Farms cut supplies as tighter rules around raw milk kick in

A small North Island town is set to have its raw milk supply cut off after new, tighter regulations kick in.

A number of farms that sell raw milk are being forced to stop, including the only farm that supplies the Rangitikei town of Marton.

The farms to close include one which supplies the Rangitikei town of Marton. Source: 1 NEWS

Raw milk isn't pasteurised and while many swear by its health benefits it has been linked to listeria, campylobactor and e-coli infections.

Higher levels of testing will be required by raw milk producers and the new regulations change the way farmers can distribute the milk while every customer buying it will also have to register with the farm.

"I want to maintain the choice of people to buy raw milk, at the same time as making sure they are aware and informed consumers," Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew says.

Critics say many of the new rules don't relate to health but the Government insists the changes are aimed at improving the industry.

Massey University is currently conducting a study into raw milk and has been looking at its benefits.

"There are certain risks involved in drinking raw milk and I was actually pleased to see they had not made a decision to ban it completely but better regulate it," Professor Jeroen Douwes says.

"I think it's a good thing for the farmers as well as for the consumers."