Some might consider putting Congress on record for or against raw milk as an accomplishment, especially it the vote wasn’t close. An amendment to House Resolution 2 that sought to allow raw milk shipments between any of the 28 states where sales are legal went down 79-331.
It is thought to be the first up or down clean House floor vote on raw milk in the 154 years since pasteurization was invented to eliminate harmful bacteria.
The measure sought to override a federal ban on shipping unpasteurized milk in interstate commerce, which is rooted in a Food and Drug Administration finding that the product is a severe health hazard.
A yes vote was to adopt the amendment, but there only 79 were on that side.
Sponsor Rep. Thomas Massie, R-KY, is still hurting over the May 18 vote. He says he’s had enough of “pasteurization without representation.” Massie says he was beaten by “big milk” and the “lactose lobby.”
Unpasteurized milk was banned by FDA “without representation” in 1987. Massie and his “left-right” coalition, including Reps. Jared Polis, D-CO, and Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, pushed for the U.S. House of Representatives to go on the record about the ban.
Instead of achieving its goal, the coalition saw its efforts turn into a victory for the National Milk Producers, International Dairy Foods Association, and food safety groups who all favor pasteurization as a necessary food safety step.
A veterinarian from Flordia, Republican Rep. Ted Yoho said this to raw milk advocates: “I am not against raw milk, but if it’s your cow, you ought to drink it at your house.”
Although it did not go his way, Massie said he was happy to have the House on record.
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