Legislation – Connecticut
Pete Kennedy, Esq. July 2009
This past legislative session,the Connecticut Department of Agriculture was responsible for having two anti-raw milk bills introduced. Under existing law, sales of raw milk in retail stores is legal. One bill [HB 6313] proposed restricting the sale of raw milk to the farm where it was produced; this bill died in the Joint Committee on Environment.
A second bill [HB 6312] which mainly concerned the sale of adulterated milk and milk products, contained a provision that effectively banned herd shares unless the dairy farmer has a retail raw milk license. HB 6312 also died in committee but was later resurrected and attached to a bill on fertilizer. The bill passed the Legislature and was signed into law by the Governor.
The law in Connecticut now is that the operation of a herd share by an unlicensed farmer is illegal. In addition, unlicensed farms can only produce raw milk and any other raw milk product for "personal consumption or for consumption by immediate family members." It is now against the law for an unlicensed farmer even to serve raw milk to a guest.
Farmers, food store owners and consumers have banded together to try and stop the state from removing raw milk from retail store shelves. Read more
"Not only has the bill, which would have banned the sale of raw milk in retail stores, died in committee, but the producers have teamed up with several legislators in an alliance to protect farms and dairy production across the state." Read more
Background: The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CDA) is pushing legislation that would not only make sales at retail stores illegal but would increase production costs for licensees to such an extent that it would be much more difficult for many to remain in business. As a result, at least two bills related to raw milk have been introduced and assigned to the House Environment Committee. For more background, go to http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/news/news-20jan2009-5.htm.
Legislative Bills: HB 6312 and HB 6313
Feb. 5, 2009 http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/aa/aa-05feb2009.htm
Jan. 20, 2009 http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/news/news-20jan2009-5.htm
Feb. 13, 2009 D. Gary Cox, Esq. Offers Testimony http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/news/news-13feb2009.htm
History of Raw Milk in Connecticut: http://www.realmilk.com/happening.html#ct
Press and Posts:
July 5, 2009 - Legislation is Udder Nonsense
Mar. 15, 2009 Bill Proposes Restrictions on Raw Milk Sales
Feb. 16, 2009 Cloistered Nuns Speak Out for Raw Dairy
Feb. 15, 2009 A New “Solution” for the Raw Milk Problem? Make Dairies Pay for the Privilege
Feb. 13, 2009 Got Raw Milk? It Oughta Be Your Choice
Feb. 10, 2009 Willis, Others Oppose Raw Milk Sales Restrictions
Feb. 9, 2009 Connecticut's Raw Milk Proponents Mount a Counter-Offensive to State Ag's Anti-Retail Campaign
Jan. 5, 2009 The Heavy-Handed Approach to Raw Milk Regulation: Northeast’s Supply May Be Seriously Dented by CT Moves