FDA Rejects Petition Seeking Exemption from Raw Milk Ban

By Pete Kennedy, Esq.

The FTCLDF raw butter lawsuit followed an FDA rejection of a petition. This petition asked that the FDA exempt from enforcement action any farmers shipping raw dairy products in interstate commerce, if they followed certain labeling requirements. In April 2017 the Real Food Consumer Coalition filed a petition asking the FDA to use its enforcement discretion not to take action against farmers who put information on their labels warning of the risks of consuming raw milk and raw milk products along with instructions on how to pasteurize milk.

In its one-page response denying the petition, the FDA claimed, “Requests for the agency to exercise enforcement discretion are not within the scope of the FDA’s citizen petition procedures.” The agency stated that the regulation governing citizens petitions do not cover “referral of a matter to a United States Attorney for initiation of court enforcement action and related correspondence.”

This article was published in the Winter 2019 issue of Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Pete Kennedy Pete Kennedy is a Florida attorney who has worked on issues governing raw milk production and distribution since 2004. He compiled a summary of raw milk laws in each of the fifty states and is currently a consultant for WAPF on, among other things, policies and laws regarding raw milk. Pete was a founding board member of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) and served as vice president and then president for many years. He has consulted on and drafted raw milk, cottage foods, and food sovereignty legislation; drafted and reviewed herdshare agreements; worked on embargo, seizure, and recall cases involving raw dairy products; worked on foodborne illness outbreaks attributed to raw milk consumption; handled issues involving on-farm slaughter, custom meat, and poultry processing as well as problems with zoning and local ordinances.