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Tomblin vetoes raw milk bill; cites public health concerns

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed the raw milk bill Thursday saying signing the bill “would pose a serious risk to public health.”

The bill (SB30) did not allow for the retail sale of raw milk but it called for the establishment of herd share agreements where consumers could co-own a milk-producing animal.

(Read Tomblin veto here)

Tomblin administration Communications Director Chris Stadelman said the governor got input before deciding to veto the legislation.

“The governor heard a lot of concerns particularly from those in the medical community and our DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health—there’s just some real risks to this,” Stadelman said.

Tomblin’s veto message said the bill itself mentions how raw milk has inherent dangers and may contain “bacteria that is particularly dangerous to children, pregnant women and those with compromised immunity.” Tomblin also said the legislature should have put the Bureau of Public Health in charge of oversight.

“This is an expansion without any oversight whatsoever–that was the big concern that medical professionals have expressed. That’s who the governor is looking to here,” Stadelman said.

The governor’s decision was quickly criticized. Delegate Michael Ihle (R-Jackson) tweeted “Remains to be seen if cantaloupe, spinach, tomato gardens will be outlawed as far more have died from diseases they have spread.”

Senator Daniel Hall (R-Wyoming) chimed in on twitter.

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