An up-and-coming conservative in the Missouri House of Representatives wants to upend raw milk safety in the “Show Me” state. Rep. Adam Schnelting has pre-filed House Bill 1711 for the next session of the Missouri Legislature, which gets underway in January.
Missouri law, which only allows raw milk sales on the farm, would be changed to make wide-open retail sales of raw milk completely legal. HB 1711 would make “Grade A retail raw milk or cream” legal to sell in the state’s grocery stores, restaurants, soda fountains and similar establishments.
The raw milk products will require a “warning” label. It must read: “Grade A retail raw milk or cream” is defined as “raw milk or cream produced upon dairy farms conforming to sanitation and bacteriological standards that meet or exceed those of Grade A pasteurized milk.
Schnelting, R-St Charles, is a former legislative staff member first elected in 2018. He represents the 69th district, primarily Harvester, Weldon Spring, and portions of St. Peters and St. Charles in St. Charles County, south of Highway 94.
Schnelting is a Realtor and minister who is also a combat engineer serving in the Missouri Army National Guard. He introduced HJR116, an amendment to the Missouri state constitution authorizing the creation of the Missouri Department of the National Guard, during the 2022 legislative session. Missouri voters approved the amendment in the 2022 general election.
The amendment authorizes the creation of the Missouri Department of the National Guard. It moved the Missouri National Guard into the new department from the state’s Department of Public Safety.
After reorganizing the National Guard within the Missouri state government, Schnelting, in 2024, plans to open the state to raw milk. The Missouri Legislature will be called into session on Jan. 4.
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), raw milk can carry harmful germs like Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Listeria, Brucella, and Salmonella.
These germs can pose serious human health risks.
The CDC reports that people who get sick from raw milk might have many days of diarrhea, stomach cramping, and vomiting. Some will develop severe or even life-threatening diseases, including:
- Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can cause paralysis, and
- Hemolytic uremic syndrome can result in kidney failure, stroke, and even death.
According to the CDC, the myth that raw milk has more enzymes and nutrients than pasteurized milk is not supported by any science. Multiple studies have shown that pasteurization does not significantly affect the nutritional quality of milk. Scientists do not have any evidence that shows a nutritional benefit from drinking raw milk.
Raw milk is banned from interstate commerce. Public health officials in most states warn against drink raw milk.
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