Email Committee Members Today (2/3/2021)
You can help support the legalization of raw butter sales in Oregon by submitting your testimony on House Bill HB 2612 to members of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee today by 3:15 pm Pacific time. The committee held a hearing on the bill yesterday afternoon; under its rules additional testimony can be submitted for a 24-hour period after the start of the hearing (3:15 pm).
HB 2612 will allow the commercial production and sale of butter made from unpasteurized rather cow milk by licensed dairy products plants. Licensed producers could sell within the state of Oregon to retail stores, restaurants, and direct to the final consumer. HB 2612 charges the state department of agriculture with issuing rules to establish official grades and standards and standards of quality and identity for raw butter within the state. raw butter can then be sold only if it is in compliance with the grades and standards the department sets.
Please act now to legalize the sale of this nutrient dense food.
ACTION TO TAKEPlease submit your testimony supporting the passage of HB 2612 using this link. You must submit your testimony by 3:15 PM Pacific time today (2/3/2021) for the committee to consider it.
1. Write your testimony and then you can either copy/paste it or type it directly as text. You can also submit it as a PDF. Address your testimony to “Chair Witt and members of the committee”. You can also submit testimony on behalf of someone else but give your contact information.
2. Go to the online Submission Form –
— choose a committee, select: “House Committee On Agriculture and Natural Resources” — choose a meeting date, select “2/2/2021 3:15 PM”— choose the bill for your testimony, select “HB 2612 Public Hearing”— enter your first name, last name, email address, your organization or city of residence — in submitting testimony written by someone else or on their behalf, enter that person’s name in the next blank — mark your “position on the bill” as “support”
NOTE: All testimony will be displayed publicly, so please DO NOT include personal information that you do not want available to the public.https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Committees/HAGNR/2021-02-02-15-15/Agenda
TALKING POINTS1. Raw butter has an excellent track record for food safety. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a database tracking foodborne illness outbreaks from 1998 to 2016; during that time there has not been a single foodborne illness outbreak attributed to the consumption of commercially produced raw butter. Neither have there been any foodborne illness outbreaks linked to raw butter consumption since 2016. The sale and or distribution of raw butter is currently legal in 11 other states, including California where one dairy—Raw Farm (formerly Organic Pastures Dairy Company)—has sold over 2 million pounds of raw butter over the past 20 years without incident.
2. Passage of HB 2612 would better enable dairy farmers to make a living and could help stem the decline in the number of Oregon dairy farms. In 1992 Oregon had 1,900 farms with dairy cows, according to USDA data; the latest figures from the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association shows there are 194 dairy farms left in the state.
3. Consumer demand for locally produced foods like raw butter continues to grow. With the current ban on raw butter, Oregon residents travel to California to purchase raw butter, costing the dairy industry revenue. Passage of HB 2612 would keep more of the food dollar within the state.
WAPF will be sending out further alerts on HB 2612 as events warrant.