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Posted: Friday, 25 April 2014 7:11AM

Raw milk bill advances out of House Ag

After an intense debate over whether or not to allow the sale of raw milk, lawmakers advanced the bill by Carencro Rep. Stephen Ortego.

Ciera Majors spoke to the House Agriculture  Committee in favor of the measure that would allow farmers to sell raw milk to consumers.

"The only argument that the opposition has for this bill is 'death of a child, death of a child,'" said Majors. "Trust me! I want to protect my children. I wanted to give them a healthy product so much so that I bought two cows."

Majors argued that families should have the right to choose the foods they consume and provide for their children.

Marksville Representative Robert Johnson strongly opposes the bill. He told Majors that his problem with the measure is not that she milks her own cows and gives the raw milk to her children.

"My problem is that you don't want DHH to do any kind of inspection, any kind of permitting process," said Johnson. "And then you want to exempt yourself from any kind of liability just in case somebody messes up. And when you say child..'death of a child'..that's a very serious thing to me."

One raw milk supporter, Audry Salvador, told Johnson it would be the responsibility of the consumer to make sure they are purchasing from a reputable farmer.

"I can watch everything they do if I want," said Salvador.

Johnson said, "What about those who don't?"

"That is their fault."

"What about the child that dies that has no one to protect him," Johnson asked.

"Well, before the age of reason they can go to Heaven," said Salvador.

"That's your answer?! Mr. Chairman I move that we voluntarily defer this bill," Johnson said in extreme anger.

Johnson also tells Salvador he has a major problem with farmers being exempt from liability if someone gets sick from raw milk.

The sale of raw milk is illegal because it was thought to have carried certain diseases that have been eradicated in the United States since the turn of the century according to Ortego.

The vote was 9-6 and now heads to the House floor.

Photo credit Robert & Pat Rogers via flickr

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