The Governor’s veto of SB 201 is disappointing but certainly not unexpected. The Administration’s concerted efforts to defeat SB 201 are nothing more than an attempt to cover up the fraud committed on the legislature through CDFA’s sponsorship of AB 1735, which placed the wrong standards for raw milk into law. There is no question that AB 1735 was flawed. The legislature carried multiple pieces of legislation this year, including SB 201, to correct some of those
flaws. The Governor signed another urgency measure that specifically fixed deficiencies in AB 1735 related to market milk (AB 2284 - Galgiani).
There is no question that raw milk and pasteurized milk are two distinct products. This Administration’s attempt to use the same standard for both products defies logic and can be taken as an attempt to regulate California’s two raw milk dairies out of business. The philosophy and science behind SB 201 is supported by food safety researchers from one of California’s most respected Universities. These researchers agree that the regulatory structure of SB 201 would make raw milk in California safer than existing law.
It is unfortunate that the Governor continues to play politics with the issue of food safety. This merely serves to lower the food safety standards that Californians rely upon for their protection.
As Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Foodborne Illness, I am committed to pushing forward on the issue of food safety and look forward to putting forth legislation next year to move the ball forward on this important issue.