Group meets in Hurricane, WV to work for easier raw milk access - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Group meets in Hurricane, WV to work for easier raw milk access

Posted: Updated:

A group of raw milk and food freedom advocates met in Hurricane, WV this week to discuss plans to try to improve access to raw milk in West Virginia.

Farmers, milk consumers and public health officials are all weighing in on the issue. 13 News originally reported about the raw milk debate several weeks ago.  It was a topic that struck a chord with many people in the region.

Currently, it is illegal to buy or sell raw milk in West Virginia.

Maria Moles with Meadow Branch Farms in Bomont, WV is a farmer who has dairy cows that yield several gallons of milk daily. She wants to be able to sell that milk. She was at the meeting this week in Hurricane. People at the meeting were from several counties in West Virginia.

"There are hundreds of West Virginians who have come out and said they want raw milk and access to it and they are willing to work towards that," Moles said.

Advocates for raw milk say raw milk can be more nutritious than milk that has been pasteurized.

During a previous interview on this topic Brad Cochran with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said raw milk is a risk to public health.

"From a public health side, West Virginia is one of only 20 states that still does not allow raw milk sales to the consumer," Cochran said. "It protects the public."

During the upcoming regular session of the West Virginia Legislature the group of raw milk advocates will ask law makers to soften the laws in the state relating to raw milk access.

The group is planning to push for herd shares, which would allow people to buy a share in a farmers herd or board an animal on the farm. Herd share participants can legally access the milk.

West Virginia is one of only a few states that has specific language making herd shares illegal.