Subject: Raw Butter, the PRIME Act, and More!

Hi Friend,

To those in the food freedom community, I don’t need to tell you how much activity there is right now to improve our food system. So bear with me this week as I have several important things to report:


On July 2, we at Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) are excited to host the second members’-only webinar. Dr. Mike Fisher, DVM and former Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) professional, will present on the federal poultry processing exemption. Many of you follow Dr. Fisher’s regular articles on our website, and we are thrilled to be hosting him. On Monday, June 29, we will send current members a link to sign up for the webinar. While the webinar is free, members must register for the event by Wednesday, July 1. We look forward to hosting this event and hope to see you there!


You may have been following our attempts to reverse the prohibition on the interstate sale of raw butter, a healthy, wholesome and low-risk food with many benefits. On February 27, 2020, four years after FTCLDF and member Mark McAfee filed a Citizen Petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and only in response to a lawsuit, the FDA issued a decision that it continues to prohibit interstate sales of raw butter. This is a disappointing but not a shocking decision. Please click HERE to make a donation to support this litigation or keep reading for more details. 

On May 25, 2020 FTCLDF and McAfee filed a court document (second amended complaint), challenging the FDA decision. Now we are fighting in court to prove that the FDA made the wrong decision. We argue that the FDA does not have the legal authority to deny interstate sales of raw butter, and that the FDA’s decision was arbitrary and capricious in violation of law. We are consulting with a microbiologist to explain that raw butter is a wholesome product that poses a low risk of pathogen growth and therefore foodborne illness. In fact, raw butter is a great source of vitamins A, D, E and K. Raw butter may help prevent gastrointestinal infection and has been shown to have anti-cancer properties and boost immunity. The high fat content and low moisture restricts bacterial growth and butter’s acidic pH level limits pathogen growth. In fact, raw butter specifically contains microorganisms that minimize the growth of pathogens. Thus, butter has a low risk to causing any food borne illness, and in fact has caused few illnesses.

The FDA will be filing its response to our legal complaint soon. At that point, FTCLDF anticipates that the costs of the litigation will increase dramatically. The filing of these documents is just the beginning. We will need to prove to the court, incurring legal and expert fees, that the FDA reached the wrong decision and request that the court direct the FDA to reverse course.

To those who have supported FTCLDF in these efforts previously, we are so grateful. If you haven’t, and even if you have previously, NOW is the time to make a financial contribution to help with this case. 

To learn more about our efforts to overturn the FDA’s ban on the interstate sales of raw butter, click HERE. To donate to the efforts to overturn this unnecessary ban, please click HERE.

We really need your support to ensure that we present our strongest case to the court that the FDA should NOT continue to ban this wholesome product.


Some of you may recall that about one month ago, FTCLDF conducted a short members-only survey to learn more about how COVID-19 is affecting member businesses. I thank those members who participated, and I wish to report back on the results.

Most survey respondents have experienced increased demand for local, sustainably grown products (68%). While direct farm-to-consumer sales are up, COVID-19 has decreased access for many FTCLDF members to sell to restaurants (29%) and at farmers markets (25%). It is lovely to hear that customers appreciate having a connection with and knowing their local farmers.

Top member concerns include the general instability caused by COVID-19, the unavailability of meat processors, concern over even greater regulation, inability to sell products across state lines, regulations that interfere with meeting raw dairy products demand, and a host of other important concerns.


FTCLDF received a number of great suggestions for improved services to members that we are working on. Members made too many wonderful suggestions to include them all here, but I will share a couple that we are actively addressing:

1. Work to pass the PRIME Act
members are very concerned about meat processing and we hear you. We continue to work with our allies and look for opportunities to influence policy makers to pass this important piece of legislation. Please be sure to go on our website at for information, and contact your senators and representatives. We encourage you to visit HERE for more info.

2. Increase information and educational programming
we plan to continue our webinar series. July 2 is with Dr. Mike Fisher involving poultry processing, and I hope to announce additional sessions soon! We will also work to increase access to general information on legal issues and policy updates.

3. Assist in relaxing rules that make it difficult to sell products
we continue to monitor local regulations and to take action where we can. It also really helps to have members present alongside staff, and we will continue to reach out when working on policy matters.

FTCLDF is in the process of responding to specific questions submitted as part of the recent member survey. If you have not already, you will hear from us soon.

I encourage you to share this communication with others who may wish to support our efforts on the raw butter ban or the PRIME Act or with anyone who would benefit by becoming a member.

Thank you for all that you do to provide a healthy, local food supply.

Alexia Kulwiec
Executive Director | 703-208-FARM (3276) |
8116 Arlington Blvd Suite #263, Falls Church, VA 22042, United States
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