IDFA sent a letter last week to New Jersey state senators urging them to oppose a bill that would permit producers to sell unpasteurized milk direct to consumers. The bill, A 743, passed the State Assembly last week and was received in the Senate where it has been referred to the Economic Growth Committee.
"The dairy industry has an excellent food safety record with less than one percent of all foodborne disease cases associated with pasteurized milk and dairy products, as reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention," said Jerry Slominski, senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, in the letter. "Unfortunately, this reputation is tainted by the much higher incidence of food-related illnesses from raw, unpasteurized milk and other raw milk products."
IDFA has consistently opposed the sale of unpasteurized milk to consumers, because it may contain harmful bacteria that can cause life-threatening illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration recommend that no one consume unpasteurized milk, and federal law prohibits the retail sale of unpasteurized milk across state borders.
Raw milk regulations vary by state, however, and some states allow the sale of raw milk to local retail food stores or directly from the farm to consumers within their borders. Ten states have introduced bills expanding access to raw milk this year, and IDFA will continue to monitor and oppose these bills.
Read the letter here.
For information on the status of the other raw milk bills, members may login to view the State Legislative Matrix.