LITTLE ROCK — Grade "A" milk producers in Arkansas are not permitted to sell raw milk in the state, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said in an opinion Friday.
The opinion, requested by Rep. Jeremy Gillam, R-Judsonia, said a Grade "A" rating can only be received if both the farm and the milk are inspected by the state.
Act 1209 of 2013, which allowed small farms to sell up to 500 gallons of raw milk per month at their facilities, requires the seller to post a sign at the point of sale saying that the milk is fresh, has not been pasteurized and that neither the farm nor the milk sold has been inspected by the state.
"In sum, while (the state statute) does not expressly declare its effect on Grade "A" milk producers, the statute’s context and notification provisions strongly suggest that the General Assembly did not intend the statute to apply to Grade "A" Milk producers.
The state Health Department opposed the measure during the legislative session this year, saying raw milk could expose consumers to dangerous pathogens. Supporters say duly warned adults who want raw milk should be able to buy it from producers that want to sell it.
Gillam said Friday he requested the opinion after a constituent who is a Grade "A" milk producer told him there was some confusion on the issue among some dairy farmers.