Local Farm Could Face New Regulations for Raw Milk Tonight

A second attempt will be made tonight by the Board of Health to hold a public hearing to discuss the rules and regulations relative to the sale and distribution of unpasteurized raw milk.

The regulations, proposed by board member Eric Arvedon, were supposed to be discussed in a public hearing at the Foxboro Public Safety Building on Nov. 25 but an over capacity crowd largely in support of Lawton's Family Farm, the only seller of raw milk in Foxboro and Norfolk County, forced the hearing to be delayed.

The discussion is expected to involve whether the town should continue to allow the sale of unpasteurized milk and the regulations if the sale is allowed.

Farm owner Ed Lawton, how has sold raw milk though his family's located on North Street since 2007, has said that the 300-year-old farm’s survival could be threaten by the proposed regulations.

While 17 states have a total ban on the sale of raw milk, Massachusetts state law allows towns to make their own regulations.

Less than half of all towns in Massachusetts allow the sale according to the Foxboro Reporter.

In the regulations, the milk could only be sold on the farm and cannot be resold off the property. There are also regulations for record keeping that includes a list of transactions for up to one year and collecting one composite sample of unpasteurized milk each day. The previous 14 days of samples must be kept frozen and the farm will provide samples to the board of health if requested.

Penalties for the infractions include a permit suspension for up to 30 days, a suspension for up to 60 days for the second infraction, and possibly permanent revocation for the third infraction.

To read the draft of the proposed regulations, click here.

The new hearing will take place tonight at the Ahern School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. The actual meeting is set to start at 7 p.m.


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