Kansas Senate approves bill to allow on-farm raw milk sales


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Senate has approved a bill that would allow on-the-farm sales of raw milk so long as farmers have a label on their containers stating that the product is unpasteurized.

The vote Wednesday was 37-3 and sent the measure to the House.

Kansas has allowed the sale of raw milk for decades, but a 1967 law prohibited farmers from advertising its sale outside of their farms. A northwest Kansas dairy farm’s owners sued over the advertising ban in October.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt and the state Department of Agriculture agreed in settling the case not to enforce the ban. Schmidt admitted it was “plainly unconstitutional.”

The death of the advertising ban initially led lawmakers to review a proposal to ban the sale of raw milk. But the Department of Agriculture didn’t want to pursue that idea and legislators also were skeptical.

People who drink and sell raw milk think of it as an all-natural product that brings people closer to the source of their food.

Pasteurized milk undergoes a heating process to kill pathogens. Raw milk straight from a cow or goat is much more likely to carry salmonella, E. coli and other bacteria, according to the Food and Drug Administration.