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FTCLDF provides testimony before the Environment Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly

February 9, 2009

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation both provided written and oral testimony yesterday before the Environment Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly.  The comments were directed in opposition to House Bills 6312 and 6312 which dealt with, respectively, adulterated products and raw milk sales.

The Committee, which consists of members from both the House and the Senate, welcomed the comments of Foundation Board Member Dr. Ted Beals and General Counsel Gary Cox, both of whom were invited to speak by Representative Diana Urban, an opponent of the two bills.  “We were very glad to have this opportunity to educate the members of the Committee on the importance of requiring adequate and appropriate testing rather than drafting legislation which requires inappropriate testing requirements” said Board Member Beals.  “I believe given the questions the Committee asked us, the Committee members now understand the difference between a pathogen that causes illness and a pathogen that does not cause illness” Beals went on to say.

HB 6313 seeks to eliminate Connecticut’s long standing tradition of allowing raw milk to be sold in retail outlets, and it would also have required every dairy farmer to test the feces of every single cow.  “We’re glad to see that the Department is withdrawing its fecal testing requirement, recognizing it is overly burdensome and unwarranted” said Cox “and we were glad to address to the members of the Committee the stealth attack on herdshares, that would have been rendered by language in the proposed bill.”  HB 6312 seeks to make illegal the “offering for barter or exchange” any raw milk that comes from a dairy farm or facility that is not licensed or registered.

Dozens of raw dairy activists were in attendance, including many families with children and teenagers, some of whom testified.  In addition, Connecticut members of the Legal Defense Fund displayed Fund t-shirts and bumper stickers, and raw milk was passed out to some of those in attendance.  The two bills, drafted by Connecticut’s Department of Agriculture and supported by the state’s Department of Public Health, are currently in committee.  For the language of the two bills, go to this link:  http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/envdata/cbr/TBFRAMECBR4.HTM.

Read the testimony

 

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