohibits the sale of milk that has not been pasteurized. But its proponents say raw milk from pasture-fed animals contains beneficial nutrients depleted by the process and should be available for sale.

The dairy industry and other opponents contend any raw milk can contain dangerous pathogens such as E.coli or salmonella and should be treated before it’s sold.

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health will host a virtual public hearing for its study starting this Friday. Spokeswomen Denise Derrer says if lawmakers consider lifting the ban, they’ll have a lot of questions to answer.

Will they allow retail sales in grocery stores, or do you have to go directly to a farm, or are herd share agreements going to be approved? What kind of labeling will be required, packaging, distribution? There’s a whole gamut of just associated issues that need to be addressed,” Derrer said.

The sale of raw milk is banned in about two dozen states, including Indiana and Kentucky.

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Indiana Agency Gathering Information For Raw Milk Study

From the Associated Press:

An Indiana agency conducting a study on the sale of raw milk is asking state residents to weigh in.

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health is planning a virtual public hearing from June 1st through Sept. 1st, when people can express their thoughts.

Contributors also can offer suggestions for any potential change to Indiana law, which doesn’t allow the sale of raw milk. Those who submit comments must provide a name and contact information.

Supporters of raw milk contend that pasteurization, which kills harmful bacteria and extends shelf life, depletes milk of beneficial nutrients. The dairy industry and other opponents contend the threat of E. coli or salmonella should take precedence.

The final report by the Board of Animal Health will provide guidance to lawmakers in the 2013 Indiana General Assembly.

(Photo courtesy of www.cdc.gov)