This is in response to Diana Tozier’s letter (April 7) concerning recent raw milk legislation. She appears to believe the sale of raw milk is not legal in Maine.

We are a licensed raw milk producer. We are milking three cows and sell from a store on our farm and at farmers’ markets in the summer. The Department of Agriculture inspects us twice a year and takes samples of our products monthly for testing, all included in our $25 license fee. There are criteria we had to meet, such as a washable walls, concrete floor, water test, stainless steel utensils, hot and cold running water, cooling facilities and others — all to ensure safe, clean handling of the milk. Had the Legislature passed the bill, most of that oversight would have been eliminated.

Another aspect of the raw milk business that doesn’t quickly come to most people’s mind is the availability of liability insurance to protect the farmer in case of a real or perceived problem. The major farm insurers will no longer cover raw milk under the farm liability policies. We had to go to the secondary market to get insurance. If that bill had passed, and anybody could sell from their farm without testing or proper sanitation, I am sure that there would have been health issues and the insurance would no longer be available.

If the bill comes back to the Legislature, I hope representatives will vote against it.

Bill Winslow, Harrison


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