Raw Milk Bans

Raw Milk Vending Machines May Hit U.K.

The U.K. Food Standards Agency says vending machines are the best way to make raw milk more widely available to consumers in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

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The U.K.'s Food Standards Agency (FSA) said consumers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should be given "wider access" to raw milk and proposed allowing its sale in vending machines. Currently raw milk can only be bought directly from farmers, as is common in American states where raw milk sales are permitted. 

A briefing paper about the proposed change suggests that vending machines would be the best way to make raw milk more widely available, since they make it easy to tightly control temperature. The FSA is still not recommending that raw milk sales be permitted in supermarkets.

The FSA will vote on the proposals Wednesday; if approved, the new rules will go into effect immediately. The changes to the rules wouldn't apply in Scotland, where all raw milk sales are banned. 

The agency had launched a four-month consultation on the raw milk regulations in January, which found consumers were largely in support of widening raw milk's availability. "In light of consultation responses," the FSA began working on a change to its raw milk policy, it says. Is it sad that I'm amazed to find the UK's food policy body so responsive to what the people it governs actually think and want?