I recently had to tell one of my children that it is illegal to buy milk from a farmer. It is considered too dangerous for humans to be permitted to produce, sell, and buy milk from one another.
He thought I must be joking. I saw the look of outrage dawn upon his face as he realized I was telling him the truth.
So I was glad to tell him today about a new political movement to legalize unpasteurizeed milk.
A left-right libertarian coalition led by U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) is sponsoring two bills in Congress to permit the interstate sales of raw milk. Massie says the bills are but the first in a series of “food freedom” measures he plans to introduce. One would overturn the interstate ban on raw milk, while the other would permit interstate shipment of raw milk only if two states already permitted intrastate sale.
The Milk Freedom Act of 2014 (HR 4307) would provide relief to local farmers, small producers and others who “have been harassed, fined, and in some cases even prosecuted” for the “crime” of distributing unpasteurized milk, Massie says. It would prohibit the federal government from interfering with the interstate traffic of raw milk products.
The Interstate Milk Freedom Act (HR 4308) would prevent the federal government from interfering with the trade of unpasteurized natural milk or milk products between the states where distribution or sale of such products is already legal.
Massie says no provision of either bill would preempt or otherwise interfere with any state law regarding raw milk.
The bipartisan sponsors clearly have a libertarian bent. In addition to Massie, U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jared Polis (D-CO), Tom McClintock (D-CA), Scott Rigell (R-VA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Paul Broun (R-GA), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Justin Amash (R-MI) are co-sponsors of the Milk Freedom Act.
Massie’s co-sponsors for the Interstate Milk Freedom Act include U.S. Reps. Pingree, Polis, Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), McClintock, Rigell, Jones, Broun, Andy Harris (R-MD), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Ted Poe (R-TX), Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Stockman, Rohrabacher, Gohmert, Scott Perry (R-PA) and Raul Labrador, (R-ID).
When I told my son about this, his first reaction was to curl his lip, shake his head, and say, “I still can’t believe we live in a country where such a bill is called for.”
I had to agree. But we do live in that kind of country. With the government constantly trying to wear us out by thinking up new ways to regulate every part of our lives, we have to push back by constantly trying to get back our freedoms.
As far as raw milk being some kind of health hazard, is that why millions of Europeans are dying from food-borne diseases? Oh wait… They aren’t.
Europe’s embrace of raw milk vending machines isn’t new. Such daring dispensers of unpasteurized dairy can be found in France, Croatia, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and, as one map shows, all over the place in Italy.
This is the stuff that is too dangerous to be legal in the United States. Go figure.