Raw milk advocates pushing to expand bill - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Raw milk advocates pushing to expand bill

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A bill moving through the Senate would allow larger producers of raw milk to sell their product off the farm.

The consumption of raw milk is part of growing trend in Vermont and around the country.  Many say the non-pasteurized product not only tastes great, but also has health benefits.  Lawmakers four years ago allowed producers to sell the milk at their farms.  The new bill would allow a handful of larger producers to sell at farmers markets.   It does not address smaller producers -- in part -- because of safety concerns.

"The reason there are only two tier 2 producers is because those requirements are quite onerous and burdensome and over time, since the law was passed, it's been proven that some of those provisions don't make sense -- like delivering to customers homes," said Andrea Stander with Rural Vermont.  Her group is among those pushing to broaden the bill to include smaller farms.

"If it is unsafe, the bottom line is that it's not being pasteurized. Pasteurization is a heat treatment that kills or inactivates many of the positive agents of various food bourne illness and other diseases that can be contagious," said Kristin Hass with the Vt. Agency of Agriculture.

The Centers for Disease Control says getting sick from raw milk can lead to a range of stomach problems. Less commonly, it can mean kidney failure, paralysis, and even death.

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