The United Sates laws on the sale of raw milk vary from state to state.
- 11 states prohibit the sale of bottled raw milk.
- 4 only accept it as feed for animals.
- 6 have no law on herd shares*
- 4 have herd shares legal by statute, regulation or court decision.
- 15 allow for farm sales of raw milk
- 10 allow for retail sales of raw milk
* Herdsharing is a structure whereby consumers pay a farmer a fee for boarding, feeding and milking their cow, (or share of). This allows the consumer to obtain but not buy the milk.
Efforts to tighten or loosen sales restrictions on raw milk have been underway in 2009 in several states, including:
• Maryland. A bill to legalize raw milk sales has been under consideration since February.
• Texas. The state health department recently lost a bid to tighten raw milk sales regulations.
• Connecticut. After the state health department traced an E. coli outbreak to raw milk in 2008, a bill was introduced to rescind farmers' rights to sell raw milk in stores. The bill died in committee after a February hearing.
• Wisconsin. Raw milk supporters recently hired a lobbyist to try to amend state law to allow raw milk sales, according to a state report.
Raw milk cheese laws are nationwide. All raw milk cheese produced in the U.S. or imported must be aged 60 days or more. This control does not allow for the production of fresh raw milk cheeses.
This law is currently being challenged and discussed within the U.S. government and many raw milk cheese producers are working together to support the continued production of raw milk cheese in the U.S.
Here you can find a State-by-State review of raw milk laws.