Only the signature of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is required now to permit the sale of raw milk in the Hawkeye State from dairy farms with no more than ten cows at one time.

The Iowa Legislature, by votes of 64-to-35 in the House and 37-13 in the Senate, has decided to lift the farm state’s lengthy ban on raw milk sales.

Known as Senate File 315, the measure sent to the Governor permits sales from the farm of raw milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and other raw milk products.

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized or graded. The sale of raw milk until now was not permitted in Iowa. Only Grade “A” pasteurized milk and milk products were sold to the final Iowa consumer.

Many legislative attempts were made over the years to permit raw milk sales in Iowa, and all of those attempts failed – until now.

Sen. Jason Schultz, R-Crawford, and the floor manager for SF 315 said it has taken 17 years for a raw milk bill to survive the legislative process. He calls it “the fresh milk bill.”

Previously, the coalition of farm organizations and health experts has kept Iowa from taking a step that has the potential of spreading dangerous pathogens to children. In past years, that coalition has been able to knock down claims that raw milk is more nutritious than milk that is pasteurized.

Rep. Megan Srinivas, D-Des Moines, is an infectious disease doctor. She said raw milk increases the chances of infection by 150 times and brings about outbreaks that impact others beyond just those who are milk drinkers.

SF315 still does not permit the off-farm sale of raw milk, such as at farmer’s markets. Raw milk sold on the farm must carry labels warning about the lack of inspections or freedom from regulations involving pasteurization and grading.

Raw milk dairies will have to submit to testing, mostly on animals and keep records that health officials can access. Monthly “coliform counts” for bacteria levels and yearly veterinarian check-ups are required.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)