State Representative Clay Pirkle did something today I tried to do years ago: pass a bill out of the House that would legalize the sale of raw milk for human consumption. HB 1175 passed, mostly along party lines 100-62.
If the bill becomes law, it doesn’t mean that you will see gallons of raw milk on your grocery shelf; grocery store sales are not included. But direct sales to the consumer would be legal, so think of your old school milk man making a delivery. In a time when we can get car tires, dog food, or a new suit delivered straight to your door, I guess having your milk delivered isn’t all that weird.
Should this bill become law, Georgia would join 30 other states that have legalized raw milk sales for human consumption. And because the bill doesn’t free the market completely, there may be a few ignorant souls who will say the bill did not go far enough. But this is a significant movement toward more liberty, not less.
But the passage of HB 1175 alone is not the only reason today should be considered legenDAIRY, as a state court has struck down The Georgia Lactation Consultant Practice Act which required a lactation consultant to jump through needless hoops before they could teach a new mother how to breastfeed their child. It shouldn’t surprise you that I voted against this bill too.
Under the law, an aspiring lactation consultant must take about two years of college courses and complete at least 300 hours of supervised clinical work. The bill, originally passed in 2016, made Georgia the first in the nation to license lactation consultants this way and hundreds were forced out of the profession. The unintended consequences of the law created a shortage of licensed professionals and had essentially backfired.
“The Court recognized that keeping perfectly competent lactation consultants from doing their jobs doesn’t protect the public, but instead reduces access to breastfeeding care and violates constitutional rights,” said Institute for Justice Attorney Renée Flaherty, who was the attorney for the complainant,
The defendant in the case is Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who also voted against the legislation when he served in the House. He has 30 days to appeal the decision, though we are told that may not be up to him. We hope it is not pushed further and that women can get the help they need to breast feed their babies just like they have for millennia.