Second, some hard facts:
A Worth the While Fight – Tinia Creamer
Whether you want to use real, raw milk or not is not the issue. The issue is do you believe American Citizens... WV citizens… have the right to make food choices? Do you believe citizens have the right to co-own livestock and use their animals' products?
Raw milk is a safe food when handled properly (like all other foods) but that is not the issue. Yes, it has been used for thousands of years. Our grandparents and great grandparents, people much healthier than we, know from experience raw milk is safe.
But can it become, like produce, meats and pasteurized dairy products, contaminated as well?
Sure. Any food source or water source can.
The CDC's own data has proven raw milk is a low risk food. We consume high risk foods each day that the government makes no attempts to outlaw - produce like spinach and tomatoes, meats, and seafood – all of which are higher risks foods than raw milk.
Think of the raw foods sold all over the state, served openly in restaurants, such as raw oysters, raw fish in sushi, steak served tar-tar, rare hamburger, eggs served over easy. All we see is a warning label telling us we consume this at our own risk. Our right to do so isn't circumvented.
When it comes to milk, it is.
This isn't a safety issue. This IS A FREEDOM ISSUE.
When citizens are not free to use a naturally occurring food source that has been used in civilized societies all over the world for thousands of years, there is a Freedom problem.
Our government allows (sad that we must speak in those terms) our citizens access to tobacco. Alcohol. Pharmaceuticals over the counter, known to cause side effects and death. But WV's government says we, the citizens, aren't to be trusted with milk the FDA and AG Dept hasn't had a hand in.
Beyond that, WV is the only state that feels it has the power to tell the citizens that we cannot co-own a dairy animal herd and use our animals' products. If you want to co-own Jersey cows with me, fine, but you cannot co-own AND use the milk from your cow or the goats we both own.
You cannot give the milk away. If it means saving the life of a calf that needs colostrum, you cannot give it away. If it means allowing soap makers access to a local, humanely produced milk product for their milk soap, you cannot give it away.
This boils down to NOT BEING ALLOWED to bypass the FDA and Dept of Agriculture. You are not able to cut ties with the hand they have in your milk.
How is that freedom? You are not allowed to have milk unless they approve your choice in milk and have a hand in the process. How long before this applies to many other aspects of the small farm community? If you believe only in local milk that is unpasteurized, you are simply out of luck.
How can the state of West Virginia tell us we cannot enter into a legally binding contract with someone and share a herd of cows? How do I have rights a man who doesn't have land to keep a dairy animal does NOT? I have land, and so I am allowed by the state to use milk from my own cow. No one else. Based on current law, not even my family living here can use it. If you aren't lucky enough to have the land or time, you are denied a right I have. . .
Whether you want to use raw milk or milk of any kind is not the issue. Whether you believe raw milk is safer than factory farmed pasteurized milk is not the issue. The issue is do you believe citizens have the right to make a decision about their diets on their own without government interference? Do you believe we have the right to co-own livestock and use our animals’ products?
This is a Control issue, folks. This is about having control over the consumers. This is about pushing BIG Agriculture over the small, sustainable farms of WV. This is robbing hundreds of thousands of dollars of income from struggling farmers right here in WV.
This is not Mountaineers are always free. Mountaineers have the most restrictive laws on this issue in the entire USA. This is not freedom. And this is not something of which West Virginia can be proud.
A great point point about health and safety:
RAW Milk West Virginia Dairy Farm WV SB30 RAW MILK BILL Herd Share