While some states allow raw milk sales and others don’t, the seemingly arbitrary prohibition on interstate raw milk sales has been contentious for some time. In an episode of what looks surprisingly much like good government, American legislators are actually getting together across party lines to act in the interests of people rather than corporations. Good for them. And good for America. We could do with more of that.
“A left-right libertarian coalition led by U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) is sponsoring two bills in Congress to permit the interstate sales of raw milk. Massie says the bills are but the first in a series of “food freedom” measures he plans to introduce. One would overturn the interstate ban on raw milk, while the other would permit interstate shipment of raw milk only if two states already permitted intrastate sale.
The Milk Freedom Act of 2014 (HR 4307) would provide relief to local farmers, small producers and others who “have been harassed, fined, and in some cases even prosecuted” for the “crime” of distributing unpasteurized milk, Massie says. It would prohibit the federal government from interfering with the interstate traffic of raw milk products.
The Interstate Milk Freedom Act (HR 4308) would prevent the federal government from interfering with the trade of unpasteurized natural milk or milk products between the states where distribution or sale of such products is already legal.
Massie says no provision of either bill would preempt or otherwise interfere with any state law regarding raw milk….”
“Today, Rep. Thomas Massie (KY-4) introduced two new bills, the “Milk Freedom Act of 2014,” H.R. 4307, and the “Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014,” H.R. 4308, with a bipartisan coalition of 20 lawmakers. In his press release announcing the new legislation, Rep. Massie indicated these were the first in a planned series of Food Freedom legislation aimed at improving consumer choice and protecting local farmers.
“As a producer of grass-fed beef, I am familiar with some of the difficulties small farmers face when marketing fresh food directly to consumers. Our bills would make it easier for families to buy wholesome milk directly from farmers by reversing the criminalization of dairy farmers who offer raw milk,” said Rep. Massie. “The federal government should not punish farmers for providing customers the foods they want, and states should be free to set their own laws regulating food safety.”
Raw milk is fresh milk that has not been pasteurized, and may contain beneficial nutrients that have not been eliminated by the pasteurization process. Although Congress has never passed legislation banning raw milk, the federal Food and Drug Administration has used their regulatory authority to prosecute farmers for selling raw milk.
The “Milk Freedom Act of 2014” would provide relief to local farmers, small producers, and others who have been harassed, fined, and in some cases even prosecuted for the “crime” of distributing unpasteurized milk. This bill would prohibit the federal government from interfering with the interstate traffic of raw milk products.
Likewise, the “Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014” would prevent the federal government from interfering with trade of unpasteurized, natural milk or milk products between states where distribution or sale of such products is already legal.
No provision of either bill would preempt or otherwise interfere with any state law.
Massie concluded, “Today, many people are paying more attention to the food they eat, what it contains, and how it is processed. Raw milk, which has been with us for thousands of years, is making a comeback among these discerning consumers. Personal choices as basic as ‘what we feed our families’ should not be limited by the federal government.”
During his time in Congress, C4L Chairman Ron Paul was a champion of food freedom and sponsored legislation similar to H.R. 4307. Understanding the Food Freedom issue is vital to understanding personal liberty. It shouldn’t be any of the government’s business what we put into our own bodies, or choose to eat or drink.
Campaign for Liberty is proud to announce our support of both measures and encourage you tocontact your representative and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 4307 and H.R. 4308.”