Raw milk in CT

You remember that guest post I promised from James on cheese making? Well, he added a bit too much salt to his raw milk camembert (though it is otherwise gorgeous)… Cheese is tough to make, because you learn from your mistakes 6 weeks later.  But it’s rather satisfying when things go right. I mean, seriously, how many people can say they make cheese? Aside from people who really make cheese. Or grad students who need a hobby to keep sane. But I digress…

The real issue I wanted to bring to your attention today is that he may not be able to make cheese for much longer. At least, not raw milk cheese.

CT is considering imposing new restrictions on raw milk producers.  You can read all about it here.  The bill, which proposes to enhance raw milk labeling requirements, limits sales to farms, and increases testing requirements, is a response to an e coli outbreak that was linked to a farm in Simsbury.  As I understand it, the outbreak was contained to 14 people, as the farm had stopped distributing milk as soon as their tests indicated they had a problem.   Yes, this is serious, but somehow, I’m guessing peanut butter won’t require farm sales or warning labels only anytime soon.

There are actually excellent raw milk and raw milk cheese producers in CT that  would experience a serious hardship if this proposed legislation were to pass (more details here, if you’re interested).  If you have any interest in this, and you live in CT, consider writing a letter. If you don’t have time to write one, I can send you the draft James put together. Just post a comment.

UPDATE: The proposed restrictions died at the committee level.

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8 Comments

Filed under local farms, milk

8 responses to “Raw milk in CT

  1. Thanks for raising the issue. If raw milk and products are labeled as such, I don’t get the Nazism in banning it.

    A fellow up here in Canada is in court because he keeps selling it.

    Surely gov’t has bigger fish to fry, no?

  2. liz

    Thanks for the comment, Peter. I don’t get it either. The warning labels (and signs, which stores already post near the raw milk) already are pretty scary. Raw milk is not something you’d buy unless you’ve done some research.

    I guess some of this is prompted by the stink going on about raw milk legislation in CA, which actually has some major raw milk producers (who still sell only in farmer’s markets and health food stores). I have a feeling lobbyists are involved in this whole mess, somehow … It’s too bad, really.

  3. Haha i want to make cheese

  4. It’s a shame that this has even gone to committee. Quite frankly, the government has no right telling us what we can and cannot ingest.

    Make no mistake about it – if these bills are passed, they are effectively a raw milk ban.

    I would put my life on the line that lobbyists are involved. This is how a cartel is created (we’ve seen this in the meat industry, steel, toys, etc.)… Big industry supports new regulations which cancel out any advantages the little guy has. In this case, the new unnecessary tests are so cost prohibitive that they alone would put these farms out of business. However, they also want to only allow the product to be sold at the farm – this will damage the small natural foods stores that sell the product, and make it incredibly difficult for these farms to stay in business.

    As I said, the same thing is currently going on in the toy industry – remember the lead paint incident for toys from China last year? Well, mattel was one producer who lobbied for new regulations on toys. The problem? They got legislation passed which also requires small domestic toy manufacturers to perform these tests – many of these small toy makers are now going out of business because they cannot afford to comply with these damaging regulations.

    This is lobbying 101 – government + big business working together to screw the consumer and the little guys. They preserve their joint monopoly.

  5. R.

    Are you kidding it is about time that this has gone to the comittee. Heres to the bill passing!!!!!

  6. liz

    That is such an intelligent comment, R. Frankly, I don’t see how it should matter to you. If you don’t think it’s safe, don’t buy the milk. It’s that simple.

  7. Andrew Sica

    My sources tell me that the raw milk bill is dead – hasn’t come up for official vote yet by the committee but it lacks any real support. Should see it coming to “official” vote soon.

  8. liz

    yay! Thanks for the update, Andrew.

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