Laws around raw milk sales could change soon

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CARTHAGE, Mo. — A Lamar lawmaker is hoping to make statewide changes in how raw milk is sold, a change that could boost business for a Carthage dairy.

The owners of Marlee’s Creamery sell grade a retail raw milk – which state law allows them to do.

But they say conflicts in those laws are limiting how they sell that milk and their potential for growth.

Leesa Robinson with Marlee’s Creamery said, “We are the only one that’s retail raw permitted and inspected in the entire state of Missouri.”

Mark and Leesa Robinson have been bottling milk at their dairy near Carthage for ten years.

It’s been tough to turn a profit – especially with current limits on how they sell their Grade A retail raw milk.

“One law said yes we can sell holding that Grade A retail raw processing permit and the other one said we can’t sell.”

Right now, they can sell out of Marlee’s Creamery itself and by delivery.

But they’ve been told they can’t move to bulk sales, a restriction that they take issue with.

“MO adopted the FDA food code as the Missouri food code within that, it created a conflict in the law.”

The Robinsons are now working with State Rep. Ann Kelley to address that issue.

Kelley plans to pre-file a milk bill, hoping to smooth the way for what she calls a tough business.

Missouri Representative Ann Kelley (R) said, “I feel like Missouri has just hindered that even more and so we’ve seen dairy farmers go out of business all the time, this is what’s going to happen with Marlee’s Creamery if we don’t do something .”

Pre-filing on those bills can start as early as December first – so in just a few days.

Kelley worked on a similar bill in the last session, but that measure did not make it through.

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