An Indiana agency that studied whether the state should loosen its long-running ban on the sale of raw milk says that doing so would lead to human illnesses.
But the report released Friday by the State Board of Animal Health also concludes that the question of whether to allow such sales is "ultimately a political decision."
The Indianapolis Star reports lawmakers sought the report after being asked last session to loosen Indiana's ban on sales of raw, or unpasteurized, milk. Indiana has required pasteurization of milk sold to the public since 1925.
Raw milk supporters contend that pasteurization, which kills harmful bacteria and extends shelf life, depletes milk of beneficial nutrients.
The dairy industry and other opponents contend the threat of E. coli or salmonella should take precedent.