Posted: January 18, 2012
New Jersey is once again debating the sale of raw milk in the state.
Assembly Bill 743, has been resurrected under the new number A518 and introduced into the new Assembly session. The measure is missing one sponsor, Rep. Charlotte Vandervalk, a 39th District Republican, who retired from the Assembly after 20 years.
Sponsors want to make populous New Jersey the 31st state to allow commercial raw milk sales. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) says 30 states currently allow raw milk sales, although in 13 of those states unpasteurized milk is restricted to on-farm sales.
In the last three years, there have been numerous proposals in state legislative bodies both to ease raw-milk restrictions and to tighten raw-milk regulations. During that time period, NASDA reports five states have increased quality standards for unpasteurized dairy products.
Because of New Jersey’s sheer size, however, there is considerable interest in what steps it may take. It also borders Pennsylvania and New York, where raw milk sales are legal. Not only do New Jersey residents already drive to those neighboring states to pick up raw milk, but there are also some sophisticated delivery routes in place.
In the new Assembly, sponsors are picking up on new “value-added” theme, namely that the Garden State’s remaining 87 dairy farms need a value-added product to survive.
Source: © Food Safety News