We’ve done a few posts now on proposed bill HR 875 and it’s implications for small scale organic farming, backyard gardening and other good things. This latest (March 23, 2009) excellent summary of concerns around this bill from Sarah Foster at newswithviews.com includes the following discussion of possible impact on raw milk availability:
Could “Raw” Milk Take a Hit?
Many critics are wondering whether they’ll be able to buy “raw” milk if HR 875 becomes law. According to the FTCLDF it’ll depend on the regulations, but the future doesn’t look good. Right now it’s illegal to sell unpasteurized milk across state lines, but some states allow its sale within their boundaries, albeit grudgingly and with heavy restrictions. HR 875 puts even this limited market in jeopardy.
“FDA has long wanted a complete ban on the sale of raw milk. The agency’s mantra is that raw milk should not be consumed by anyone at any time for any reason. The agency does not consider this subject to be debatable…Under HR 875, FSA is given statutory authority to unilaterally impose a ban.” [Emphasis added]
“Under HR 875, FSA has the power to adopt “preventative process controls to reduce adulteration of food” [Section 203], and to issue regulations that “limit the presence and growth of contaminants in food prepared in a food establishment using the best reasonably available techniques and technologies” [Section 203(b)(1)(D)]. FDA has long made it clear that in its opinion the best available technology to limit contamination in milk is pasteurization.”
Even if the FSA doesn’t issue an outright ban, raw milk producers could be harassed out of business instead. HR 875 designates dairies and farms processing milk as Category 2 Food Establishments – and these are to be “randomly inspected at least weekly.”
Read Susan’s whole summary. It’s one of the best out there, in terms of analysing the issues around this latest threat to American food freedom.