Support Raw Butter Sales –
Tell House Ag Subcommittee to Vote YES on HB 532
House Bill 532 (HB 532), a bill to legalize raw butter sales by those dairy producers holding a dairy plant license, passed out of the House Agriculture and Natural Resource Subcommittee last week and is now scheduled for a hearing by the full committee on Wednesday, March 20 at 2:00 p.m. In Tennessee bills on any subject must pass out of both houses before the governor can sign the legislation into law. Senate Bill 358 (SB 358), the companion bill with the same language as HB 532, has already passed the Senate.
It is crucial that supporters of HB 532 contact the House committee members to ask that they support legal raw milk sales. Last year a bill that would have legalized raw butter sales failed in this House committee after passing out of the Senate. It’s likely that the bill’s opponents will be trying to convince the committee members to vote against the bill on the grounds that it is a public health threat, a charge that is completely false (see Talking Points below).
ACTION TO TAKE
1. CALL and/or email Committee Members asking them to vote “YES on HB 532 for Raw Butter Sales”. Call if at all possible; calls usually make a bigger impact than emails. See contact info for the full list of committee members at the end of this email.
You may copy/paste this block to send an email to all Committee Members; phrase any of the Talking Points in your own words. It’s best to follow up with phone calls to ensure your email is received and read.
Subject: Vote YES on HB 532 Raw Butter Sales
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2. ATTEND the hearing which is taking place at the Cordell Hull Building, House Hearing Room III at 2:00 p.m. Central, Wednesday, March 20, 2019. Your participation can make a difference.
Cordell Hull Building
House Hearing Room III
425 5th Avenue N.
Nashville, TN 37243 (directions)
1. Raw butter has an excellent track record for safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), foodborne illness database which runs from 1998-2016 there is not a single case of foodborne illness attributed to the consumption of commercially produced raw butter; Organic Pastures Dairy Company (OPDC) in California has sold over 2 million pounds of raw butter without a single complaint.
2. The bill will expand consumer access to nutrient-dense raw dairy products and keep more of the food dollar in the community.
3. HB 532 will enable the dairy farms that do have a dairy plant license to make a better living through the sale of a high demand value-added dairy product—raw butter. Even dairy farms without the license could benefit by having additional demand for their milk.
4. The number of dairy farms in Tennessee has declined tremendously, dropping from 600 in 1997 to less than 200 today. Legal raw butter sales can help save some of the remaining dairies.
Please share this alert with others.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS – House Agriculture and Natural Resources
Staffers are listed below since you will likely speak to them when you call.
Rep. Curtis Hallford (R-79) – Chair & Subcmte member
Staff: Becky Cantrell
Rep. Chris Todd (R-73) – Vice Chair & Subcmte member
Staff: Robb Cagle
Rep. Jesse Chism (D-85) – Subcmte member
Staff: Monica Burks
Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-55) – Subcmte member
Staff: Debra Webb
Rep. Andy Holt (R-76) – Subcmte member
Staff: Shelby Vannoy
Rep. Bud Hulsey (R-2) – Subcmte member
Staff: Bridget Fendler
Rep. Kelly Keisling (R-38)
Staff: Weston Davis
Rep. Pat Marsh (R-62)
Staff: Laura Bond
Rep. Debra Moody (R-81)
Staff: Colleen Curtis
Jay D. Reedy (R-74) – Subcmte Chair
Staff: Jennifer Beckwith
Rep. Mike Stewart (D-52)
Staff: Sara Morehead (Legislative Asst, Kathy Chambers (Policy & Research), Ken Jobe (Press Sec)
House Ag Committee Staff –
Becky Cantrell 615-741-7478
Jeremy Maxwell, Research Analyst 615-741-1100, ext 45083
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