Support Legal Raw Milk Sales
Tell Your Senator to Amend & Vote YES on SB 24–043
The Colorado Senate Agriculture Committee will be holding a hearing at 1:30 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 18) on Senate Bill 24-043 (SB 24-043), legislation that would legalize raw milk sales in Colorado. SB 24-043 would allow sales direct to the consumer by raw milk producers that have registered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE); sales can occur at the location where the raw milk is produced, the consumers residence, or a farmers market or roadside market. Under current law, raw milk distribution is allowed only through herdshare agreements, and delivery is mainly limited to the farm where the milk is produced.
The bill also has transportation and labeling requirements and gives the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) the power to adopt rules governing “safe storage, handling and transportation requirements for raw milk that is sold or offered for sale….”
The bill does have a penalty provision (35-62-104) giving the CDA commissioner the power to refer a violation of SB 24-043, or rules issued pursuant to it, to the state Attorney General’s office or a District Attorney to bring a civil or criminal action. The commissioner also has the power to fine the offender up to $1000 per violation; under the bill, each container of raw milk sold in violation constitutes a separate violation. The bill should be amended to remove this draconian penalty provision.
ACTION TO TAKE
1. Call and/or email your state senator asking him or her to support SB 24-043 with the request to amend the bill to remove the penalty provision. Calls are best. A list of senators is here. It is especially important to contact a senator if he or she is a member of the Senate Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee; click here to see the list of committee members.
Go to “Find My Legislator” to look up your senator by entering your address at https://leg.colorado.gov/find-my-legislator
You may copy/paste this email address block to reach all seven committee members:
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Testify at the hearing in person or remotely. A link on how to testify is here, which also appears on the Committees webpage as a button for “Public Testimony”.
1. SB 24-043 will increase raw milk access, better enabling producers to meet the growing demand for raw milk.
2. The bill will increase revenue for raw milk producers by increasing the venues they can distribute raw milk in and increasing the number of customers they can sell raw milk to; some raw milk consumers don’t want to put up with the administrative requirements of herdshare agreements.
3. The penalty provision is draconian and will discourage raw milk producers from taking advantage of the new law. The Colorado herdshare law does not have similar penalties; under SB 24-043, each container of raw milk sold in violation of the new law constitutes a separate offense. Existing law is sufficient to address any violations threatening the public health.
WAPF will send out further alerts on SB 24-043 as events warrant.
SB 24-043 – https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb24-043
Find My Legislator – https://leg.colorado.gov/find-my-legislator
List of legislators – https://leg.colorado.gov/legislators
Senate Ag committee – https://leg.colorado.gov/committees/agriculture-natural-resources/2024-regular-session🖨️ Print post