As a law maker, you are charged with representing your voters and passing laws that represent the will of the voters. More and more consumers have discovered that pasteurized milk is highly allergenic and more and more people have a hard time digesting pasteurized milk, yet, at the same time, more and more consumers are reporting that when they drink raw milk they do not suffer milk allergies and raw milk is easily digested. This emerging dynamic has become a major legislative initiative across North America with more and more states legislatures reviewing raw milk laws.
As a result of consumers leaving pasteurized milk, farmers across North America have been suffering lower and lower milk prices as a direct result of this processed milk market depression.
The current dairy markets are run by just a handful of huge processors that pay the farmer very little for raw milk. In 2009, Deans Foods was fined more than $30 million for price fixing and cheating farmers on pay price. As a result, thousands of dairies went bankrupt and many farmers committed suicide. During that same year, Deans Foods posted all time high profits. This is the story of modern dairy markets.
Fueled by educational outreach, the internet and strong raw milk markets in a few states that permit raw milk sales, the legislatures in states that do not allow raw milk sales have been approached to change the anti raw milk laws that restrict raw milk sales.
The Raw Milk Institute is a tool and resource for farmers that produce raw milk. It provides farmers with effective food safety plans and Common Standards to follow in order to manage and reduce the risk of raw milk production. In areas where these practices are used, long track records of food safety have been established.
We invite you to review the data and see for yourself how safe raw milk can be if managed properly. We have the insight, the plans, the technology and track record to be able to manage raw milk effectively as raw milk begins to re-enter the market place to serve farmers with high value added product markets and fully nourish consumers all over North America. It will be the change of laws that favor farmers and consumers over processors’ interests that will ultimately serve our citizens. When you here a processor say that raw milk is dangerous, please consider the source of the information. That processor is protecting his market and using data that is more than 100 years old. We agree that certain dairy practices widely used in the 1880’s were very dangerous. But, this is now 2011 and we understand proper conditions, cleanliness, and bacteria testing. We understand food safety plans. The best measure of human consumption raw milk safety is a review of data from those states that allow raw milk retail sale. The track records are excellent.
As you are pressured between mothers who want safe clean raw milk and processors that demand to protect their market share, please understand this. The processors need to change to accommodate the consumer. Some of the processed products are simply not palatable and need to be changed. The guiding hand of the dollar vote is telling the processors this message. Please allow this message to be sent.
When farmers reconnect to their consumers, the farmers are fully paid and the consumers are fully nourished. That is an All American story of good capitalism. Please support farmers and their consumers as they strive to reconnect in their long disconnected food chain and make America stronger and healthier.