Ethan A. Huff
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Maine is one of ten US states that currently recognizes the freedom of individuals to buy and sell raw milk at the farm and retail level (http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/raw_m…). But raw milk sold at farmers markets technically does not fall under the banner of either “farm” or “retail” sales, which prompted a recent crackdown by (nit-picky) Portland, Me., health officials against its sale at such events.
In response to this needless crackdown, farmers, vendors, and patrons who support the sale of raw milk at farmers markets showed up at a recent city council meeting to push for an amendment to lift the ban. And The Portland Press Herald (PPH) reports that members of the Portland City Council’s Health and Recreation Commission have actually recommended approval of an ordinance that will allow raw milk sales at city farmers markets.
But this recommendation is reportedly contingent upon the inclusion of a ridiculous warning pamphlet developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that is filled with the agency’s unfounded biases and superstitions about raw milk’s alleged risks, none of which are definitively backed by sound science.
The CDC still claims, for instance, that raw milk is inherently dangerous, no matter how it is produced, and that pasteurization is a form of “minimal processing” that magically makes milk safe for human consumption. In reality, raw milk produced on clean, small-scale farms is far healthier than the pasteurized milk product sold in stores across North America, which has caused more illness outbreaks and deaths than raw milk (http://www.realmilk.com/rawmilkover…).
Nevertheless, raw milk sales are legal both on the farm and in retail stores in Maine, and the only labeling requirement for raw milk products sold in this manner is that the containers be clearly labeled “not pasteurized.” So what the Portland City Council is suggesting for raw milk sold at farmers market sales is nothing short of a subtle assault on food freedom.
“I just find it cumbersome,” said Larry Bruns, manager of one of the farmers markets in Portland, to PPH concerning the proposal. “Pretty soon you’ll need one of these (consumer fact sheets) for everything we sell at the farmers market including spinach, lettuce and raw greens. It’s a slippery slope you are heading down.”
This article was posted: Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 4:58 am