Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
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Schwarzenegger sours on raw milk bill

October 1, 2008 5:13am

Article from The Central Valley Business Times

A proposal to let the state’s two raw milk bottlers to bypass bacteria standards that treat raw milk like pasteurized milk has been vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“This bill weakens food safety standards in California, something I cannot support,” Mr. Schwarzenegger says in his veto message.

The bill, authored by Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, would have allowed the dairies, one of which is in Fresno County, to adopt an alternative program requiring state-approved guidelines covering everything from milking to grazing.

“Looking past the lobbying techniques, public relations campaign, and legal maneuvering in the courts, one conclusion is inescapably clear: the standard in place has kept harmful products off the shelves and California’s raw milk dairies have been operating successfully under it for the entirety of 2008,” the governor says.

“Based on fears with no basis in fact, the proponents of SB 201 seek to replace California’s unambiguous food safety standards for raw milk. Instead they have created a convoluted and undefined regulatory process with no enforcement authority or clear standards to protect public health.”

There was no immediate reaction from Mr. Florez or the dairies.

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