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Getting Closer to Legal Sales of Raw Milk?

South Dakota has just passed a new law requiring a warning label on any raw milk that is sold. As you can see by the language in this new law (see news release below), it’s increasingly apparent that the SAFETY and WHOLESOMENESS of any and all milk sold raw becomes our Number One goal, and now it’s without a doubt our Number One Achilles Heel. There’s currently an accusation of a raw milk food poisoning in TN, where 9 children have fallen ill and the milk is blamed. Each accusation sets our movement back years.

This law, by the way, is extremely discriminatory. Isn’t it odd that SD will require the warning that raw milk can make you sick, but there is no warning on pasteurized milk, which is statistically much more likely to make you sick! How about requiring warning labels on sugary, fake-y junk food?

I remain solidly opposed to legalization of the sale of raw milk in MN until we get some sort of our own certification program to insure that ALL milk sold raw here meets minimal safety guidelines. It’s not easy to do, but it can be done, in fact, it is being done already. I’m a member of a PA group called CARE which is a consortium of over 40 dairies and over 1000 registered customers. CARE has their own inspectors and their entire system is far more rigid than the USDA Grade A inspectors and standards. As you know, Grade A certification is certainly no guarantee of safety. Even back in the day, the Mayo Foundation (now the Mayo Clinic) functioned as their own raw milk certifiers! The hospital got it’s start as one of the premier “Raw Milk Cure” centers for treating the dread diseases of those times, mostly TB and Undulant Fever (both of which were said to be “uncurable”), and they had outstanding success. All the milk they used in the program was required to be certified by specially-trained medical doctors. See the book “The Milk Book-How Science is Destroying Nature’s Nearly Perfect Food” by William Douglass, MD, or “The Untold Story of Milk” by Ron Schmidt, ND.

I can only imagine the horrendous scandal if raw milk sales were suddenly made legal in MN without any sort of screening process or standards! Anyone and everyone could throw scandalously wretched milk into dirty bottles and it would probably create a permanent set-back. It would not only punish the guilty few, we would all go down with the ship. For those interested, we already have those standards as well as the means by which any dairy can achieve them. It’s all written in the Raw Milk Production Handbook by Tim Wightman, which is for sale at the FARM TO CONSUMER LEGAL DEFENSE FUND. Speaking of which, if you are not a member or if you are a lapsed member, this is a great time to join or renew. Nothing you can do is more valuable than to support the only true organization that will eventually gain us the joy of being able to acquire good raw milk and dairy! It’s $50/yr as a member, or $125/yr as a producer or food handler/distributor.

Here’s the SD article that was released today…. As of Dec. 11, all raw milk sold to consumers in South Dakota will be required to carry a label warning consumers that unpasteurized milk can cause illness. These new labeling rules will also require the label to list the name of the dairy and the date of production. State Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch announced the new regulations on Monday.

According to Aberdeen (S.D.) News, South Dakota law allows citizens to request to delay a new rule by as much as 90 days. Lentsch reports that his office has seen dozens of requests though none have been received from state legislators.

“All of those requests for delay, I have not granted,” he said.

The rules come after months of hearings and committee reviews. The Legislature’s rules review committee cleared the rules on the second try after initially telling the department that more work was needed.

These changes are supported by state Health Secretary Doneen Hollingsworth and backed by Gov. Daugaard.

“To delay the rules puts public health and safety at the back of the line, and that never has been our intent,” Lentsch said.

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