PIERRE | The state Department of Agriculture is stepping back from some of its proposed safety regulations for raw milk.

Producers of raw milk for commercial sale for human consumption in South Dakota would be subject to health testing, labeling, freshness dating and other safety precautions.

But those requirements wouldn’t apply to raw milk consumed for free by a producer’s household or given away to others.

In those instances where commercial sale isn’t planned, raw milk would be considered similar to produce from a home garden.

State Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch scaled back the safety regulations after a public hearing last month.

Opponents at the June 6 hearing said a producer would have needed a state permit and would have to meet a variety of regulations whether the raw milk was to be sold, consumed by the producer’s household or given away to others.

Now the terms “offer” and “provide” have been replaced by “sale” so the intended scope is limited to commercial activity.

Various animal-health requirements also have been eliminated from the proposed rules because they already are in place under state animal-industry regulations.

State dairy regulators plan to meet July 26 in Pierre to receive public comments on the revised rules proposal.

Raw milk is defined as milk that hasn’t been pasteurized and covers milk from cows, sheep, goats and other hoofed animals.

Raw milk is considered by many public-health officials to increase risks of illness and disease.

Courtney De La Rosa, a lawyer for the department and its director of agriculture policy, said the rules “clearly state that individuals who consume raw milk from their own animals will not be affected by the proposed rules.”

“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,” she said.

The comments meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. CDT at the state Capitol in room 414.

(5) comments

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boing boing

People have been producing milk with cows and goats for thousands of years. We don't need a new model. Just leave things alone. More isn't always better, sometimes it's just more, as is the case with regulators and regulations. Over-regulation of something, however, makes good job security, doesn't it?

Cambium29

I'm glad to see the policy makers stepping back from this issue but I hope they just leave the adults in the community to our own free will and let us make our own decisions on what to eat or drink. Raw milk needs nothing more than a label informing a potential consumer of the risk. It should ultimately be up to the consumer whether to take that risk or not. How ridiculous that I can't purchase a product that MIGHT give me a bellyache, and yet I can go into any gas station and buy a pack of cigarettes, a product that is guaranteed to KILL me. Where is the logic in that?

ebd101

If I decide to buy raw milk from a private producer, what business is it of the Dept. of Ag?

Rickdm

Why don't they just stay out of it? Seems like people have gotten along without Dept of Ag's help since the start of drinking milk.

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