Help us improve access to raw milk in Pennsylvania!
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) is proposing revisions to its administrative regulations implementing the milk sanitation laws. The proposed changes include a whole section (Section F) that deals with raw milk and raw dairy products. The deadline for written comments is September 30, 2009.
We need everyone who cares about raw milk access in Pennsylvania to take action! This includes both residents of Pennsylvania and the residents of neighboring states who buy their milk from Pennsylvania farmers. Please submit comments today!
For more information, go to http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/proposed_bills-PA.html
ACTION #1: Send written comments to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA)
Send comments to:
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Food Safety, Division of Milk Sanitation
2301 North Cameron Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110-9408
Attention: Paul Hoge
You can make your comments as long or as short as you like. Personalizing your comments helps them to have a bigger impact. Here are some talking points to get you started:
I urge PDA to make the following changes to the proposed regulations:
1. Exempt direct transactions from the producer to the consumer from the regulations
-Direct farm-to-consumer transactions in raw milk and other farm products have been a boon to the Pennsylvania economy. Improving access to raw milk will improve Pennsylvania’s economy!
-For non-Pennsylvania residents: Note that you send money into the Pennsylvania economy by buying from Pennsylvania farmers.
-Direct transactions between the producer and the consumer are private in nature and do not impact the health, safety or welfare of the “public.”
-The farmer and local consumer have a relationship that is more accountable than anything that could be created by government regulation. Local customers know their food source, and the farmer has every incentive to produce a quality product so that he keeps his reputation and his customers.
-States that allow the unlicensed sale of raw milk direct from farmer to consumer, such as Missouri and Nebraska, have a good track record for food safety.
2. Specify that the testing “for pathogens” should actually be testing “for pathogens that cause illness in humans”
-Many bacteria are called “pathogens,” but not all of them cause illness in humans.
-It is not reasonable to use state resources to test for things that don’t cause illness in people and that therefore pose no public health threat.
-Shutting down a farmer for something that poses no human health risk hurts the farmer, the consumers, and the local economy.
Remember, the deadline for written comments is September 30, 2009.
ACTION #2: Send a copy of your comments to:
Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission
333 Market Street, 14th Floor
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
Fax number: 717-783-2664
The Commission reviews agency regulations for statutory authority and consistency, economic and fiscal impact, and reasonableness. So be sure to pay attention to at least one of those factors in your comments.
ACTION #3: Send a copy of your comments to your State Senator and Representative
You can find your legislators here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/index.cfm.
You can find legislators’ contact information here: http://www.poma.org/News/Legislative/PALegislatorsSenators/tabid/63/Default.aspx.
If you can, follow your letter up with a phone call or even a visit to their office.
For more information, go to http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/proposed_bills-PA.html🖨️ Print post