Both federal and state lawmakers have spoken out against the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (USDA) quest to tighten restrictions on the sale of raw milk cheeses, arguing that the restrictions could make it difficult for small, local artisan cheesemakers to stay in business.
Lawmakers from Vermont and New Hampshire have joined together to write a letter to FDA Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor, arguing that the change in standards “could ban many age-old recipes for raw milk cheese and severely harm artisan cheese producers” in New England.
US State Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Vermont Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), US State Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotee (R-NH), and New Hampshire Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH, 2nd district) all signed the letter.
“Cheese production is an important, and growing, component of our nation’s value-added agricultural economy,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is an economic driver in rural areas across the country, producing good jobs, internationally-recognized brands, and award-winning cheeses.”
One Vermont-based cheesemaker added, “…we are not asking for ‘less’ regulation, we are asking for ‘good’ regulation that is developed transparently and based on solid science.”
The lawmakers and local dairy farmers join the Weston A. Price Foundation in submitting comments to the USDA opposing the unnecessary change in restrictions.
To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org