Raw Milk is Legal for Pets in Georgia (But Not for Humans)

Currently, Georgia state law requires unpasteurized or “raw” milk producers to label their product for “pet use only,” when offered at farmer’s markets or food stands. But a new bill, HB 718, would legalize selling raw milk for human consumption. Unpasteurized milk enthusiasts may soon be able to drink out of a glass, instead of their dog’s bowl.

State Rep. David Stover, who co-sponsored the bill with six other lawmakers, states that the new rule would protect “your freedom to consume what you want to consume.”

Today, the Peach State is one of seventeen states which completely forbid the sale of raw milk for human consumption, and one of four states that allows the sale of raw milk for animal consumption. Seventeen other states have already decided that their citizens have the right to choose to drink unpasteurized milk by allowing its sale on farms. And yet another twelve states have gone even further, allowing the sale of raw milk in retail stores.

Read More: Mississippi Bans Food Bans

In Rep. Stover’s view, the law is unnecessary. “It’s ludicrous to think we can’t buy that product for human consumption,” Rep. Stover said. Though he is not a raw milk drinker, he is supportive of organic and natural foods:

That is just where I stand. I feel it is healthier for you…What else are we going to ban?…meats that aren’t fully cooked?

Restrictive laws on raw milk have come under fire recently, with the Institute for Justice joining the fray as part of its National Food Freedom Initiative. In Oregon, IJ client and farm owner Christine Anderson is fighting for her right to advertise raw milk. Oregon says it’s OK to drink raw milk – you just can’t talk about.

— Phil Applebaum
Phil Applebaum works at IJ as Maffucci Fellow

Sign up to receive IJ's biweekly digital magazine, Liberty & Law along with breaking updates about our fight to protect the rights of all Americans.