Hearing for Maryland Cow Boarding Bill Scheduled for January 28, 2014

On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, there will be a public hearing on bill HB 3 “Raw Milk/Consumer-Owned Livestock,” which would reintroduce Maryland citizens’ right to engage in cow boarding with dairy farmers in the state.

Delegates James Hubbard (D-23A) and Nic Kipke (R-31) introduced the bill in an effort to revive Maryland’s dairy industry. Currently, thousands of Maryland residents source farm-fresh milk from out of state. Cow boarding, or cow sharing, would allow these residents to legally purchase raw milk from local farms. 

“The dairy farmers in Maryland need our support,” says Delegate Hubbard. “We’ve lost over 225 dairy farms between 2002 and 2010. I hope to see our dairy farms thrive. I sponsored this legislation so that consumers can obtain fresh milk in Maryland and support our farmers…Because this is what consumers are seeking, having access to raw milk in Maryland would encourage local food and local retail sales, generate taxes, and the earned dollar would be encouraged to stay in the community and the state.”

In addition to the economic benefits for Maryland farmers, the passage of this bill would mark an important step in consumer rights and food freedom. 

To show your support for the bill, please consider attending.

January 28, 2014 1pm

House Office Building, Room 241

6 Bladen St, Annapolis, MD 21401

For more ways to show your support for the bill, click here.

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Op-Ed Points Out Raw Milk Is Not One of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Foods

One Oregon dairy producer wrote in to the Capital Press in defense of raw milk, pointing out that it is not considered one of the country’s top 10 most dangerous foods.

Jude Sandberg explains what prompted his letter: “[I object to] your statement that ‘We think unpasteurized milk and products made from it are inherently dangerous.’ More precisely, I would like to point out that there are lots of raw foods we eat regularly that have some level of danger, but people insist on singling out this particular raw food as a major threat.”

Sandberg compares the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton’s lists of the ten most dangerous foods to eat: leafy greens, eggs, tuna, oysters, potatoes, cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, sprouts and berries.

“It is a lot easier to make sure milk is kept clean than berries or greens, and it bothers me when people are cavalier in the diligence necessary to providing clean milk, because it gives all producers a bad name,” he writes.

“This is a legal product to offer and it is raw…People will make their choices and I don’t boil my lettuce either, nor my strawberries. I just don’t like being singled out. If you want to say in your opinion piece that, ‘We don’t think people should eat raw food,’ fine. Just please don’t say mine is worse than the top 10 dangerous foods.”

Read Jude Sandberg’s letter in full here.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

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Illinois Dairy Work Group Disbanded

After months of tumultuous meetings and growing frustrations between raw milk dairy producers and representatives of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Dairy Work Group has been disbanded.

The Dairy Work Group was created in an attempt to create an open dialogue between state dairy farmers and health officials in hopes of finding compromise for new raw milk regulations. In November, some of the raw milk producers involved with the group expressed concerns that their views were being ignored or misrepresented by the committee.

The November 4th meeting turned out to be the group’s last, reports Donna OShaughnessy, one of the pro-raw milk members of the Dairy Work Group, on her blog. OShaughnessy explains that she received an email from Molly Lamb of the IDPH on November 21 that the group was being disbanded and participants should submit their final comments on the proposed regulations by December 2.

The disbanding came as a surprise; OShaughnessy writes that “at no time during the [November] meeting did Molly or Steve tell us that it was our last meeting.” The group was in the middle of discussing a two-tier dairy program for the state and was having significant disagreements over the Tier 1 portion.

“We did not discuss any requirements for Tier 2, as we had said many, many times that we would not move forward until Tier 1 rules were agreed…Obviously all the work we’ve done the last few months is just the beginning,” writes OShaughnessy.

The Dairy Work Group began as an opportunity for people on both sides of this controversial issue to find compromise, and quickly proved to be an uphill battle. Now, the future of raw milk regulations in Illinois remains uncertain.

Read the rest of Donna OShaughnessy’s side of the story here.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

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Small Dairies in South Dakota Decide to Stop Selling Raw Milk Due to New Regulations

On December 11, 2013, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture implemented new, stricter regulations on raw milk that has already forced at least one small dairy to stop selling the food.

After the new regulations were announced but before they went into effect, the owner of Black Hills Milk in Belle Fourche made her own announcement: the dairy would stop selling raw milk because the new regulations, including one that sets the maximum coliform level at 10 parts per milliliter, would make it too difficult to continue.

Dawn Habeck, co-owner of Black Hills Milk, explained: “The coliform level increases every minute after the milk comes from the cow’s udder. [It] only drops after it’s pasteurized. So the rule basically makes it impossible to sell raw milk.”

Gena Parkhurst, Secretary of the Black Hills chapter of Dakota Rural Action, argues that coliform is a naturally occurring bacteria in raw milk that can be beneficial for human health, and points out that maximum levels of coliform vary widely between states.

“The [new] rules are burdensome, confusing and basically anti-business,” Parkhurst says. “We’re supposed to be the most business-friendly state, so why is the department being so hard on raw milk producers?”

Katie Konda, a policy analyst for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, says that the new coliform level is not unattainable and raw milk producers in nine other states meet the same requirements.

Read more about the dairies’ struggle to adjust to the new regulations here.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

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Raw Milk Victory in Foxborough, MA

Sales of raw milk will continue in Foxborough, Massachusetts after the town’s Board of Health rejected proposed regulations that would ban the food.

The Foxborough Board of Health was considering new regulations that would limit the bacteria count of raw milk to a more stringent level than current state regulation, which, as a result, threatened to put one local farm out of business. More than 200 customers, community members and raw milk advocates flooded the public hearing to show their support for the farm and fight against the proposed changes.

Following the 2-1 vote, board member Paul Mullins said, “Sometimes too much government isn’t a good thing…there was nothing seriously egregious that said we needed to further restrict [state regulations].”

“We’re just really grateful that they didn’t put us out of business, which they could have done if the vote had gone the other way,” said Terri Lawton, a former state dairy inspector and owner of Lawton’s Family Farm. “We’re really relieved. We have a very small, very old family farm, and it’s really important to all of us that it continues going.”

Lawton’s Family Farm has been in operation for 281 years and, for the time being, is safe to continue providing community members with fresh, wholesome raw milk.

Read the full article in The Boston Globe here.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

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Wisconsin Governor Unlikely to Sign Raw Milk Bill in January 2014

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is unlikely to sign the raw milk bill that was passed on November 12, 2013, according to statements he made during a December 3rd speech at the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association’s annual meeting.

Referring to the pathogens found in raw milk, which many believe can be dangerous, Walker told the dairy association that he would not approve any bill that put children at risk. The dairy association has asked the governor to veto the bill, which would make it legal for dairy farmers to sell raw milk and raw milk products directly to consumers on the farm.

The Wisconsin Legislature will resume on January 14, 2014, at which point the raw milk bill will be eligible for floor action.

Read more here.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

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