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Mayor signs ordinance allowing raw milk sales in Albuquerque

Raw milk in a grocery cart
Cheeselave via Flickr
Raw milk in a grocery cart

Mayor Tim Killer signed an ordinance Tuesday that allows raw milk to be sold in Albuquerque stores that opt to carry it. The state and Bernalillo County already allowed retail of the previously-controlled substance.

Raw milk is unpasteurized, meaning it has not gone through a process that helps kill harmful bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns the product can make people sick.

The Albuquerque City Council passed the measure on a 7-2 vote last month. Keller’s Office said in a statement that his administration is, “committed to allowing consumers to make informed decisions when it comes to food.”

In a video posted to Facebook, the mayor said his nephew and sister-in-law were his inspirations for learning about raw milk and helping make it available at city stores.

Fiona Keller said her son Jackson Keller was born with profound diffuse bilateral brain damage.

"And when we were looking at the therapies to help him, one of the practitioners suggested that we try raw milk for its nutritional benefits," she said.

The Raw Milk Institute said those include enzymes, probiotics, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals — similar to breast milk — that are inactive, damaged or “destroyed” in pasteurized milk.

Albuquerque stores that choose to sell it will be required to hold a raw milk permit from the city’s Environmental Health Department.

Nash Jones (they/them) is a general assignment reporter in the KUNM newsroom and the local host of NPR's All Things Considered (weekdays on KUNM, 5-7 p.m. MT). You can reach them at nashjones@kunm.org or on Twitter @nashjonesradio.
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