Opinion: Local Food Movement A Positive, As Long As Safety Is MaintainedKaren Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture discusses raw milk and other local food issues in a letter to the editor at The Union:
The article “Government raids set local foodies on edge ” (August 9) covers two important points: The willingness to embrace the expanding community of local, artisan food producers, and the absolute necessity to protect food safety.
Illegally-produced foods, irrespective of the circumstances of their production, present a significant risk of food-borne illness – a risk that would be much greater without carefully considered safeguards.
Food producers and consumers alike rely on government to give the safety stamp of approval. The 1985 deaths of several dozen people in the Los Angeles area, the result of unpasteurized milk used by a cheese manufacturer, is a grim reminder why.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is committed to supporting our state’s rich history of innovation in all sectors of industry.
The department will do all it can to facilitate the local food movement, as long as food safety is maintained. It is worth noting that raw milk production and distribution is legal in California, as long as production facilities are licensed and inspected by the state. Twenty states don’t permit raw milk sales.
Read the whole story: http://www.theunion.com/article/20110826/NEWS/110829855/1025&parentprofile=1056
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