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Ark. lawmakers approve sale of unpasteurized milk

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would allow farmers to sell unpasteurized milk.

By a 19-11 vote, the Senate approved a bill permitting the sale of "raw" milk from cows and goats at the farms where it's produced. Farmers would be allowed to sell up to 500 gallons per month on average. The House had approved the bill on Saturday.

Supporters of the legislation say the government shouldn't restrict consumers' freedom to purchase unpasteurized milk.

Opponents say raw milk presents an unnecessary public health risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells consumers to avoid raw milk because it can carry harmful bacteria and other germs. The measure now heads to Gov. Mike Beebe's desk.