It’s about time we had someone try to bring some sanity to the issue of criminality behind raw milk. Thank you, Rep. Massie!
Farmers across America continue to be harassed and fined for distributing unprocessed milk. This has been a problem to hard-working American families even before former congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced his Unpasteurized Raw Milk Bill, HR 1830, in 2011.
Now, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) has announced he is dropping two separate bills addressing the same issues with the goal of restoring the farmers’ right to distribute milk, and the consumer’s right to choose what he or she wants to put in their own bodies.
Dairy farmers across the country find themselves in trouble with the law over the Food and Drug Administration’s strict guidelines, which end up pushing the raw milk business to the sidelines, turning it into a black market and thus increasing the risks associated with the poor processing quality. When laws are too strict, farmers can no longer make use of the protection of an open market where they compete freely. Consumers are the ones who lose.
While many doctors continue to defend the reasons why people may prefer to drink raw milk, many others will say that raw milk is in fact hazardous and must be kept from consumers, for their own good.
While the open debate is always important, banning a consumer item solely on the premises that it may eventually cause somebody harm is just not compatible with living in a free society, where individuals are aware they might have to face certain risks every now and then but are also entirely free to opt out.
Rep. Massie’s “Milk Freedom Act of 2014,” which reportedly counts on the support of least 18 co-sponsors, would provide relief to small and local farmers who have been directly affected by the harassment perpetrated by federal government bullies for distributing raw milk. The “Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014” would keep the federal government from interfering with the process of distribution of raw milk across the lines of two states in which the sale of raw, natural milk is already legal.
“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,” Massie said in a statement. “Our bills would make it easier for families to buy wholesome milk directly from farmers by reversing the criminalization of dairy farmers who offer raw milk.”
“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,” the Kentucky Republican added.
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) is the leading Democrat on both bills. According to Massie’s office, both bills have received the support from both Heritage Action and Campaign for Liberty.
Folks concerned with the sovereignty of state laws regarding the sale and distribution of raw milk can rest assured that none of the bills’ provisions would interfere with state laws.
The following representatives are co-sponsoring the “Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014”: Paul Broun (R-GA), Walter Jones (R-NC), H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Andy Harris (R-MD), Raul Labrador (R-ID), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Ted Poe (R-TX), Jared Polis (D-CO), Scott Rigell (R-VA), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Scott Perry (R-PA).
Co-sponsors of the “Milk Freedom Act of 1014” include Polis, Rohrbacher, Gohmert, McClintock, Rigell, Jones, Stockman, Broun, and Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI).