Utah House Passes Bill To Expand Raw Milk Sales, Reject Federal Prohibition Scheme

FEBRUARY 17, 2020

By Mike Maharrey

Last Friday, the Utah House unanimously passed a bill that would further expand raw milk sales in the state. Final passage of this bill would take another important step toward rejecting a federal prohibition scheme in effect.

Rep. Kim Coleman (R-West Jordan) filed House Bill 134 (HB134) for the 2020 legislative session. The bill would expand raw milk sales to allow permit holders to sell raw milk cream and butter. The current law only allows the sale of pure raw milk even by those holding a permit.

On Feb. 14, the House passed HB134 by a 60-0 vote.

HB134 builds on an expansion of raw milk sales Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law in 2018. Under that new law, a milk producer can sell up to 120 gallons of raw milk per month to consumers without meeting stricter requirements under the current permitting program, providing certain conditions are met.

Passage of HB134 would not only take another step toward opening up the raw milk market in the state; it would also advance efforts to nullify a federal raw milk prohibition scheme.

Impact on Federal Prohibition

FDA officials insist that unpasteurized milk poses a health risk because of its susceptibility to contamination from cow manure, a source of E. coli.

“It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” agency spokeswoman Tamara N. Ward said in November 2011.

The FDA’s position represents more than a matter of opinion. In 1987, the feds implemented 21 CFR 1240.61(a), providing that, “no person shall cause to be delivered into interstate commerce or shall sell, otherwise distribute, or hold for sale or other distribution after shipment in interstate commerce any milk or milk product in final package form for direct human consumption unless the product has been pasteurized.”

Not only do the feds ban the transportation of raw milk across state lines; they also claim the authority to ban unpasteurized milk within the borders of a state.

“It is within HHS’s authority…to institute an intrastate ban [on unpasteurized milk] as well,” FDA officials wrote in response to a Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund lawsuit against the agency over the interstate ban.

The FDA clearly wants complete prohibition of raw milk and some insiders say it’s only a matter of time before the feds try to institute an absolute ban. Armed raids by FDA agents on companies like Rawsome Foods back in 2011 and Amish farms over the last few years also indicate this scenario may not be too far off.

When states allow the sale of raw milk within their borders, it takes an important step toward nullifying this federal prohibition scheme.

We saw this demonstrated dramatically in states that legalized industrial hemp even as the federal government maintained virtual prohibition. When states authorized production, farmers began growing industrial hemp, even in the face of a federal ban. Despite facing the possibility of federal prosecution, some growers were still willing to step into the void and begin cultivating the plant once the state removed its barriers. Eventually, the pressure on the feds led to the repeal of hemp prohibition.

In the same way, removing state barriers to raw milk consumption, sale and production would undoubtedly spur the creation of new markets for unpasteurized dairy products, no matter what the feds claim the power to do.

It could ultimately nullify the interstate ban as well. If all 50 states allow raw milk, markets within the states could easily grow to the point that local sales would render the federal ban on interstate commerce pointless. And history indicates the feds do not have the resources to stop people from transporting raw milk across state lines – especially if multiple states start legalizing it. Growing markets will quickly overwhelm any federal enforcement attempts.

WHAT’S NEXT

HB134 will not move to the Senate for further consideration. At the time of this report, it had not been assigned to a Senate committee. Once it receives a committee assignment, it must pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process. (Click to Source)

 

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Entire Volcano in California is “Moving” – Quakes May Signal Trouble

longvalleycaldera

When people think of California, they may think of Earthquakes.  Most folks don’t even know there are volcanoes there, but there are.  At least two:  Lassen Peak and the much larger Long Valley Caldera near Mammoth Lakes.

In 1915, Lassen Peak erupted and wrecked a huge portion of the state.  Over the last 100 days, the much larger Long Valley Caldera has begun acting-up.  And what it’s doing has Geologists at the US Geological Survey “concerned.”  The Caldera – the mouth of the Volcano – is . . . . moving.  

