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Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms and protecting
consumer access to raw milk and nutrient dense foods.
Federal Legislation
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SUPPORT HR 778

Ron Paul Introduces HR 778 to Repeal Interstate Raw Milk Ban

Take Action Now!

HR 778 would repeal the current ban1 on raw milk and raw milk products for human consumption in interstate commerce.  This means easier access to raw milk for consumers.  By rolling back FDA’s efforts to shut down the supply of raw milk, it will be easier for farmers to make a living.

HR 778 needs co-sponsors.  Your help is needed.  Now is the time to mobilize consumers and farmers across the U.S.!!

ACTION TO TAKE

Urge your U.S. Representative and the House Energy & Commerce Committee to sign on as co-sponsors for HR 778.   Send a message by the “Support HR 778 Now” petition at http://bit.ly/Support_HR778 then follow up with calls, faxes and/or visits.

Here are some talking points for letters and calls:

1.  The bill upholds consumer freedom of choice.  The consumption of raw dairy products is legal in all fifty states.   The bill enables consumers to exercise their legal right in States where the sale of raw milk and/or raw milk products is illegal or where there are no in-State sources.

2.  The bill honors States’ rights.  Decisions about the safety of raw milk should be made at the state and local level, not by the federal government.

3.  The bill supports family farms by expanding their markets for raw dairy products.  The bill increases the chances of survival for those dairies that are no longer able to subsist solely on the income from the dairy cooperative system.

4.  The bill promotes the local food movement by connecting consumers with producers who happen to live just across state lines. 

5.  The bill would free FDA to focus on the pressing problems in our food system, e.g., tainted imports and under-inspected large-scale food processors.

* * * * * * *

Find your U.S. Representative and Senators at http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/ or call the Capitol Switchboard, (202)224-3121.  Visit www.farmtoconsumer.org

SUPPORT HR 778 - BACKGROUND

On January 28 Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced HR 778

“to authorize the interstate traffic of unpasteurized milk and milk products that are packaged for direct human consumption.”

The sale of raw milk is currently illegal in about half the States.  As the law currently stands, raw milk cannot even be shipped from a State where its sale is legal into another State where the sale is also legal.  Under HR 778, consumers would be able to enter into transactions to obtain raw dairy products from other States without being in violation of federal law.

As Congressman Paul stated in introducing the bill,

Americans have the right to consume these products without having the Federal Government second-guess their judgment about what products best promote health.  If there are legitimate concerns about the safety of unpasteurized milk, those concerns should be addressed at the state and local level.”

FDA’s position is that “raw milk should not be consumed by anyone, at any time, for any reason.”  The agency is working to impose this belief upon those who would disagree.  FDA is currently pushing some States to toughen their laws on raw milk production and sales while trying to move other States to ban the sale or other distribution of raw milk altogether.  Rather than meddling in the States’ exercise of their police powers, FDA should be focusing its resources and attention on the many problems that exist in our faltering industrial food system.

Under the bill, the federal government

“may not take any action…that would prohibit, interfere with, regulate, or otherwise restrict the interstate traffic2 of milk, or a milk product, that is unpasteurized and packaged for direct human consumption solely on the basis that the milk or milk product is unpasteurized….” 

In honoring States' rights, the bill would not force a State to legalize the sale of raw milk by producers within its boundaries nor would it force a State to allow the sale of raw milk from out-of-State producers in its retail stores.  
Lifting the ban would promote the local food movement by making nearby markets accessible to small dairy farms, increasing the farms’ chances of survival during difficult economic times.

 

121 CFR 1240.61 states “no person shall cause to be delivered into interstate commerce or shall sell, otherwise distribute, or hold for sale or other distribution after shipment in interstate commerce any milk or milk product in final package form for direct human consumption unless the product has been pasteurized….”

2The bill defines “interstate traffic” as “the movement of any conveyance or the transportation of persons or property…from a point of origin in any State or possession to a point of destination in any other State or possession….”