A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

1 April 2017

MT Senate’s agriculture committee tables raw milk legalization bill

Selling raw milk in Montana probably will remain illegal for another two years. For the third legislative session in a row, the MT House ignored the public health benefits of mandatory pasteurization, whooping through a raw milk legalization bill.

But on 30 March, the MT Senate’s agriculture committee tabled HB-325, Rep. Nancy Ballance’s (R-Hamilton) bill to legalize selling raw milk on a small time basis, once again rescuing the MT House from its cowardice and irresponsibility on the issue.

Do not be surprised if the legalization attempt returns in the form of a citizens initiative. And if the bill returns in the 2019 legislative session, do not be surprised if the MT House once abdicates its responsibility to protect public health and whoops the bill over to the Senate.

Meanwhile, Montana needs to start cracking down on the black market for raw milk. A summer of Elliot Ness tactics, of smashing vessels of black market milk, of burning the barns of scofflaw dairymen, of throwing sellers of bootleg unpasteurized milk in jail, would drive the black market out of Montana. Update, 2 April. This paragraph made some people queasy. Therefore, a clarification: all done with a proper court order, of course.