As Americans celebrate Memorial Day to honor those who have died for supposedly preserving freedom, we have a lopsided House vote 331-79 against freedom. The idea of freedom is the subject of great academic and focus group debate. But in practice, it's a hard thing to maintain, especially with regards to food freedom, and especially raw milk freedom.
My friend Rep. Thomas Massie from Kentucky attached an amendment to the farm bill to allow the interstate sale of raw milk for direct human consumption. Nearly 40 states now allow the sale of raw milk to some degree. A farm located near a state border often struggles for sales when it can't go across state lines with its product.
Imagine two adjacent states allowing raw milk sales, but farmers on the border can't sell into the neighboring state. This is not a states' rights issue (I'm a huge fan of states' rights) because the current interstate ban is a federal regulation. Massie's amendment would simply remove the prohibition.
According to an article in Country Folks Mid-Atlantic, May 28, 2018, "overwhelming opposition from a strong coalition of dairy farmers, processors, consumer groups, food safety advocates, federal and state public health regulators, the medical community, and other key stakeholders led to the defeat . . . "
That list pretty much covers everyone, except the food freedom heretics who would like a little less tyranny. Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation said "This amendment defies decades of proven food safety by removing requirements for pasteurization, which has [notice the incorrect grammar] been cited by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as one of the great achievements in public health in the 20th century." Of course, that's a gross obfuscation of the bill.
If I live a mile from a state border and it's legal to purchase unpasteurized milk in my state and my neighbor dairy farmer who lives across the border can't sell to me, this is not a pasteurization issue because unpasteurized milk is legal; it just can't be sold across the border, which is ridiculous. What does traveling a mile across an arbitrary boundary have to do with safety?
And yet these grand inquisitors yell "safety" as if such a charge is gospel. Our soldiers fought and died for this? Really? What a shame.
Where do you get your raw milk?