By Pete Kennedy, Esq.
On July 19 the government in the Catalonia region of Spain made the decision to allow the direct sale of raw cow milk from producers to consumers, ending a twenty-eight-year ban on such sales.1 According to the online publication, Food Safety News, “sales can be on the producing farm, in a vending machine or at a retail establishment,”2 not elaborating on whether the farmer must have an ownership interest in the retail establishment that is selling the raw milk.
Until the announcement of the Catalonian government, Spain’s health ministry had been working towards issuing a decree legalizing raw cow milk sales in the rest of the country but due to protests from critics of raw milk, the new Socialist government in Spain has decided to suspend any move on raw milk sales until it has conducted a “full analysis of the issue….”1 Spain banned raw milk sales nationwide in 1990; Catalonia has autonomy in food safety matters so the region can legalize raw milk sales regardless of what the national government does. Spain’s UPA, the Union of Small Farmers and Cattle Ranchers, has asked for nationwide legalization.3
The Catalonian regulations contain a labeling requirement that the raw milk be labeled with an expiration date of no more than seventy-two hours after milking. Those dairy farmers wanting to sell raw milk must notify the local government agency with jurisdiction over livestock operations before beginning sales. The dairies are required to have a written program for the prevention and control of mastitis as well as a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) plan.2
This article first appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts, the Quarterly Journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation.
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