State officials in New Jersey and Illinois have recently taken action to allow the sale of raw milk directly to consumers in their states.
In New Jersey, the State Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on Monday to examine a bill that would allow permits to be issued for the sale of raw milk at the farm level. The committee voted unanimously to move the bill, A 543, out of committee. The bill now moves to the calendar where it may be acted upon by the full Assembly.
Prior to the hearing, IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation sent a joint letter to committee members to urge them to oppose the bill. “Assembly Bill 543 would remove existing regulations prohibiting the direct sale of raw milk, consumption of which has been opposed by every major health organization in the United States, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics,” the letter stated.
IDFA will continue to oppose the bill and send a similar letter to the Assembly leadership if the Assembly decides to take up the bill before the current session ends on December 31.
Similarly, the Illinois Department of Public Health has proposed regulations that would allow consumers to purchase raw milk directly from a farm. The regulations would also allow consumers to enter into a cow share program in which they could purchase a partial ownership stake in a cow that would then entitle them to a portion of the raw milk produced by that cow.
The comment period on the new regulations lasts through October 20, and IDFA intends to file comments urging the Department to reconsider its position.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding raw milk in the states, please contact Kyle Shreve, manager of legislative affairs at IDFA, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-3533.