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Published July 08, 2013, 10:11 AM

Raw milk decision unenviable

South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch is in an unenviable situation.

By: Francis DiCesare, Agweek

South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch is in an unenviable situation.

Draft regulations under consideration by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture concerning the inspection and testing of raw milk do not state they are intended to regulate the sale of raw milk. They state anyone who “offers or provides” raw milk to their family and friends may come under the direct purview of these regulations.

If I were to milk my own animals for my consumption, as I once did, I could be fined or prosecuted for “providing” raw milk to my family or “offering” it to my guests.

Additionally, my well water and my animals would have to be regularly tested, and I would have to submit monthly milk samples to an accredited laboratory.

This is intrusive into my life and freedom to choose what I consume.

If Lentsch approves the regulations, how could he explain it under Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s Better Government Initiative? I don’t envy Lentsch’s position.

Editor’s Note: This letter originally appeared in the Mitchell (S.D.) Daily Republic.

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