IDFA joined the National Milk Producers Federation this month in opposing proposed bills in the state legislatures of Montana and Texas that would allow and widen the availability of raw milk sales in the states and further increase the food safety risks associated with its consumption.
The letters, sent to Montana state senators and members of both the Texas House and Senate, highlighted the health risks associated with consuming raw milk and addressed the abundance of misinformation about the supposed health benefits of raw milk.
“It is important to emphasize that no claim to health benefits of consuming raw milk has been substantiated in any of the medical literature. The scientific consensus is that raw milk can cause serious illnesses and hospitalizations, as well as result in life-long negative health complications and death,” the dairy groups said in the letters.
Montana’s bill, H.B. 325, would allow small-herd milk producers to sell raw milk and raw milk products directly to consumers. The bill passed the Montana House in late February.
The state defines a small-herd as one with five or fewer lactating cows, as well as goats and sheep, and would require the products to have warning labels.
Montana law currently prohibits the sale of raw milk to consumers, but a handful of bills have been introduced in the past few years only to be voted down. During this time, IDFA and NMPF sent similar letters to state lawmakers outlining the dangers of drinking unpasteurized milk and urging them to oppose these bills.
Read the letter to Montana Senators.
Two companion bills, H.B. 57 and S.B. 95, would expand the ability of licensed farmers to sell raw milk at farmers’ markets, as well as allow them to make delivery arrangements with their customers. Currently, raw milk is legal to sell on Texas farms with a license.
Read the letter to the Texas Senators and Texas Representatives.
For more information, contact Dave Carlin, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.