An editorial posted on the Daily News website supports two bills proposed by senators to strengthen state regulatory authority over the distribution of raw milk.
In addition to expanding the Washington Department of Agriculture’s authority to investigate dairies and regulate sales of raw milk, the measure provides stiff penalties for health violations. The state could shut-down dairies that fail to meet sanitation standards and possibly file criminal charges against the owners.
Although raw-milk advocates feel as though the proposed bills are too stringent for small dairy owners, the editorial disagrees. They feel that the health risks associated with drinking raw milk demand strict regulation and serious penalties for those who would skirt that regulation. The bills give the state the tools it needs to make sure these dairies meet necessary health standards and deal with those that do not.