A bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced an amendment to the House Farm Bill designed to make it easier for consumers to access raw milk.
As part of the ongoing debate of the so called “Farm Bill,” three representatives have introduced an amendment to prohibit the federal government from intervening in state laws which allow for the sale of raw milk. The House Rules Committee will debate a number of amendments on Tuesday and Wednesday before a potential floor vote later this week.
On Tuesday the panel held a discussion with House Agriculture Chairman K. Michael Conaway and ranking member Collin C. Peterson on the five-year farm bill, which deals with policy for nutrition, conservation, organic standards, crop insurance and other programs. The current version of the farm bill expires on September 30. Rollcall reports that the Rules Committee will be looking at more than 100 amendments on Wednesday.
One of those amendments pertains to the distribution of unpasteurized, or raw, milk across state lines. Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced an amendment which “prohibits federal interference with the interstate traffic of unpasteurized milk and milk products between States that allow the distribution of unpasteurized milk or milk products for direct human consumption.”
Thomas Massie warned that the federal government might put people in prison for transporting unpasteurized milk across state lines. “If it’s legal to sell raw milk in two different states, why would the federal government put you in prison for taking milk between those two states?!,” Massie tweeted. “I have an amendment to the farm bill to fix this injustice… #pasteurizationwithoutrepresentation”
If it’s legal to sell raw milk in two different states, why would the federal government put you in prison for taking milk between those two states?! I have an amendment to the farm bill to fix this injustice…#pasteurizationwithoutrepresentationhttps://t.co/BYeKCoyuSC
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) May 15, 2018
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Massie has been fighting for the freedom to transport and sell raw milk since at least 2014. At that time Massie was one of 18 lawmakers participating in a bipartisan coalition who introduced two bills aimed at giving farmers the freedom to transport milk. They introduced legislation to improve consumer food choices and to protect local farmers from federal interference. “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,” Massie said in a statement. “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 fight for raw milk is also being fought on the state level. In February, Natural Blaze reported, “Utah Senate committee passed a bill would expand raw milk sales in the state. Passage into law would take an important step toward rejecting a federal prohibition scheme in effect.” Utah Senate Bill 108 (SB108) would expand existing laws relating to raw milk sales from producer to consumer in the state. This would allow a milk producer to sell up to 120 gallons of raw milk per month to consumers. However, the milk bottle would have to include the warning “This raw milk has not been licensed or inspected by the state of Utah. Raw milk, no matter how carefully produced, may be unsafe.”
The idea of fighting for “food freedom” or “milk freedom” might sound silly but the issues bring to mind very important debates. Namely, are “we the people” willing to stand by and accept a federal government which believes it can put a free human being in prison for selling milk?
I am not asking if the action is legal according to the federal government, but is it moral? Is there a victim of this supposed crime? If the farmer has voluntarily sold the milk (or any product or craft) to interested customers – without force or coercion – there is no victim and thus there is no crime. Currently the federal government believes it has the right to compel all the people living in the American landmass to stop selling milk or face imprisonment.
They do this because they believe they own the people. The federal government operates under the belief that they have authority over the will of the people. Also, many of the people blindly accept this belief in authority and allow themselves to be led astray. At the end of the day, whether we are talking about selling raw milk, growing cannabis, dealing in alternative currencies, etc. people should be free to organize and exchange as they please as long as all relationships and agreements are voluntary and consensual. The government always works to prevent or limit these free and voluntary relationships. The answer to raw milk freedom, food freedom, and freedom, in general is to opt out of these governmental, authoritarian systems at every opportunity and support the creation of alternative and counter economic institutions. Opt out of the systems that are not in line with your values and support those which do align with your values.
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1, Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2 and Manifesto of the Free Humans.
Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact [email protected]
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