Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

South Dakota Sees Raw Milk Growing in the Garden

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
  • Roger Bird

    I took a look at images of Lucas Lentsch and Courtney de la Rosa. I was not impressed with their level of health. Who are they to be telling anyone what is healthful and what is not when they can’t even be healthy? Food safety should not just be about avoiding food borne illnesses that strike soon after eating the food. It should include the health generated by what one eats for an entire lifetime. And given that broad, and useful, and correct definition of food safety, I am afraid that Lucas Lentsch and Courtney de la Rosa simply have no credibility.

    • Concerned Dakotan

      If we judged a book by its cover, I’d hate to say how Mr. Bird would be judged. Mr. Lentsch is the picture of health, is a very outgoing and I believe conscientious young man. I am very much impressed with his willingness to work with all parties on this contraversial issue. The problem is, the raw milk supporters are nearly a cult. It’s a religion t
      o them and they seem to think raw milk wil cure all life’s problems and is the fountain of youth.
      If you are opposed to the rules proposed you obviously don’t care about your customers health as you must have something to hide.
      If your animals are healthy, your milk is clean, and your facilities are too, then what do you have to worry about? Only an idiot would oppose a label which would include who produced the milk and when. Wouldn’t you want to know when your raw milk was produced for heavens sake? Pasteurized milk containers have dates of expiration. Since raw milk is unstable in that it may go sour in one day or in one week depending on the bacteria in the milk and other factors. The consumer surely should want to know where the milk is from and when it was produced.

  • Roger Bird

    Only because you are the observer of my comment, and you as observer of my comment are oblivious to the importance of good health.

    • oldcowvet

      You, sir, make no sues, whatsoever. Good day.