The story of raw milk in the 84th Texas Legislature: A policy analysis
Background: Restrictions on raw milk sales to off of the farm only constrict small-scale farmers who want to expand the sale of a product that they and raw milk consumers believe to be safe and healthful. In the 84th Legislature in Texas, House Bill 91, which sought to allow the extension of raw milk sales to farmers’ markets and via delivery in Texas, passed in the House, but ultimately did not pass in the Senate to become law. Methods: Interviews were conducted with stakeholders of House Bill 91, including raw milk dairy farmers, public health officials, raw milk consumers, environmental health officials, a farmers’ market representative, and a Texas representative. Interview participants were asked about their opinions on the bill proposal, the current restrictions on raw milk sales in Texas, and the possible public health implications if a similar bill is to pass in the future. A policy analysis using a stakeholder analysis matrix was conducted to compare HB 91 with alternative solutions. Results: 13 stakeholders were interviewed in total. Of these, eight are proponents of expanding raw milk sales to farmers’ markets and via delivery in Texas, five against, and none neutral. Using the insight from and common themes that emerged in conducted stakeholder interviews, a stakeholder analysis and policy analysis matrix were conducted. Analysis matrices were used as tools to determine values for the Public Acceptability, Political Acceptability, Bureaucratic Feasibility, and Policy Goals of three separate policy solutions. House Bill 91, with an amendment adding raw milk testing and handling requirements, received the highest ratings overall of all three policy solutions. Conclusion: House Bill 91, with an added amendment, is the best policy solution for the state of Texas, based on stakeholder interviews, a stakeholder analysis matrix, and a policy analysis matrix. This research provides insight into various reasons in support and opposition of the expansion of raw milk sales in Texas, and offers a potential policy solution to Texas legislators.^
Hackenberg, Daphne, "The story of raw milk in the 84th Texas Legislature: A policy analysis" (2015). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1604128.