Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed last Thursday a bill that would have allowed raw milk produced in any county to be sold across the state. Sandoval cited his concern about the public health risks associated with consuming raw milk as his reason for vetoing Assembly Bill 209.
One week earlier, IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation sent a joint letter to the governor urging him to veto the legislation. Saying the bill would greatly increase Nevadans’ risk of serious illness, they cited data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to cause foodborne illness outbreaks than pasteurized milk.
Debate in South Dakota
A new debate over raw milk is brewing in South Dakota where direct sales to consumers are currently allowed throughout the state. The state’s Department of Agriculture is proposing to make it easier to market raw milk by requiring only monthly testing for pathogens before the unpasteurized milk could be sold to consumers.
In a letter sent last week, IDFA opposed the draft regulations because product testing is not an adequate substitute for pasteurization and does not offer the same level of safety.
“Increasing the availability of raw milk for direct human consumption undermines and detracts from the overall superior food safety record and safe image of all dairy products,” the letter said.
“Raw milk sales cause illnesses, and often deaths, in the United States each year. We strongly urge that you not adopt regulations that allow or promote the consumption of raw milk.”
For more information, contact Kyle Shreve, IDFA legislative coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.