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New Jersey bill to legalize raw milk

New Jersey bill to legalize raw milk

Raw milk sales are currently banned in the state of New Jersey. A bill presented to the New Jersey General Assembly hopes to legalize raw milk sales in the state.

Currently, raw milk consumers must join private food clubs or physically go out-of-state to access raw milk.

Bill A1086 for Session 2024-2025 would create a permitting system for raw milk producers.

Support from the Ag Secretary

In a budget meeting on May 7th, Secretary Ed Wengryn said β€œI believe you can test and monitor enough to bring a safe product to market.”

NJ raw milk bill sponsors

  • John DiMaio (R-23) – primary sponsor
  • Erik Peterson (R-23) – cosponsor
  • Dawn Fantasia (R-24) – cosponsor
  • Michael Inganamort (R-24) – cosponsor

NJ raw milk bill text

Link to bill text: New Jersey A1086 – Permits sale of raw milk under certain conditions and establishes raw milk permit program

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT 

Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

An Act permitting the sale of raw milk, amending P.L.1964, c.62 and supplementing Title 24 of the Revised Statutes.

Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

1. Section 17 of P.L.1964, c.62 (C.24:10-57.17) is amended to read as follows:

17. No person shall sell, offer for sale, or distribute to [the ultimate ] a consumer any milk or cream that is not pasteurized unless the person is a holder of a valid raw milk permit issuedpursuant to section 3 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf: P.L.1987, c.302, s.2)

2. Section 18 of P.L.1964, c.62 (C.24:10-57.18) is amended to read as follows:

18. No milk products nor fluid milk products shall be manufactured, shipped, transported, or imported for use or sale within this State unless the milk and fluid milk products used in the manufacture of such food products are pasteurized before or during manufacture into milk products or fluid milk products, provided, however, that this shall not apply to cheese which has been kept for at least 60 days after manufacture at a temperature no lower than 35 degrees Fahrenheit. This section shall not apply to milk products or fluid milk products produced by a holder of a valid raw milk permit issued pursuant to section 3 of P.L. , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf: P.L.1964, c.62, s.18)

3. (New section) a. The Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Health, shall establish a raw milk permit program. The raw milk permit program shall allow the holder of a raw milk permit to sell, offer for sale or otherwise make available raw milk directly to consumers but only at the farm or property where the raw milk is produced. The Department of Agriculture shall issue a raw milk permit to an applicant after the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health have each received, reviewed, and approved a permit application from the applicant, pursuant to the provisions of this section and any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.

b. The raw milk permit program shall require: (1) the applicant to be in compliance and, once a permit has been issued, to continue to be in compliance with all applicable provisions of the New Jersey dairy laws, rules and regulations; (2) the permit holder to submit to, and the Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Health, to conduct, inspections in conjunction with any other inspections currently conducted by the Department of Health and or Department of Agriculture at dairy farms, to ensure compliance with the requirements prescribed in this section; (3) the permit holder to post a notice conspicuously on the permit holders property stating that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization, and to comply with the labeling and signage requirements established by subsection c. of this section; and (4) the applicant to sign an affidavit agreeing that the applicant will not use growth hormones or cows that are given growth hormones in the production of raw milk. The Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Health, shall establish standards for proper packaging of raw milk with the exception of single serve containers of hand filled milk, which shall be permissible within the milk room.

c. Wherever raw milk is advertised, sold, or dispensed, the permit holder shall affix on the container from which raw milk is dispensed, and on each container of raw milk or raw milk product sold, a label that reads: Raw Milk Is Not Pasteurized and May Contain Organisms that Cause Human Disease. The permit holder shall also post at least one sign that can easily be observed by anyone entering the place where the raw milk is advertised, sold, or dispensed. Each sign shall be no less than eight by 11 inches in total dimension and shall state, in letters not less than one inch in height: Raw Milk Is Not Pasteurized and May Contain Organisms that Cause Human Disease.

d. The Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Health, shall establish a raw milk permit fee to be collected by the Department of Agriculture in an amount estimated to cover the costs of administering the raw milk permit program incurred by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health. The Department of Agriculture shall transfer to the Department of Health the appropriate portion of collected fees in accordance with an appropriate schedule established and agreed to by the departments. This fee shall be in addition to any other fee required by law for the production or sale of milk in the State.

e. The Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Health, shall conduct cattle health tests, for those cattle used in the production of raw milk, for evidence of tuberculosis, brucellosis, Johnes disease and any other disease the Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Health, determines poses a danger to public health on an initial basis and continuing basis as required.

f. Raw milk for sale, pursuant to this section, shall be cooled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less within two hours after milking, and during milking the blended milk shall not exceed 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

g. A permit holder shall test the raw milk produced to demonstrate compliance with standards established in this subsection. Raw milk shall: (1) contain a bacterial count not in excess of 10,000 colonies standard plate count per milliliter; (2) contain a coliform count not in excess of 10 per milliliter; (3) contain a somatic cell count not in excess of 300,000 per milliliter of retail raw milk; and (4) contain no antibiotic residue according to current accepted standards. Testing to establish the standards required under this subsection shall be conducted on a bimonthly basis, at the permit holders expense, by an independent laboratory approved by the Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Health. Each permit holder shall maintain a log of the test results on a rolling thirteen month schedule. Test results that fail to meet the standards established in this subsection shall be reported to the Department of Agriculture and to the Department of Health by the permit holder and the independent laboratory that performed the test.

h. If testing results fail to meet the compliance requirements established in subsection g. of this section, then a second test shall be conducted. If the second test results fail to meet the compliance requirements established in subsection g. of this section, then the sale of milk from the failing facility shall be suspended. Sale of raw milk from the failing facility may resume only upon a showing of two consecutive tests, within a ten day period, meeting the compliance requirements established in subsection g. of this section. If a permit holder receives two suspensions within a one year period for failure to meet the compliance requirements established in subsection g. of this section, then the permit holders permit shall be revoked.

i. Raw milk products such as yogurt, kefir, butter, cottage cheese, and raw milk cheese may be produced and sold by a permit holder

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