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Organic Raw Milk & Live Foods

California to Lead the Nation with Highest Raw Milk Standards

June 9, 2008

Senate  Bill #201 Comes to Life

Senator Dean Florez said it best when he held hearings on Farm Fresh Milk in April of this year.  He said we want "World Class Raw Milk for California." SB 201, sponsored by Senator Florez, Senator Perata and Assemblymember Berryhill accomplishes just that.

SB 201 starts its abbreviated journey through the legislative process this week. With six hours of Senate hearings and testimony from experts from around the world, the Senate record on raw milk is strong.  Because of the tremendous amount of work by Senator Dean Florez, Senator Don Perata, Assemblyman Mike Villines, Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, Assemblyman Tom Berryhill, Whole Foods President Walter Robb, Sally Fallon, Dr. Ron Hull, Dr. Ted Beals and many others, this world class Raw Milk bill has gathered broad political support.

SB 201 pioneers standards and regulatory protections that:

  • are the first in the nation.
  • are holistic in addressing every critical process in the dairy.
  • provide greater protections for consumers than the standards currently in law.
  • promote consumer choice in California by keeping raw milk available on store shelves.
  • increase food safety protections to ensure that the raw milk sold in California is the safest in the nation. 

CA to Set the Bar for Raw Milk
For the first time in the United States, SB 201 mandates a HACCP (food safety) plan at California's raw milk dairies. This type of individualized food safety plan is presently utilized by food processors in other industries in California, and was deemed to be the best alternative to promote raw milk food safety by a UC Davis scientist at our recent hearing. Whether a raw milk dairy has 20 cows or 400 cows, the cost effectiveness of this highly effective food safety plan is achievable by all.

Under SB 201:

  • Raw milk must be tested for pathogens eight times more often.
  • Each raw milk dairy must provide independent lab samples twice per week.
  • CDFA must test directly for the pathogens that cause illness in humans at least once per month.
  • CDFA may take raw milk samples from any location. 
  • Raw milk dairies may not receive milk from non-raw milk dairies; the protections put into place by SB 201 cannot be circumvented by receiving milk from a dairy not subject to these stringent requirements.
These innovative food safety measures, when taken in their entirety, provide multiple layers of protection to our consumers, ensuring that California continues to be the leader in raw milk food safety.

Your Support Will Be Needed!

The Assembly Agriculture Committee hearing on this bill is scheduled for mid to late June, 2008 (t.b.a.). Your attendance and support are needed. 

Because SB 201 will be designated as an urgency bill, it will go into effect immediately after being signed by the Governor.  The challenge of an urgency bill, however, is that we need a 2/3 majority, rather than a simple majority, for the bill to pass.  This is why your support is crucial!  The California raw milk supply is threatened by AB 1735 and if SB 201 is not passed and signed into law your ability to buy raw milk and dairy products from Claravale and OPDC is in jeopardy. It took just 75 days for the CDFA to stop raw cream from being sold earlier this year based on AB 1735 standards.

We look forward to working with the CDFA as we go forward into a bright new future provided by the new bill. SB 201 provides the world’s safest raw milk a place at the table for all Californians.

All the Best,

Organic Pastures Dairy Company and Claravale Farm