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State regulations on raw milk tighten as local food movement spurs demand
PANOCHE VALLEY, Calif. (AP) ' The fight over raw milk is heating up ' to 161 degrees.
As consumers line up at specialty markets to buy the milk, pressure is intensifying on producers.
The recent Raw Milk Survey from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture says five states have adopted stricter standards to regulate bacteria counts in recent years.
And some states are cracking down on farmers selling raw milk to friends.
California allows the retail sale of milk that hasn't been heated to 161 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds. But three people were arrested this week for allegedly producing and selling raw milk without a license.
Raw milk enthusiasts say pasteurization, the process of heating milk to eliminate bacteria, destroys nutrients. Federal health officials say raw milk can cause disease or death.