A Regulation Story With a Happy Ending
The Missourian reports on raw milk and farmers who are threatened by regulation:
Vimont was one of seven farmers to receive violation notices from the State Milk Board last year for selling raw milk out of their homes.
Missouri law requires dairy producers to be inspected, certified and licensed by the board if they wish to sell their products through a third party such as a grocery store or at an event such as a farmers market.
The story has a happy ending, because when board officials learned the farmers were selling from their homes rather than through a store, they apologized and allowed it to continue.
Rep. Belinda Harris is proposing to allow unpasteurized milk and some other dairy products at farmers markets. Personally, I don’t find the risks acceptable and I wouldn’t choose to buy raw milk. But as long as products are clearly advertised as pasteurized or unpasteurized, people should be free to make that choice for themselves. Extending the freedom to farmers markets doesn’t seem like a big deal. After all, the people who show up at the local markets are probably the same neighbors who currently buy raw milk from farms.