The bounty of a home garden is for sharing with family and friends, and South Dakotans are soon going to be asked to think of raw milk in much the same way.
New South Dakota safety regulations are being re-written to apply only when raw milk is sold commercially for human consumption, not when unpasteurized milk is merely shared with family and friends.
“The primary objectives remain the same: to protect public health and to provide clarity for producers seeking to put bottled raw milk into the stream of commerce,” says Courtney De La Rosa, South Dakota’s director of agricultural policy. She says as drafted now, the proposed rules “clearly state that individuals who consume raw milk from their own animals will not be affected by the proposed rules.”
The newly proposed safety regulations for raw milk have been undergoing public review by the state Department of Agriculture. Testing, labeling, freshness dating, and other safety measures will still apply to raw milk for commercial sales.
After public hearing last month, South Dakota’s Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch decided to re-make the regulatory proposal to exclude raw milk that is shared among family and friends. If no commercial sales are planned, state officials say raw milk may be “considered similar to produce from a home garden.”
As previously written, the new safety regulations would have required a state permit and applied the new rules to all raw milk produced in the state regardless of whether it was for sale, family use, or given away.
In the latest re-write, terms like “offer” and “provide” have been replaced with “sale” to limit the intended scope to commercial sales.
Some animal health requirements were also eliminated as being duplicative with other animal laws in South Dakota. Another public hearing in the state capitol of Pierre will be held on July 26. The new raw milk safety regulations cover cows, sheep, goats, and other hoofed animals.© Food Safety News