Senate Bill 273

152nd General Assembly (Present)

Bill Progress

Passed 6/27/24
Ready for Governor for action

Bill Details

This Act legalizes the sale and distribution of raw milk and products derived from raw milk by dairy producers directly to consumers for human consumption. This Act also removes the unused definitions of “Delaware fresh milk” and “northeastern fresh milk” from Subchapter VI of Title 3. The definition of “fresh milk” under current § 3175 of Title 3 is retained. The sale of raw milk, which is unprocessed, unpasteurized, and unhomogenized, is currently prohibited by Section 9 of the current United States Department of Health and Human Services' Grade "A" Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, as amended, which the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services adopted by regulation. However, consumers are increasingly demanding the opportunity to purchase raw milk in Delaware, rather than traveling to other states that permit raw milk sales. Allowing raw milk and products derived from raw milk to be sold in Delaware will respond to that demand while also providing new economic opportunities for Delaware dairy producers. These economic benefits can be significant; the Raw Milk Institute estimates that raw milk producers can earn a profit that is nearly 10 times what they earn for regular milk sales. To achieve these benefits and meet consumer demand, this Act creates a raw milk permit to be issued and enforced by the Department of Agriculture, and exempts raw milk permit holders from the State of Delaware Milk Code provided they comply with all requirements of the Act. This Act provides that no raw milk or product derived from raw milk may be sold in Delaware other than by a raw milk permit holder or an individual under the direct supervision of a raw milk permit holder, such as an employee. The sale or distribution of raw milk and products derived from raw milk must be made directly by the permit holder or individual under the supervision of the permit holder to the consumer and not for purposes of resale. This Act also establishes requirements for signage and labeling informing consumers that raw milk is unprocessed, unpasteurized, and unhomogenized and may contain harmful bacteria. The Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Health and Social Services, is responsible for promulgating regulations to administer the raw milk permit program and for ensuring compliance with this Act. This Act goes into effect on enactment and is to be implemented the earlier of the following: (1) 1 year from the date of the Act’s enactment. (2) Notice by the Secretary of Agriculture published in the Register of Regulations that final regulations to implement this Act have been adopted. This Act may be cited as “The Consumer Choice Milk Act“.
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Takes effect upon being signed into law

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