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Congressman Thomas Massie

Representing the 4th District of Kentucky

U.S. Representative Massie defends peaceful farmers and consumers with Interstate Milk Freedom Legislation

May 18, 2018
Press Release

CONTACT: Nicole.Goeser@mail.house.gov

(202) 225-3465

 

U.S. Representative Massie defends peaceful farmers and consumers with Interstate Milk Freedom Legislation

 

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) will offer bipartisan legislation on the floor of the House today to expand and improve consumer food choices and to protect local farmers from federal interference. Their amendment to the Farm Bill is expected to receive a vote in the next 24 hours and would remove the FDA prohibition on interstate transportation of raw milk while still respecting state laws regarding raw milk.

 

“As a producer of grass-fed beef, I am familiar with some of the difficulties small farmers face when marketing fresh food directly to consumers. My amendment would make it easier for families to buy wholesome milk directly from farmers by reversing the criminalization of dairy farmers who offer raw milk, “said Rep. Massie. “The federal government should not punish farmers for providing customers the foods they want, and states should be free to set their own laws regulating food safety.”

 

Numerous citizens-including many peaceful Amish and Mennonite farmers—have been shut down by the Feds for selling unpasteurized milk to willing consumers (see, for example: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/13/feds-shut-down-amish-farm-selling-fresh-milk/ )

 

Congress has never passed a ban on raw milk. Instead, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did so in capitulation to a lawsuit:https://www.nytimes.com/1984/04/11/garden/ban-asked-on-the-sale-of-raw-milk.html

The FDA should not have the power to shut down peaceful farmers selling milk to willing consumers. It is Congress’s job to legislate. Federal agencies that are part of the executive branch (such as the FDA) do not and should not have this power.

 

This amendment simply says that if two States have legalized the sale of unpasteurized milk, then no federal department, agency, or court may take any action to prohibit or restrict the interstate traffic of milk between those two States. This amendment would prohibit the federal government from interfering with the interstate traffic of raw milk products between states where distribution or sale of such products is already legal.

 

With a debt of over $21 trillion, the federal government also does not have the time, money, or resources to chase down and prosecute peaceful farmers. This is an issue of both personal freedom and smart government.

 

“It’s legal to drink raw milk in 50 states. It is legal to sell raw milk in 28 states. The Feds need to quit arresting farmers for taking raw milk from one raw milk state to another raw milk state,” said Rep. Massie.