Raw milk [rules] myths

The title for this blog post references a new brochure being promoted by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (which you can read here: SDDA raw milk handout 08 16 2013), clearly discouraging raw milk consumption and with a section on “Raw milk myths.” Notably, it outlines the proposed testing standards rather than the real, current standards. So that, then, is raw milk rules myth #1: The proposed raw milk rules have passed.

Fact: The rules were rejected by the Legislative Rules Review Committee. They may be heard again September 17.

Raw milk rules myth #2: Many of the rules are already on the books, and are just being put into one section.

Fact: A half-truth is still a myth, and this is very much a half-truth. While a decent portion of the rules are on the books, many of those rules do not currently apply to raw milk. Significant portions of the proposed rules take current regulations that apply to Grade A milk or raw milk destined for pasteurization and simply copy-and-paste them to apply to raw milk for human consumption. You can see all the new additions in this document here: Rawmilkrules-newsections.

Raw milk rules myth #3: These rules are laying down basic safeguards for consumers.

Fact: Basic safeguards already exist. When the Legislature required licensing of raw milk producers in 2010, a set of standards was put in place for raw milk. These standards include labeling, quality tests for the milk, and standards for the barn where the cows are milked. Consumers are already protected under current regulations. The proposed regulations match some of the highest standards in the country – standards set for retail sales of raw milk, something not allowed by South Dakota state law.

Raw milk rules myth #4: These rules will have little effect on small producers.

Fact: Increased testing will inevitably increase costs not only for small producers, but for the Department of Agriculture as well. Moreover, the large label that will need to be created and affixed for all the producers will cost in both time and money.

We have proposed to Secretary Lucas Lentsch that the Department back off these rules and form a working group to really sit down around a table, take some time, and develop rules and perhaps even some new laws to propose that would work for everyone. We hope he takes that suggestion seriously – there is a great deal of work yet to be done.



  1. vi Stoltz says:

    Why do we have to fight for the healthy roods we wish to have and the big producers rule what is going to happen? Isn’t time for the lobbyists to take a look at what they are doing to the American public? Doesn’t our legislative system use common sense anymore?

  2. This appears to be yet another way for FDA or other regulators to make sure our foods are totally devoid of the minerals and vitamins our bodies need.

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