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California - AB1735 Update

December 4, 2007

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has been retained by Organic Pastures Dairy Company LLC of California (OPDC) to represent it in its challenge to AB 1735, a new law passed by the California Assembly and signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. Although AB 1735 does not expressly outlaw, prohibit or ban the sale of raw milk in California, it’s limitation of 10 coliform in the bottle is so stringent that compliance with the new limit may well be impossible. If that is the case, then the effect of AB 1735 would be to ban the sale of raw milk. The new legislation is expected to go into effect on January 1, 2008.

The Fund is evaluating its options with respect to a legal challenge and is also engaged with OPDC in other efforts to overturn this unacceptable legislation. At this time, the appropriate legal documents have been drafted, potential expert witnesses have been approached, and additional lobbying efforts are underway to overturn this detrimental law. AB 1735 is an unacceptable law because there is no correlation between the presence of coliforms and the presence of pathogens that cause illness in raw milk. Moreover, the law only discriminates against raw milk producers because it subjects dead, pasteurized milk and live, raw milk to the same standard, thereby obviating any benefit derived from raw milk. Stay tuned for impending developments.