Tomblin cites health concerns in raw milk veto

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have permitted the consumption of raw milk in West Virginia.

In his veto message delivered to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, the governor said that raw milk poses inherent dangers.

“It may contain bacteria that is particularly dangerous to children, pregnant women and those with compromised immunity,” Tomblin said. “A product with these types of health risks should be subject to more supervision than merely requiring a person to release the seller from liability for such risks.”

During an appearance on MetroNews Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval on Thursday, Chris Stadelman, communications director for the governor, said the veto came after Tomblin received significant concerns from medical experts.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, raw or unpasteurized milk, can contain pathogens like salmonella, E. coli and listeria. Pasteurization — which involves heating milk to a specific temperature for a set period of time — kills harmful microorganisms that can be present in raw milk.

The raw milk bill, which originally passed 18-16 in the Senate and 81-19 in the House of Delegates, would have allowed dairy farmers to distribute raw milk through herd sharing agreements…

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