According to scientific instruments monitored by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) the area in vicinity of the Long Valley caldera is deforming and moving rapidly compared to previous records. How sure are they? “95% (confidence interval), the (data) ensemble is significant”

The data is showing on a recent timespan that the amount of movement is causing STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT STRAIN in the rock in the area. This is not conspiracy-theorist conjecture or amateur geology antics, this is from the USGS itself.  Here’s the actual data – if it looks to you like gobbledygook, you’re not alone; scroll down for an understandable explanation: (Click to Site)

Calif. governor proclaims state in a drought

LOS ANGELES –  California is nearly as dry as it’s ever been. High water marks rim half-full reservoirs. Cities are rationing water. Clerics are praying for rain. Ranchers are selling cattle, and farmers are fallowing fields.

Gov. Jerry Brown formally proclaimed a drought Friday, saying California is in the midst of perhaps its worst dry spell in a century. He made the announcement in San Francisco amid increasing pressure from lawmakers and as firefighters battled flare-ups in a Southern California wildfire that chased thousands of people from their homes.

Unless the state gets significant rainfall in the next two months, television sets glowing with wildfires could play like reruns throughout the year.

Reservoir levels in the north and central parts of the state were more depleted than in Southern California, but Brown still asked Los Angeles to do its part to conserve — and gave a nod to the politics of water in the vast state.

“The drought accentuates and further displays the conflicts between north and south and between urban and rural parts of the state. So, as governor, I’ll be doing my part to bring people together and working through this.”

Farmers and ranchers in the nation’s No. 1 farm state already are making hard choices to conserve. Some cities are in danger of running out of water. And the first snow survey of the winter found more bare ground than fluffy white stuff — a key barometer of future supply.

“I am a fifth-generation cattle rancher, and it has never been this bad ever in my lifetime — and from my family’s history, it’s never been anywhere close to this bad ever,” said Kevin Kester, 58. He said his family’s records show the area’s worst drought previously was in the 1890s.

Kester’s Central California ranch normally gets 20 inches of rain between October and April. It’s gotten about a half-inch of precipitation since late fall. His cattle usually graze on lush green hillsides in winter. Now, they’re eating hay instead — a proposition that is too expensive to continue for long.

“I hope it’s something we can tell our great-grandkids about, but right now we’re just trying to figure out how we’re going to survive,” he said.

The drought doesn’t bode well for California’s notorious wildfire season, either.

Previous super-dry years led to catastrophic wildfire seasons in California in 2003 and 2007, said Tom Scott, a natural resources specialist with the University of California system. Fire crews beat back a wildfire southeast of Los Angeles earlier this week, but it was a stark reminder of the dry and dangerous conditions.

“People say that the fire season is starting early, but I guess you could say it never ended,” Scott said. “If you live in the backcountry, come July you probably should be thinking about putting your valuables in storage.”

Droughts also are persisting or intensifying elsewhere in the U.S.

On Wednesday, federal officials said they were designating portions of Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas, Texas, Utah, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Oklahoma and California as primary natural disaster areas, highlighting the financial strain facing farmers in those regions.

Even in the moist Pacific Northwest, things were a little bit drier.

In Seattle, rainfall dropped by nearly 70 percent in December, with just 1.66 inches falling. Ski resorts are opening several weeks late, and a Bavarian-themed town in the Cascade Mountains had to modify its annual “ice fest” because there isn’t enough snow on the ground for activities. A plan to truck in snow was scrapped with high temperatures forecast this weekend.

And despite heavy flooding in Colorado in September, large portions of Colorado and Wyoming are abnormally dry, while ranchers on the plains of southeastern Colorado have severe drought conditions.

In California, the governor’s drought declaration will help battle unemployment in the agriculture industry as fields are left fallow.

Nearly 10,000 people lost their jobs during the last drought in 2009, said Karen Ross, California’s agriculture secretary. The drought also increases the burden on food banks in rural and agricultural communities.

The lack of rain also could have long-standing implications for the demand for crops that are almost entirely exclusive to California.

Eighty percent of the world’s almonds, for example, are grown in California, and the Almond Board of California receives 3 cents for every pound sold to build future demand for the nut. With many almond growers having to irrigate their crops three months early, a smaller crop might put a dent in the board’s ability to market almonds as broadly as it has been, said David Phippen, an almond grower who serves on the board.

“There’s huge implications everywhere you look,” he said. “What about five years down the road?”

Click to http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/01/17/calif-governor-proclaims-state-in-drought/