Soon Iowa could join 20 other states in the legal sale of “raw milk” if SF 315 is signed into law. Raw milk is produced from dairy animals and has not been pasteurized. Pasteurization is the method of extending the shelf life of milk by heating the milk for a controlled amount of time. Individuals who seek out raw milk for their consumption value the freedom to decide what they value in their milk. Proponents of raw milk boast its similarity to raw human milk and believe there are more beneficial components to the unpasteurized version.
Currently, state law prohibits the sale of raw milk in any capacity. SF 315 allows consumers the freedom to make an informed decision for their needs and purchase raw milk from raw milk producers instead of being forced to leave the state or to break the law. If signed into law, producers will be allowed to have up to 10 dairy producing cows, goats, and sheep for the production and sale of raw milk and raw milk products.
These raw milk dairy producers will be required to test monthly the coliform bacteria levels and have an annual examination of the producing animals by a licensed veterinarian. Records of both the monthly testing and the annual examination are required to be maintained and available to the Department of Health and Human Services, local health boards, and consumers. If a licensed physician suspects an individual became ill as a direct result of raw milk, HHS or a local board of health may demand the test records of the dairy from the previous 3 years.
While SF 315 provides increased freedom to consumers, it still does not allow raw milk to be used in commercial or homebased food products to prevent someone from unknowingly consuming raw milk. An individual cannot purchase raw milk or a raw milk product without ordering it directly from the raw milk producers.
Restoring more individual freedom in the choices offered to consumers is important to House Republicans, who have championed this legislation and other pieces of legislation to provide more freedom to creators, producers, and consumers.