Raw milk rules heading to Legislative Rules Review Committee

With two small changes, the proposed raw milk rules are heading to the Legislative Rules Review Committee (LRRC) on November 12.

The two changes are an increase in the allowable bacteria count from 20,000 to 30,000 and a change in the wording of the warning label to, “WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and may contain harmful bacteria.”

While these are improvements, the changes ignore the numerous other issues, contradictions, and potential illegalities of the proposed rules. Our members maintain these rules as proposed are not amendable; they need to be so radically changed to fit what is appropriate for the level of raw milk production and market access that they should simply be rescinded.

Additionally, the statute (the only statute) regarding raw milk production, SDCL 39-6-3, needs to be fixed before further rules are promulgated. We are working on a potential fix right now, and hope to come to a solution during the next legislative session. It is worth waiting a few months to get a permanent fix rather than pushing through unwieldy rules now that would have to be changed in a few months anyway.

We will keep you updated with the available locations for the meeting (they’ll be in five locations around the state) and we strongly urge you to contact your legislators and ask them to oppose these rules, and to make their opposition know to the LRRC as soon as possible. You can also contact members of the LRRC here.

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