Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to make a submission to protect NZ's raw milk

I've already given you the low down on MAF's proposal to limit New Zealand's access to raw milk. In summary, if MAF's current proposal goes through unchecked:
  • dairy farmers will only be able to sell 120 litres of raw milk per day total. Not enough to make a living for them. 
  • and consumers will have to drive to the dairy farm to pick up a maximum of 6L of that raw milk in one day, and only if they intend to drink it themselves or provide it to their households. Too bad if you're nearest dairy farm supplier is an hour away.

Right now I'm feeling dispirited, like New Zealand is going the way of other more overly regulated countries. Once these liberties are taken away from us, it will be extremely difficult to get them back.

We have to fight this!

The more submissions MAF gets, the less likely it will be to just push this through without due process.

MAF views raw milk as a liability; a health risk. In reality, raw milk is one of the healthiest, most nutrient-dense foods we can consume. It is far superior to pasteurised milk. You can read about the risks of raw milk for yourself here.

Where to send a submission
Submissions need to be made by 5 December.

Written is best, and posted to:

Food Policy Team
Biosecurity & Food Directorate
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6104
New Zealand

Otherwise you can email to:

How to write your submission

Start with this:

“Proposals for continuing to legally provide for farm gate sales of raw drinking milk”

MAF Public Discussion Paper No: 2011/11

[Provide your name and address.]

Even if you have never drunk raw milk before, you can still make a submission in order to protect your right to be able to drink it in the future. 

You could address any or all of these points in your submission, and in the order you best see fit:

  • How you feel about your rights as a consumer to make educated choices around food?
  • What is your desired outcome? (I.e. open and unlimited sale of raw milk through a range of convenient retail outlets, as it is sold in Europe.)
  • How long you would like raw milk to be available for purchase in the future? (Forever!)
  • If you've been drinking raw milk, how long for?
  • Have you ever got sick from drinking raw milk? 
  • What health benefits do you see raw milk as providing over and above heat treated / processed milk (link to research about this).
  • What health benefits have you noticed for yourself or others around you drinking raw milk (include personal testimony and photos if available).
  • Your awareness of the health risks of drinking raw milk, and any counter arguments you might like to make - you could quote and reference this site.
  • Is it reasonable to restrict each person to buying 6 litres per day? Does that mean if someone wanted 20 litres for their family each week, or to make cheese, that they would have to visit the farm 4 days a week to pick it up?
  • Should dairy farmers be limited in the amount of raw milk they can sell?
  • Should dairy farmer only be able to sell direct to a consumer at the farm gate, and not through farmers markets, shops or other avenues?
  • Do you think it is reasonable to expect everyone buying raw milk to have to pick it up from the farm personally? Would this not discriminate against some people, e.g people living in cities an hour or so away from dairy farms, or people who are housebound, or who cannot drive?
  • Anything else you would like to add that might be relevant. 
If you are currently getting raw milk supplied through a collection point, you might like to say something along these lines:

I propose that MAF:

1) Treat our direct supply of raw milk from our farmer to ourselves as a distinct food supply as opposed to any other milk for processing.

2) Allows our farmer to obtain a Code of Practice licence of some description including the ability to transport in a refrigerated van.

3) Allow us to take responsibility for consuming raw milk as suggested and any volume that we wish to obtain.

4) Publish results of raw milk testing for all providers on the MAF web site.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

I hope this has been helpful. Now good luck and God's speed. Seriously, we've got to get these proposals in before December 5th!

Need more? Head over to the Weston A Price Foundation, Wellington Chapter's website.

Linked to the Patchwork Living Blogging Bee.


  1. :) I hope this helps some extra people make a submission. You should send it to the WAPF in wgtn, they might be able to circulate it to other interested people, and your milk buying club if they're on the net....

  2. Thanks Liz. It was you who inspired me to write this extra post. I also want to write one about the benefits vs risks of raw milk, but that one will take so much longer with all the research there is to wade through.

  3. Ugh! This is so disheartening to hear! I doubt an American's letter would mean much to the MAF, but I'm standing with you in spirit! I so enjoyed being able to buy raw milk from the farmer when I was in NZ.

  4. Thanks for the positive vibes Lori! And I'm glad you got to enjoy some lovely raw NZ milk when you were here. There's nothing quite like it.

  5. Fabulous post Emma! I'm going to make a submission myself.

  6. Thanks Melanie! You've made my day!

  7. Thanks Emma for this information. I have just started purchasing raw milk for my family to try and combat health issues with my kids. It's hard enough to get it now and we live in the country, yet I still have to drive 1/2hr to get it. I would hate to think how difficult it wil be if we shift back to the city one day. And to purchase enough to make butter and cheese, well I don't know where to start with that one. Thanks for your inspiration, I will try and get a proposal done by the due date. Will pass on the info to others too. Leanne

  8. So sad when we are prevented from taking charge of our own health by consuming whole foods - why is there not more legislation around the crap stuff so readily avaliable and cheap!! We are blessed to be living ruraly and I am hoping our one year old cow, Toffee, will be in calf so we can provide ourselves with this wonderful food. Love reading your page - fantastic and thought provoking stuff!


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