Arkansas Capitol Almanac

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas proposal to allow some unpasteurized milk sales fails to clear House committee

A proposal to allow Arkansas dairy farmers to sell unpasteurized milk has failed to clear a House committee.

The House Agriculture Committee on Friday voted 9-8 against the bill, which would have permitted the sale of "raw" goat and cow milk at the farm where it was produced. Farmers would have been allowed to sell up to 500 gallons per month on average.

Republican Rep. Randy Alexander of Fayetteville sponsored the measure. He said that farmers should be able to sell unpasteurized milk on their farm as a matter of fundamental freedom. Others supporters said they wanted to buy local milk and have a stronger connection to where their food comes from.

Opponents, including the state Health Department, said consuming unpasteurized milk could put consumers at greater risk for illness.

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North Dakota Senate passes bill banning most abortions as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Senate has approved banning abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

If Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple signs the measure, North Dakota would have the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S., surpassing an Arkansas law passed recently that bans many abortions as early as 12 weeks into pregnancy.

The measure approved by the Senate on Friday would ban most abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. That can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

It's one of several anti-abortion bills the Legislature has weighed this session.

The Senate on Friday also passed a measure that would make the state the first to ban abortions based on genetic defects such as Down syndrome.

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