A recent appellate court decision means that butter made from unpasteurized milk or cream (i.e. raw butter) still cannot be sold across state lines.
On June 10, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected an appeal challenging the legality of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations prohibiting interstate commerce in raw butter.
The appeal was filed by Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) along with California dairyman and FTCLDF member Mark McAfee. FTCDLF and McAfee have been working together for more than five years to overturn FDA’s raw-butter ban, arguing that the ban exceeds FDA’s proper authority under federal law.
“Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is disappointed with the D.C. Circuit’s decision,” says FTCLDF Executive Director Alexia Kulwiec. “The decision incorrectly allows the FDA to regulate butter by requiring the use of pasteurized milk or cream when Congress has reserved to itself sole authority to say what ingredients may be used to make butter sold in interstate commerce.”
FTCLDF attorney Mahesha Subbaraman argued the appeal in Washington, D.C. on April 8, 2022.
“FDA’s raw-butter ban hurts farmers, consumers, and the rule of law,” says Subbaraman.
FTCLDF is not giving up.
“We are reviewing every possible next step to challenge FDA’s raw-butter ban,” says Kulwiec. “Raw butter is a safe, wholesome, and beneficial food. We encourage everyone who cares about raw butter and other raw foods to share their stories with us.”
To learn more about the history of FTCLDF’s challenge to FDA’s raw-butter ban—and to view all related court documents—please visit The Campaign for Raw Food website.
To support FTCLDF’s work, please donate here.