AmericanFarm.com

Legalizing raw milk makes sense (Editorial)

In recent years, there has been evidence that there are a growing number of dairymen in the Mid-Atlantic area who favor raw milk, or at least would like the opportunity to market it.
There are some indications now that the anti-raw milk passion is fading.
Proposed legislation to approve raw milk sales, of course, milk whose production has been carefully scrutinized,  finds its way onto the floors of legislatures on a regular basis, but in most states, at least to this point, none of those bills has won favor.
For example, a motion to change the long standing ban on raw milk sales in the state has advanced repeatedly on the floor of the Maryland Farm Bureau convention.
Traditionally, it is quashed but, surprisingly in 2013, it lost by only a few votes.
This December, as the delegates gather to review, policy by policy, the organization’s pathways for action in 2015, the Farm Bureau’s stance on raw milk production and sales is expected to get attention from the floor.
Even now, county Farm Bureau representatives are engaged in the policy development process and, according to a Farm Bureau spokesperson, “our dairy committee has discussed the pros and cons” of the issue.
However, nothing will change, neither the policy nor the stated position of the Farm Bureau, “until our delegates vote for something in December.”
Many residents of Maryland — and for that matter in  New Jersey  and Delaware as well,  where raw milk sales are also banned — buy their milk from Pennsylvania farmers.
Often, they buy a “share” of the cow so they are simply purchasing their own milk.
And, as those Pennsylvania farmers have proved, it can be safely produced and bottled in state-inspected and approved dairies.
Folks today, who grew up on dairy farms, did so on raw milk.
When they brought the milk home in a can for the evening meal and tomorrow’s breakfast, the thought of sending it off in the milk truck for pasteurization and bottling, never occurred to them.
It’s time to give thumbs-up to raw milk. After all, it’s simply another step in the current passion for “home grown.”