To the Members of the California State Senate:
I am returning Senate Bill 201 without my signature.
This bill weakens food safety standards in California, something I cannot support.
Last year I signed AB 1735, which passed the Legislature unanimously and put into law food safety standards for raw milk. Those standards are now in question by the
proponents of this bill. Looking past the lobbying techniques, public relations campaign, and legal maneuvering in the courts, one conclusion is inescapably clear: the standard in
place has kept harmful products off the shelves and California’s raw milk dairies have been operating successfully under it for the entirety of 2008.
Based on fears with no basis in fact, the proponents of SB 201 seek to replace
California’s unambiguous food safety standards for raw milk. Instead they have created a
convoluted and undefined regulatory process with no enforcement authority or clear
standards to protect public health.
For these reasons, I cannot support this measure.