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Raw Milk Products

January 7, 2022
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Elena Bickell

Raw milk is the direct product collected from animals that has not been pasteurized. The federal government prohibits the sale of raw milk across state lines and requires that all milk sold across state lines must be pasteurized. Currently, Missouri farmers can sell raw milk and cream to the final consumer either on the farm or through delivery without being required to have a permit. HB 1977 would allow grade A raw milk or cream that is produced in Missouri to be sold at grocery stores, restaurants, soda fountains, or similar establishments, as long as the milk is clearly labeled with a warning label.  


  • In the U.S., milk is regulated through a series of state rules and other regulations based on the federal Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO). PMO guides state programs to ensure that no major milk-borne disease outbreaks occur.
  • Currently, raw milk access is available in 43 states in some way.
  • Thirty-five states allow the sale of raw milk for human consumption at the farm, through delivery, at the farmers’ markets, or through a "cow-share" program.
  • The rising consumer demand for raw milk products could fall under the Consumer Bill of Rights to choose and the right to safety, as long as the warning label is clearly on the packaging. 
  • Related proposed legislation in Missouri could potentially open avenues for the sale of raw milk or raw milk products for Missouri producers.


  • There is limited research investigating the link of the health benefits and impacts associated with the acute and chronic consumption of raw milk.


This Note has been updated. You can access the previous version (published February 2021) here.

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