Farmers may soon be able to sell their raw milk directly to consumers under legislation that got House approval on Wednesday.
HB1279 is by Carencro Representative Stephen Ortego who says he was approached by many of his constituents who said they would like to be able to purchase raw milk from their neighbors who have cows.
"We didn't think it would be a problem and the more we looked at it so many people wanted it for different reasons," said Ortego. "Some people wanted it for taste, some people wanted it to treat asthma, some people wanted it because they were lactose intolerant. Others saw that it had more calcium and Vitamin A and Vitamin D in it."
In committee opponents argued that it would not be safe to sell raw milk. But Ortego says such concerns are extremely out of date.
"A lot of the food born illnesses at issue have already been eradicated," said Ortego. "Now we have 40 states that have legalized the sale of raw milk in one form or the other."
Ortego says the risk of drinking raw milk is no greater than eating oysters or eating meat.
He added an amendment on the House floor that would require anyone who sells raw milk to have proper labeling on the bottle and signage at the farm.
"To make sure people know that they are taking a slightly higher risk by drinking unpasteurized milk as opposed to pasteurized milk," Ortego said.
The vote was 77-19 and now heads to the Senate for further debate.