Georgia has a raw milk bill!
Representative Scot Turner (along with co-sponsor Reps Allison, Brockway, Caldwell, and Spencer) filed HB 718 on Monday.
Currently, raw milk is technically not illegal in Georgia but it can only be purchased for animal consumption (pets, livestock, etc) and you can’t sell it. You see what they did there?
If you’ve ever had raw milk, you understand that the consistency is a bit difficult and it smells like cow, but this issue isn’t about flavor. This also isn’t about the gross process of pasteurization and homogenization to get that “safe” gallon you buy ever week. This is about government overstepping it’s bounds and the legislature finally offering a remedy. Currently, we look to an organization that says alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs are “safe” but the possible dangers of raw milk are so horrific, it must be heavily regulated on the state and federal level. So allow me to articulate a few arguments in favor of raw milk:
- Raw milk is not dangerous for you because you don’t HAVE to drink it. Certainly there is an assumed risk in consuming any type of food/drink, but we cannot fully be “protected” by any government entity. I am allergic to peanuts. They can make me very sick but peanuts are not illegal.
- On the premise that raw milk should not and will not be illegal, citizens of Georgia should have the freedom to trade, barter, consume, sell and purchase goods and services.
- If consumers are willing to accept the risk, they should have the freedom to choose what kind of milk they want to drink. Right now, state law forces people to take raw milk to the black market (yes, people, our government over-regulation has taken us to the black market for milk) where the “all or nothing” mentality actually allows more health and safety concerns.
- The current law criminalizes a behavior that has been legal since the dawn of time. It’s only been in the recent progressive decades of reliance on government to tell us what is and isn’t okay that the raw milk ban has congealed (Again, see what I did there?) People survived for hundreds of years on raw milk.
This issue is about personal responsibility and making your own decisions. If you rally for lower taxes, limited government, and less regulation, raw milk legalization should be on your radar. Don’t be scared. The best thing about raw milk is that if it terrifies you, you can simply get in your vehicle, drive to Publix and purchase the milk of your choice from the grocery. Choices are good. So, we can infer that choosing to support HB718 is an excellent choice if we want more choice and less government interference. 🙂
You are right on with your observations, A little perspective from the food side of milk. I have spent my life involved with the business of producing, processing and drinking milk. Raw milk is the way “nature” intended milk to be consumed. Pasteurization does indeed destroy bacteria in milk. Both good and bad bacteria. In the course of human evolution, the consumption of various milks (bovine, goat, sheep, horse, buffalo, lama, camel, etc.) has allowed the human species to survive. The human digestive system has evolved over thousands of years to use animal fat, protein and sugar (lactose) derived from milk and milk products (cheese, butter, etc) to build musel and organ tissue. Today milk is cooked to death destroying the digestability and the properities of the milk protein. The fat is homogenized making it capabale of being absorbed by the human body unlike nature intended, and the heating of the milk affects the conversion of the lactose sugar in the human body. A very large industry has grown making money by pasteurizing milk. Their lobby continues to influence the federal and state governments policy on the availability of raw milk to the consumer. Raw Milk properly produced and distributed as it is in South Carolina, offers the consumer an opportunity to deterine if they choose to consume Raw Milk.
Ooooh….nooo….”personal responsibility?” Not a welcome subject by the majority of government officials.
Well said. A dose of that all too uncommon – common sense.
I love raw milk. I drive to SC to buy it, where it’s legal. If the dairy keeps its cows clean and healthy, the chance of getting sick from raw milk is VERY small. Personally, I like the consistency and the flavor. Also, raw milk contains GOOD bacteria. (Anybody here eat yogurt). Another fun fact raw milk will keep in your frig much longer than pasteurized, homogenized before turning sour. Like others say, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to buy it. Those of us who prefer it, should be able to buy it here in GA.
Questions that should be prerequisites to any bill being offered: (a) Is it essential for the safety of Georgians so as to protect them from actual harm (a legitimate state interest)? (b) If so, does it affect only a few people or many? Too many bills affect only a handful of people. (c) Is there any cost to the taxpayers that can be justified on a cost vs. benefit basis? (d) Are the freedoms of Georgian adversely impacted? If so, greater scrutiny and skepticism should be applied. (e) Might the time, energy and resources of our legislators be better applied to bills that actually help Georgians in their lives and/or reduce government intrusion and/or reduce the use of taxpayers’ funds? If the answer is even a “maybe,” then, please elected officials whose job is to serve the interests of Georgians, PLEASE DO SO!
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Followup to previous post. Todays milk produced on Georgia Permitted Dairy Farms is the safest and cleanest ever made available for human consumption. The Georgia Dept of Ag. has the facilities, technology and staff to sample, test, inspect and regulate “permitted” raw milk producting farms and products. In order for a Georgia Dairy Farmer to sell raw milk to consumers, the farmer must 1. Be permitted by the State with a permit number posted on their products, 2. Inspected 2 x monthly by the Ga. Dept. of Ag. to determine the proper filling equipment and storage of raw milk on the farm, 3. Hire a Georgia Certified Veteraniarn to test and maintain records on the health of the farmer’s cows and the feed that is being consumed by the cows. 4. Allow consumers access to the permitted farms to view the treatment of the animals and the production of the raw milk. Perform bacteriological test on a daily basis on the milk and other raw products to determine their safety before sale to the public. The Georgia Milk Producers Association is against the sale of Raw Milk. This is because they fear that unregulated and inspected milk and the bad publicity of someone becomming sick after consuming raw milk will damage the reputation of all milk. That is why the Ga. Dept. of Ag.must be in control of this product.