Massie, Pingree introduce bill to allow interstate traffic of unpasteurized milk
Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, on Friday introduced a bill to prohibit what they called “federal interference with the interstate traffic of unpasteurized milk and milk products that are packaged for direct human consumption.”
In a news release, Massie and Pingree said, The Interstate Milk Freedom Act (H.R. 5410) “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 bill 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.”
“Federal agencies, such as the FDA, that are part of the executive branch do not and should not have the power to shut down trade between peaceful farmers and willing consumers. It is Congress’s job to legislate,” said Massie. “Our Interstate Milk Freedom Act would make it easier for families to buy milk of their choice by reversing the criminalization of specific dairy farmers.”
“So many people across the country want to make sure their food is fresh and local — including fruits, vegetables, and even their milk,” said Pingree. “Raw milk is currently the only food banned for interstate commerce — an onerous regulation that hurts small farmers for selling milk straight from their cows to the consumer.”
The conventional dairy industry has opposed interstate commerce in raw milk on the grounds that it can lead to food safety problems and illness.
This legislation was introduced as an amendment to the 2018 farm bill. It was also introduced as a standalone bill in 2015 and 2014.
Massie owns 50 head of cattle on his off-the-grid farm in northeastern Kentucky. Pingree raises grass-fed beef and chickens on her island farm in North Haven, Maine.
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The House passed S.4054, the Grain Standards Reauthorization Act of 2020, by voice vote.