Texas raw milk bill countered by false ads from GMO Dairy

Texas Real Milk reports:

“Whether you call it real milk, farm fresh milk, or raw milk, Texans can buy unpasteurized, unhomogenized milk from cows and goats that are raised on pasture-based farms.  But consumer choices are limited by regulations that limit sales to “the point of production, i.e. the farm.”  In other words, to buy raw milk, individuals have to drive out to the farm, which may be 2 or 3 hours away. This regulation burdens consumers and penalizes family farmers.

Texas HB 75 would legalize the sale of raw dairy products by licensed farmers directly to consumers off-the-farm, including at farmers’ markets and private drop points.”

But new ads by Big Dairy have blanketed Texas with false information, reports Judith McGeary of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance:

“Big Dairy opposition to raw milk took a new turn recently when an industry group began running radio ads, across the state of Texas, warning the public away from raw milk.  Not only did the ads include false and misleading information, but the campaign was being funded with farmers’ dollars, including fees levied on raw milk farmers.”

You can help provide consumers with the choice and farmers with the economic opportunity to buy and sell raw milk!  Sign up for action alerts to stay informed.

January 2011 Update

HB 75 now has 4 sponsors and Senator Deuell has filed  the companion Senate bill (SB 237)!  This is a great start.

At the same time, the Big Dairy Industry has started to run radio ads with false and misleading information about raw milk.  We need your help to counter these ads!  Please donate today to help our outreach and education campaign.

Background

Texas law authorizes the Texas Department of Health to regulate the grading and labeling of milk and milk products.  Under the Department’s current regulations, Grade A raw milk “may be sold by the producer directly to the consumer only at the point of production, i.e., at the farm.” 25 TAC §217.32. The Department staff has interpreted the regulation to require that each customer drive to the farm each and every time the customer wishes to purchase milk.

Texas legislators need to step in and protect Texas consumers and family farmers by removing this unnecessary and burdensome regulation!

Key Points for Proposed Legislation

  • Keep the direct farmer-to-consumer relationship (i.e. no wholesale sales), to ensure that raw dairy is available only to those who intentionally seek it out and that the consumers know the source;
  • Keep the sanitary requirements for raw dairy;
  • Remove the unnecessary marketing barrier to the sale of Grade A raw dairy products by allowing farmers to bring raw milk to farmers markets, farm stands, and other agreed-upon locations.

Benefits

  • Improves the safety of raw dairy by allowing producers to transport it to the consumers under safe conditions;
  • By allowing a producer to make a single trip to serve multiple customers, rather than having each customer drive to the farm, this proposal reduces vehicle miles, benefiting air quality, traffic congestion, and public safety;
  • Addresses the needs of elderly, disabled, and low-income consumers who wish to purchase raw dairy products and who have difficulty, or who are unable, to drive to distant farms;
  • Improves farm bio-security.  While the farmers welcome visitors, it is an unnecessary risk to have dozens or even hundreds of people coming out to the farm each and every week;
  • Benefits rural economies because direct farm-to-consumer sales of raw milk can mean the difference between a net loss on the farm and a reasonable income for the farm family.  When family farmers can make a fair living, the economy of the entire community benefits!

Text of Texas Raw Milk Bill:

As introduced on November 8, 2010 by Rep. Dan Flynn, here is the text of HB 75:

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to the regulation of raw milk and raw milk products.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Subchapter A, Chapter 435, Health and Safety Code, is amended by adding Section 35.0061 to read as follows:

Sec. 435.0061. RAW MILK AND RAW MILK PRODUCTS FOR RETAIL SALE.
(a) Except as provided by Section 435.013, a person who holds a permit that authorizes the person to sell raw milk or raw milk products at retail may make retail sales of raw milk or raw milk products directly to a consumer in this state at:
(1) the permit holder’s place of business;
(2) the consumer’s residence; or
(3) any other location where producers customarily sell their products directly to consumers, including a farmers’ market, farm stand, flea market, food cooperative, or fair.

(b) The permit holder may deliver the raw milk or raw milk products to the consumer at the point of sale or any other location in this state the consumer designates.

SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 2011.
==========
For status of HB 75, go to
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=82R&Bill=HB75

For the companion bill in the Senate, SB 237, go to
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=82R&Bill=SB237

Visit Texas Real Milk Project for more details at www.texasrealmilk.org

One response to “Texas raw milk bill countered by false ads from GMO Dairy

  1. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » Food Freedom | Decentralize, Grow Your Own, Buy Local.

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