As of 5:10pm yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture officially dropped the language to explicitly outlaw raw milk buying clubs from its proposed regulation changes. The hearing on Monday will go on, but the department WILL NOT accept testimony on this language.
"The passion and concern on all sides of the raw milk debate have led MDAR to plan for a broader look at issues associated with raw milk. While MDAR expects that there are many ways that raw milk can impact the milk market, further investigation into all aspects of this issue is needed."
That said, it is important to note that they still consider buying clubs to be operating illegally. "A Milk Dealer is defined within the Milk Control Laws as anyone in the business of receiving, processing, distributing, or otherwise handling milk. This is still the case, and MDAR will take such steps to enforce violations as they become aware of them."
I'll keep you posted as the discussion evolves. Enjoy the weekend, everyone.