Raw Milk Debate Returns to the Montana Legislature

HELENA — A bill gaining momentum at the Legislature would allow Montanans to sell food from their homes directly to consumers without any government oversight. It would also legalize the direct sale of raw milk.

The bill’s supporters say the government has no business telling people what food they can buy, but opponents say a 2015 law that opened up licensure for homemade food enterprises already encourages the sale of local foods while also protecting consumers. 

Senate Bill 199, or the Montana Local Food Choice Act, includes a section that would make it possible for owners of small dairy herds to sell unpasteurized milk, a proposal that drew its own set of opponents with concerns about the risk of foodborne illness.

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