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Legislative Cutoff Dates Begin to Kill Raw Milk Bills

A bill to open the door to raw milk distribution in Wyoming was slammed shut after it missed a key cutoff date.

It is unlikely the Wyoming Legislature will see any further action taken on Senate File 0112. Wyoming bans the sale of raw milk, but SF 0112 would have allowed holders of “small herd permits” to share in the herd’s raw milk production.

State Sen. John M. Hastert, D-Sweetwater, introduced the bill and it was assigned to the Senate Agriculture Committee. But it was not among bills reported out by the committee for an important early February cutoff.

Hastert chairs the minority party caucus in Laramine. The Wyoming Legislature is on track to adjourn on Feb. 28.

Also dead is the “Mississippi Food Freedom Act, ” HB 948. Like the Wyoming bill, the proposed food freedom law died in committee earlier this month. It’s primary sponsor was Rep. Chris Brown, R-Aberdeen.

As drafted, the food freedom measure in Mississippi would have prohibited any county, municipality or other political subdivison of the state from regulating certain practices involved in the production and retail sale of unprocessed agricultural or farm products grown or raised in Mississippi directly from the producer to the consumer.

Still alive in New Mexico is SB 286. It would ban raw milk sales.

Sponsored by State Sen. Pat Woods, R-Broadview, the bill to ban raw milk sales in New Mexico is assigned to both the Conservation and Judiciary committees. New Mexico’s lawmakers adjourn March 16, so bill-killing deadlines are approaching in Santa Fe.

Other bills, mostly to loosen restrictions on raw milk sales, are alive in Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas, but none of them appear to have gained much legislative ground since Food Safety News last checked on their status.

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