Maine Activists Optimistic for Food Rights in 2015

Despite difficulty passing measures by the Maine State Legislature to legalize raw milk and the highly publicized loss of farmer Dan Brown’s case in the Maine State Supreme Court, Mainers remain optimistic about several small food freedom bills which are being fought for in 2015.

At least three bills would legalize the sale of raw milk in some form; one bill would create a “farms-to-farmers markets” certification program; one ambitious bill would create a constitutional amendment declaring that Mainers have a “right to food.”

Representative Craig Hickman, the author of the latter, is himself a farmer and staunch proponent of food sovereignty as well as co-chairman of the Maine State Legislature’s Agriculture Committee.

“When asked Friday whether such an amendment would mean individuals have a right to buy, prepare and eat whatever food they want — whether it comes from a licensed, inspected farm or not — Hickman said he believed such an interpretation would be correct” (see Local Activists Say They’re Optimistic – Bangor Daily News).

The growing number of food-related bills moving through the legislature indicates that many Mainers see food freedom as a pressing issue and will continue to fight for it, despite the opposition they may face.

Realmilk.com is a consumer education project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Visit their website, westonaprice.org.

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Wyoming House of Representatives to Vote on Food Freedom Bill

The Wyoming House of Representatives is preparing to deliver a final vote on House Bill 56, the “Wyoming Food Freedom Act,” which would legalize the sales of homegrown foods from farms directly to consumers without interference from the state.

Wyoming House Bill 56 would apply to all homemade and homegrown foods, including raw milk, eggs, jam and other commonly purchased farm goods. Essentially, this bill would, “…exempt so-called single transactions of food between the producer and any ‘informed end consumer’ from inspections, licensing and certifications by the state” (see Wyoming House Ready to Vote on Food Freedom on Food Safety News).

One of the bill’s sponsors, Representative Tyler Lindholm, points out that people all across Wyoming are already purchasing such foods from neighboring farmers and ranchers; this bill simply legalizes sales that are already happening – sales that shouldn’t be regulated by the state in the first place.

The Wyoming House Agriculture, State and Public Lands & Water Resources Committee already approved Bill 56 by an 8-1 vote in January 2015.

Realmilk.com is a consumer education project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Visit their website, westonaprice.org.

 

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Sneak Attack on Illinois Raw Milk

Show of Opposition Urgently Needed to Stop Attempt to Ban Illinois Raw Milk

The Illinois House of Representatives is considering a ban that will entirely outlaw raw milk for human consumption. Currently, Illinois raw milk sales are allowed if sold directly to consumers on the farm under production regulations. A proposed amendment to HB 4036, which addresses “The Grade A Pasteurized Milk and Milk Products Act,” would remove the clause that allows for on-farm sales of Illinois raw milk.

Section 8 of “Section 5. The Grade A Pasteurized Milk and Milk Products Act” reads: “After the effective date of this Act, no person shall sell or distribute, offer to sell or distribute any milk or milk product for human use or consumption unless such milk or milk product has been pasteurized and has been produced and processed in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Department.”

The proposed amendment would remove the following clause, “The pasteurization requirement of this Section shall not be applicable to milk produced in accordance with Department rules and regulations if sold or distributed on the premises of the dairy farm.”

The Bill passed out of committee on March 26, 2014. The House is in session and on the floor right now. The Bill is waiting to be called up for another reading and short debate.

If you live in Illinois and oppose the amendment to this Bill, please voice your opposition to the Bill’s Chief Sponsor, Rep. Daniel Burke of Chicago, or one of your other State Legislators ASAP. You can find your representatives’ contact information here or here. Call or email them to share the nutritional and economic benefits of continuing to allow the on-farm sales of raw milk.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation.

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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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Dairy Industry Groups Don’t Speak on Behalf of All Dairy Farmers

The Wisconsin Senate is considering a bill that would allow small, local farms to sell raw milk so long as it is labeled as such, provided in a clean container, and complies with DATCP rules for grade A milk regarding appearance and odor, bacterial count, temperature, and other factors.

Unsurprisingly, the FDA, Wisconsin Public Health Association, and the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments oppose the bill. The Dairy Business Association and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association also oppose the bill. Most recently, the Wisconsin Safe Milk Coalition, a group made up of public health officials, dairy processor groups, and dairy farmers also opposed the bill. All groups cited raw milk being “unsafe for human consumption” as their primary reason for banning the sale of raw milk in the state. Continue reading

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Proposed Wisconsin Legislation to Allow Sale of Raw Milk

New legislation that would allow Wisconsin farmers to sell raw milk directly to consumers is currently being drafted at the state capitol.

The proposed bill would allow farmers to sell Grade A raw milk directly from the farm to consumers, so long as the milk is labeled as unpasteurized. Additional “unpasteurized” signs would need to be posted at the farm. Continue reading

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Maine Senate Approves Bill that Allows Farmers to Sell Small Quantities of Raw Milk

On June 5, 2013, the Maine Senate approved LD 1282, “An Act to Help Small Farmers in Selling Raw Milk and Homemade Food Products.” The bill would allow Maine farmers to sell small quantities of unpasteurized milk or unpasteurized milk products (less than 20 gallons per day) directly to consumers without getting a license as long as it is clearly labeled, and sold from the farm or a farmers market within the state.

This bill comes on the heels of the controversial case against Dan Brown, a Maine farmer who was found guilty in April 2013 of selling milk without a license, selling unpasteurized milk without marking it as such, and operating a food establishment without a license.

The bill has gone to the Maine House of Representatives for vote. 

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/06/05/politics/senate-approved-bill-that-exempts-farmers-who-sell-raw-milk-from-licensing-requirements/

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of The Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C.

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Nevada Senate Says Yes to Raw Milk in Las Vegas

On May 28, the Nevada Senate approved a bill that will legalize the sale of raw milk in Las Vegas and across the state. The bill passed the Assembly on a unanimous vote on April 22, and was given a “do pass” by the Nevada Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on May 16. The bill is currently in enrollment.

Nevada’s current state law allows certified raw milk to be sold anywhere in the state, but raw milk produced under the authority of a county milk commission can only be sold in that county. Nye County, located just northwest of the Las Vegas metro area, established a county milk commission last year to regulate Amargosa Creamery as it began to produce raw milk. This bill would allow Amargosa Creamery to cross county lines and sell raw milk and raw milk products in the Las Vegas metro area.

The bill would also prohibit out of state raw milk producers from selling their products in Nevada – a move that would also benefit Amargosa Creamery by removing California dairy producers from the Las Vegas market and cutting back on their competition.

Most Nevada lawmakers are supportive of the bill. Although some have voiced concern about the health risks posed by raw milk, they believe it is better to move forward with a regulatory structure. The new Nevada bill requires labeling, dairy testing and liability.

Realmilk.com is a project of nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation.

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