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Friday, February 16, 2007

Raw Milk

By Margaret Dayton
Utah State Senator, District 15

Let's have a raw discussion about milk.
The issue: Raw Milk
The question: Availability
HB311 was the subject of many emails, interestingly enough, many from around the nation!
As the Senate sponsor of said bill, I would like to give an explanation of the bill which I was pleased to sponsor in my chamber.

In spite of the multiple emails lauding - or criticizing - the effects of raw milk, HB311 does not deal with any of those issues.

HB311 is about making raw milk available to those who want it.

Currently there are 3 ways to obtain raw milk in Utah:
1) go to the dairy and purchase raw milk from the dairyman
2) have someone give you raw milk as a 'gift'
3) join the cow-share program*
* The Cow-Share Program operates this way: you want to buy raw milk and are told that you can only buy milk if you own a part of the cow. You agree to buy a part of the cow. You pay approx. $15 to buy a part of the cow. No designation of what part you own is necessary :) You can now buy raw milk - and you never have to meet your cow or her caretaker. This is the most unregulated part of the raw milk operation in Utah.

HB311 does the following:
  • It makes raw milk more available by allowing dairy operations to sell their raw milk in an outlet which is closer to consumers IF the dairy maintains total control of the milk under very regulated conditions and if the dairy owns at least 51% of the outlet.

  • Wherever raw milk is sold, there must be an obvioius sign that the buyer is getting raw milk lest the consumer get confused that perhaps he is buying pasturized milk.

  • It allows for raw milk to be sold ONLY in places where pasturized milk is not sold

  • There are regulations and annual reports to the legislature required of dairys that sells direct to the consumer

  • It eliminates the cow share program
HB311 has been heard in a House committee, has been voted on in the House of Representative, has been heard in a Senate Committee, and has now been debated on the senate floor. It still needs one more vote to pass - and then needs the signature of the Gov.

If the bill passes, people may still obtain raw milk by driving to the dairy and buying from the dairy. This bill is written with the hope that consumers who do not live near a dairy could have the option of buying raw milk from an outlet closer to their homes.

Let's all drink a raw milk toast to HB311. :)

11 Comments:

Anonymous Jeremy said...

Hurray for legalized raw milk!!!

Thank you senator for your small but effective efforts at beating back our nanny state just a little!

2/16/2007 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Help me out here.

Why do away with the cow share program?

Why do you want to only allow raw milk “to be sold ONLY in places where pasturized milk is not sold”?

2/16/2007 8:36 PM  
Blogger theorris said...

What do doctors have to say about this and what about the spread of infectious disease? That is why milk has been pasteurized for the past what 100 years?

2/19/2007 9:00 AM  
Blogger montare said...

@theorris,

Raw milk is only dangerous in the context of modern, filthy, massive dairy farms. It is filth and eating other cow parts that lead to pathogens in the milk, and not the milk itself. Otherwise we'd all be dead, because as you noted pasteurization was only introduced 100-ish years ago to correct problems introduced by industrialized society into the milk supply. Before that humans had thrived on raw milk, in some societies eating almost nothing but raw milk, for millenia.

In fact the raw milk I drink is tested by USU and is frequently 100 times cleaner (lower pathogen count) than pasteurized milk tested off the shelf at Smith's. And unlike the milk from smith's it doesn't taste as if it's been filtered through a sweaty sock.

All that aside, HB311 includes very strict regulations, enough that participating dairies simply won't be able to be massive or filthy, so there is minimal risk of spreading infectious diseases.

2/20/2007 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a specious argument, moderate. MANY human ancestors undoubtedly died because of infectious disease spread in milk production. You cannot blame everything on industrialization. Bacteria were not created by industrialization. Human and farm cleanliness, as well, was not a top priority in the past. Here is an article for you: http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2004/504_milk.html

Discounting it because it comes from the evil federal government is an ad homonim argument.

Enjoy your brucellosis.

2/22/2007 5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Milk is always trying to keep raw milk down.

This bill is clearly the most important bill the Legislature will face this year.

2/23/2007 8:28 AM  
Blogger Henwhisperer said...

Don't read any articles by the Feds, for heaven's sake. They don't want anyone to eat wholesome, whole, clean food from grass fed animals. That flies in the face of globalization. realmilk.org tells the truth.

This bill is a sham. It gives control to yet another agribiz and shuts out the small guy. What could be the reasoning behind banning cow shares, hmm? To give the corporate boot jacks another assured profit center. The problem with this bill is that it benefits only one large dairy in Utah and would make it very difficult for other dairies to compete or to sell their milk in stores.

Don't you see the strategy emerging here--pass legislation "legalizing" raw milk sales but banning cow shares. Then make it very difficult to obtain a license to sell raw milk, thereby keeping out many small farmers, and even all farmers.

The good Senator says, "You can now buy raw milk - and you never have to meet your cow or her caretaker", which proves she knows nothing of the type of people who buy raw milk. In fact, it proves that she has never set foot on a grass farm. This type of customer, indeed those who buy cow shares, *knows* the farmer that milks the cows because THAT IS THE REASON FOR buying locally produced foods. This type of consumer, myself included, buys from local farmers because we want to stay out of the industrialized food chain that does not care about what they feed the animals only about the profits.

Wake up Utah! Wake up America!

2/27/2007 10:12 AM  
Blogger readandbewise said...

Having raw milk a CHOICE for those who want it is imperative. Visit www.realmilk.com and LEARN what pasteurization and homogenization does to milk. I choose REAL MILK and I don't see why I should have that choice taken away from me. Go REAL MILK!

7/30/2007 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to buy raw cow's milk, but the closest place to Salt Lake City is Payson. Are there any closer locations???

9/27/2007 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bad parts of this bill are 1. what it throws down the tube (i.e. Cow Shares) and 2. it forces out small raw dairies that cannot "own 51% of the retail outlet". Too bad.

12/12/2007 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Utah on a farm and drank raw milk. You can't beat the flavor. I also used home made butter.

As I understand it Pasteuration was invented for Beer not milk. I also agree, this bill was writen to give only one dairy the ability to sell milk because they own 51% of the store. Not fair for the smaller producers.

6/17/2008 9:17 AM  

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