Many small farmers, health-conscious consumers and farm supply businesses are enraged that the governor vetoed L.D. 1282, “An Act to Help Small Farmers in Selling Raw Milk Products,” recently.

This anger was reflected in a recent conversation I had with a Maine mother, who has been seeking raw farm milk for her children. “Doesn’t he understand that our children’s health can be dramatically improved if the public has more ready access to farm milk?” she asked. “Probably,” I replied.

“Doesn’t he realize that a small farm can begin to eke out a living income, if they can sell milk from their pastured cows in their local community?” she added. “Yes,” I responded.

“All the independent studies I’ve seen show that raw milk is a relatively safe product compared to other products like, for instance, garden greens,” she said. I replied, “The governor, top officials in the Maine Department of Agriculture, and top professors in the University of Maine probably have access to studies and officials in Washington that the public is not aware of.” “Why?” she asked.

“National security,” I replied. “I bet it’s the retailers, the milk processors and the large dairies that want to keep selling their dead milk,” she said.

“Look, let’s take a walk,” I replied. Once we were clear of the building, I said, “Take the battery out of your cell phone.”

With an incredulous look, she reluctantly did so. “Some people who swore me to secrecy shared information with me,” I told her. “What information?” she asked.

“It may be al-Qaida,” I said. “Oh my God!” she replied, with a sad look of realization that she’ll have to continue to drive the hour and a half to her raw milk farmer.

John O’Donnell


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