Health officials are opposing a bill that would allow consumers to buy raw milk, warning the measure would expose the public — particularly children — to potentially life-threatening bacteria that can thrive in milk before it’s pasteurized.
The Albemarle Regional Health Services Board of Directors discussed the measure, House Bill 103, at length in its latest meeting on Tuesday. The agency’s concerns may be moot for now, however, as one of H103’s sponsors said it faces too much opposition to pass this year. However, she stands by the measure and didn’t rule out pursuing it in the future.
ARHS Director Battle Betts told the board that H103 would allow the retail sale of raw milk — milk that has not gone through the process of pasteurization — noting a trend of states allowing raw milk sales. However, he said that, when raw milk consumption expands, dangerous infections have often followed. He cited reports of sickness that occurred in West Virginia and Tennessee following bills that expanded raw milk sales.
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