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Public Hearing to Eliminate Restriction on Sale of Raw Milk in Groton

The Board of Health in Groton will hold its fourth hearing at 8:15 p.m., July 7 on whether or not to eliminate a 50-year-old restriction prohibiting the sale of raw milk. The hearing will take place at the Groton Town Hall on Main Street.

Raw milk offers several nutritional benefits and Groton residents currently must travel to other communities to purchase it. At the last hearing, David Gumpert, journalist and food rights activist, and other local, concerned citizens, described studies on the minimal risks of raw milk as well its benefits. In the last 20 years, there have been no known reported cases of illness due to legally-sold raw milk. “All sorts of foods make people sick,” says Gumpert. “Thirty-two people have died from eating cantaloupes, yet nobody is suggesting the ban of the sale of cantaloupes.”

Groton’s 2011 master plan, voted on and approved at town meeting, clearly states that residents “recognize that the long-term viability of agriculture [in Groton] will require ongoing support from all levels of government, including the local government.” The master plan reports that Groton must recognize that farms are businesses. Further, one of the master plan’s goals is to encourage measures so that the local agricultural community will be able to produce enough affordable, high-quality food to meet a greater percentage of the town’s future needs.

Eliminating this restriction follows the directive of the master plan and allows local farmers to launch their Certified Raw Milk Dairy businesses in Groton so that residents may shop locally to purchase raw milk.

Location: Groton Town Hall, 173 Main St., Groton

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