Congressman Massie, Chellie Pingree and a bipartisan coalition of 18 other lawmakers introduced legislation on March 26 to improve consumer food choices and to protect local farmers from federal interference. The two bills—the “Milk Freedom Act of 2014” and the “Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014”—are the first in a series of “food freedom” bills that Rep. Massie plans to introduce this year.
By Heather Callaghan
This might not be a common scenario in your household, but it could be if you live near a state border and travel to a farm for fresh food and dairy.
You go to your farm source and pick up your rich-tasting nutrient dense white gold. Plus, all the non-tampered with veggies – straight from the ground. What a great buy! Drinking raw milk has given you strength and energy – you've never felt better or more grateful. You drive back home crossing the state line. You've just broken the law!
But the consequences fare much worse for the farmer who produced those goods. They are heavily watched, harassed and raided by various government agencies, including health departments sometimes accompanied by the cops.
Mark Mcaffe of Organic Pastures Dairy once posed this rhetorical question in response to the claim that interstate transfer bans were about public safety: How can a product …
The Milk Freedom Act of 2014 (HR 4307) would provide relief to local farmers, small producers and others who “have been harassed, fined, and in some cases even prosecuted” for the “crime” of distributing unpasteurized milk, Massie says. It would prohibit the federal government from interfering with the interstate traffic of raw milk products.
The Interstate Milk Freedom Act (HR 4308) would prevent the federal government from interfering with the trade of unpasteurized natural milk or milk products between the states where distribution or sale of such products is already legal.
“As a producer of grass-fed beef, I am familiar with the difficulties small farmers face when marketing fresh food directly to consumers. 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,” said Rep. Massie. “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.”
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