Got (Raw) Milk?
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, an organic farmer and member of the House Agricultural Committee, has recently signed on as a sponsor of House Resolution 1830. This bill was introduced by Congressman Ron Paul, and seeks to lift the ban on the interstate transportation of raw milk for human consumption. The FDA ban is also being challenged by a lawsuit filed in February 2010 by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.
An online petition system has been set up which allows people to quickly and easily contact their congressmen and urge them to co-sponsor and support the bill. Visit FarmToConsumer.org to sign the petition online.Lifting restrictions on raw milk sales would benefit the increasing number of Americans seeking whole, unprocessed dairy products.
According to Kimberly Hartke, publicist for the Campaign for Real Milk, “Because of restrictive laws governing raw milk in some states, consumer access to artisan dairy products is often a problem. For rural dairy farmers whose closest population center is across a state line, the federal ban on crossing state lines to sell fresh milk is also a hindrance to success.”
The sale of raw milk for human consumption is already prohibited by Florida law. The ban on raw milk sales also includes sales through cow-share programs. According to Elie Barnes, director of marketing and membership services at Ever’mans Natural Food Co-op, only raw milk clearly labeled “For Animal Consumption” can be sold legally in Florida.
She says, “We stock Paw Paw’s Raw Milk as a pet food, and there is a great demand for it. It is very difficult to find raw milk in this area.” Due to the current laws prohibiting all sales of raw milk for human consumption, HR 1830 would not bring drastic changes for Florida consumers. It would, however, allow Florida dairy farmers to cross state lines to sell their raw dairy products. Additionally, the bill could serve as a first step towards broadening freedom of choice regarding dairy products.
To learn more visit RealMilk.com and FarmToConsumer.org. Paw Paw's Raw Milk (for animal consumption) is available at Ever'Mans Natural Food Co-Op. The store is located at 315 W. Garden St., in Pensacola. For more information, visit Everman.org or call 850-438-0402.