WASHINGTON D.C. — Advocates for direct farm-to-consumer food rights, the Real Food Consumer Coalition, have filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, asking the agency allow warning labels on raw milk products. Emord and Associates filed the petition with the FDA April 26.
According to the coalition’s spokesperson, Liz Reitzig, “consumers want the right to choose unpasteurized milk and milk products after weighing the risks.”
The proposed label would warn consumers to heat their raw milk to home pasteurize it and thereby reduce the risk of illness from possible contamination.
Citing cases of four farmers hit with “extremely burdensome” costs associated with FDA enforcement of a ban on interstate sales, the coalition says it filed the petition in part to comply with an executive order by President Trump to reduce burdensome federal regulations.
The FDA position is that raw milk is unsafe and should not be consumed for any reason. The petition argues that labels would “reduce the risk of foodborne illness by providing proper handling instructions.”
The group is expecting an answer to their petition in the 180-day time frame allocated by the FDA.