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900-920 Water Street
Downtown Mall
Meadville, PA  16335
Phone (814) 336-1136
Hours 8 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. (M-F)

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Fairview Township Building
7471 McCray Rd., Fairview, PA
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Cranesville, PA 16410
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Hon. Brad Roae
151 East Wing
Harrisburg PA 17120-2006
Phone: (717) 787-2353
Fax: 717-782-2902

E-mail:
  broae@pahousegop.com

Roae, Local Resident Help Defeat Burdensome Milk Overregulation
10/7/2010

After hearing testimony today from Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford), a Titusville-area resident and farmers from across the Commonwealth, a state commission in Harrisburg voted down a proposed regulation regarding the sale of raw milk.

 

“Today, the citizens scored a victory over the ever-expanding reach of government,” Roae said.  “Farmers from across Pennsylvania traveled to Harrisburg to stand up for their right to sell raw milk to customers who should have the right to buy it.”

 

Lynwood Heagy, a farmer from the Titusville area, made the trip to Harrisburg to testify before the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).

 

At issue were regulations proposed by the state Department of Agriculture that would have added expensive and impractical requirements for farmers who sell raw milk.  Many of the farmers argued that small producers, who sell only 10 to 20 gallons of raw milk a day, would be run out of business due to the excessive regulations.

 

Farmers argued that mandating a bottling machine for all producers, mandating a separate room to bottle in and mandating additional tests on the milk would have added thousands of dollars in additional costs.

 

Roae said there was little disagreement at the meeting that the more than 99 percent of milk that is sold at grocery stores should be regulated.  However, he, Heagy and the other farmers convincingly argued that the rules should be different for raw milk, which is sold right on the farm and is not pasteurized.

 

“There’s a big difference between walking into a corporate grocery store that sells thousands of gallons of milk a day and walking across the street into a barn to purchase some raw milk from your farmer neighbor,” Roae said.

 

The IRRC voted 3-2 to disapprove the proposed regulations.  The IRRC is a five-member panel that is charged with ensuring that regulations comply with state laws and serve the public interest.  The Legislature and governor enact laws, but the various state agencies and departments then establish regulations to implement the laws.

 

“It has always been pretty common for neighbors who live near a farm to buy milk right from the farmer,” Roae said.  “They know it is not pasteurized, but they also know it is fresh and where it came from.  Heck, raw milk is all people drank until they started pasteurizing milk.  Some small farmers can only keep their farms going with the revenue from raw milk sales.”

 

Roae views the commission’s decision as a victory for small farmers over big government.

 

“Liberties and freedoms are at stake when government regulations attempt to tell us what to do in every aspect of our lives,” Roae said.  “Today, freedom won.”

 

Rep. Brad Roae
6th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(814) 827-6054
(717) 787-2353

Contact: Dan Massing

dmassing@pahousegop.com

(717) 772-9845

Member Site:  RepRoae.com

Twitter:  Twitter.com/RepRoae

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