By Pete Kennedy
Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund
A number of raw milk bills have been introduced in the state Houses in the current legislative session. What follows is a state-by-state summary of the bills that have been introduced. [Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Texas, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and Wyoming. Plus, see litigation Case Updates.]
IOWA – House File 394 (HF 394), a bill that will allow the sale of raw milk and raw milk products to individuals on the farm and through delivery by producers, was voted out of the House Economic Growth Committee and was scheduled to go to the full House for a vote. Dairy farmers selling under the bill would be subject neither to licensing nor inspection. State law currently prohibits any sale of raw milk and raw milk products other than cheese aged sixty days or more. Supporters of the bill subsequently determined they did not have the votes for passage and withdrew the bill from the House debate calendar. With the Iowa legislative session being two years, the bill can be put back on the debate calendar next January without having to be either reintroduced or passed through committee again.
MASSACHUSETTS – Legislation has been introduced (HO 1995) that would allow licensed raw milk farmers to deliver raw milk directly to the consumer off site from the farm. The farmer may also contract with a third party to deliver raw milk to the consumer. Current law allows only the on-farm sale of raw milk by licensed farmers. In the last year, the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture and Resources (MDAR) has threatened enforcement action against buyers clubs that have sent agents out to the farm to pick up raw milk for club members.
A second bill, the “cowshare” bill, would establish the right of those who have a partial or complete ownership interest in a dairy animal to legally obtain milk from that animal for the owners own personal use. The bill was introduced in response to recent threat by MDAR that it will take action against farmers operating cow- or herd-share programs.
Read full post at Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund