West Virginia legalized the sale of raw milk after Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, allowed  House Bill 4911 to become law without his signature.

“AN ACT to amend and reenact §19-1-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to raw milk; defining ‘raw milk’; authorizing intrastate sales of raw milk; imposing labeling requirements; and authorizing rulemaking,” HB 4911 reads.

“West Virginia House passed the bill (76-19) allowing farmers to sell raw milk directly to consumers. The bill now moves to the Senate,” The Regenaissance posted in February.

Last month, the West Virginia state Senate passed HB 4911 with a 28 to 5 vote.

West Virginia Watch noted:

Consuming raw milk has been legal in the state through herd-sharing programs since 2016. If the legislation becomes law, selling raw milk would be legal if the milk is sold in clearly labeled containers.

The Senate amended the bill to define “raw” as unpasteurized. The Senate also added a provision that the label contain include the name and physical address of the seller, the date of production, and a warning that “Consuming unpasteurized raw milk may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially for children, elderly, immunocompromised individuals, and persons with certain medical conditions.” The senate’s version also allows the state commissioner of Agriculture to promulgate rules about the sale of raw milk.

“Gov. Jim Justice allowed two bills — one allowing the sale of raw milk to pass without veto!” The Regenaissance said in an update.

News From The States wrote:

I’m not sure why he decided not to sign House Bill 4911, which legalizes the sale of raw milk to the public. The only real issue in this bill — a provision that would have made sellers of raw milk immune to lawsuit and liability for claims related to personal injury — was eliminated and did not make it to the final version.

There are risks to drinking raw milk — like consuming bacteria such as Campylobacter, E. coli, or Salmonella; viruses; and parasites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — but consuming raw milk has been legal in the state through herd-sharing programs since 2016.

Justice ended up vetoing eight bills, including the controversial vaccine exemption bill.

Read more about the vaccine bill Gov. Justice vetoed below:

Republican Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Remove Vaccination Requirements For Schoolchildren

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