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January 25, 2013

Internet News Article Incites People over Raw Milk Issue with Erroneous Information

Cayce, SC – An article entitled “Urgent: Big Ag group trying to ban raw milk sales in South Carolina - your help needed to stop this tyranny” by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer for naturalnews.com has generated hundreds of calls and e-mails to South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation (SCFB) from people who support the sale of raw milk in South Carolina. Unfortunately, the article misleads readers into believing Farm Bureau has the ability to implement state policies and regulations.

The truth is that members of the SCFB dairy advisory committee will discuss American Farm Bureau policies and other issues of importance to the dairy industry. Members of this committee are family farmers and operate dairies that produce milk for sale as a raw commodity as well as producers of pasteurized milk.

As the state’s largest non-profit general farm organization, SCFB appoints a number of commodity advisory committees to help guide the Federation on key agricultural and environmental issues that help direct the Federation’s grassroots lobbying efforts to preserve and protect the work of family farmers, sustain locally grown food and fiber, and support rural lifestyles.

SCFB advisory committees do not implement policies. Instead, they advise the SCFB board of directors on decisions the organization should make relative to the commodities they represent. Their advice is discussed by the SCFB executive committee and full board of directors before it becomes part of the organization’s annual plan of work.

Recognizing the potential risks to public health that consumption of raw milk poses, delegates at the business session of AFBF’s 94th Annual Meeting on Jan. 15, 2013, approved new policy in support of only pasteurized milk and milk products being sold or distributed for human consumption. As with all AFBF policies, states have an option to consider dissent from national policies. The SCFB board of directors will hear a recommendation from the SCFB dairy advisory commodity committee when it meets next Tuesday. If states register dissention from AFBF policy, it simply means that state would not participate in national lobbying efforts relative to that particular issue.

South Carolina Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization founded in 1944 when a group of farmers realized their collective voice was needed to protect family farming and rural lifestyles from becoming regulated out of business by state and national lawmakers.

Every county in the state has its own Farm Bureau chapter and a volunteer board of local farmers. Anyone who supports locally grown food, preservation of the environment and wildlife habitats, rural lifestyles, and the strong work ethic of family farmers can and is encouraged to join Farm Bureau at www.scfb.org. People don't have to be farmers or buy insurance to join!

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