Subject: Update on Raw Butter: The Ban Continues

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Dear Friend,

I want to update you on the ongoing litigation regarding the FDA's ban on the interstate sale of unpasteurized (raw) butter, and the Campaign for Raw Food.  

Unfortunately, the D.C. District Court of Appeals rejected the appeal challenge, upholding the ruling to ban raw butter sales across state lines.

Because this case potentially affects so much more than unpasteurized butter, we will continue to fight. Thank you for staying informed on this issue.
Federal Appeals Court Upholds FDA’s Raw-Butter Ban

A recent appellate court decision means that butter made from unpasteurized milk or cream (i.e. raw butter) still cannot be sold across state lines. See legal document HERE.

On June 10, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected an appeal challenging the legality of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations prohibiting interstate commerce in raw butter.

The appeal was filed by Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) along with California dairyman and FTCLDF member Mark McAfee. FTCDLF and McAfee have been working together for more than five years to overturn FDA’s raw-butter ban, arguing that the ban exceeds FDA’s proper authority under federal law.

“Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is disappointed with the D.C. Circuit’s decision,” says FTCLDF Executive Director Alexia Kulwiec. “The decision incorrectly allows the FDA to regulate butter by requiring the use of pasteurized milk or cream when Congress has reserved to itself sole authority to say what ingredients may be used to make butter sold in interstate commerce.”

FTCLDF attorney Mahesha Subbaraman argued the appeal in Washington, D.C. on April 8, 2022.

“FDA’s raw-butter ban hurts farmers, consumers, and the rule of law,” says Subbaraman.

FTCLDF is not giving up.

“We are reviewing every possible next step to challenge FDA’s raw-butter ban,” says Kulwiec. “Raw butter is a safe, wholesome, and beneficial food. We encourage everyone who cares about raw butter and other raw foods to share their stories with us.” 

Listen to the Live Oral Argument
Listen to the April 8, 2022 FTCLDF oral argument and the FDA response argument HERE.

See Our Attorney's Reaction
View a short video of Mr. Subbaraman and Mr. McAfee's reaction to the oral argument from just outside the D.C. District Court of Appeals HERE.

The Campaign for Raw Food website has all of the information regarding this case, and why we must not back down. This fight is centered on raw, or unpasteurized, butter, but it's not JUST about raw butter.

If we leave this interstate butter ban unchecked, it could lead the FDA to claim it can regulate other foods, prohibiting sales of rare meat, oysters, sushi, or lettuce!

I have a short video introduction on our website that briefly explains why the campaign is so important for preserving food choices.


In case you're a new member, or haven't had a chance to check it out, we have recently improved our member-only resources available online. When you log in to your account HERE, simply choose “Member Resources Home” on the menu to see all of the great webinars, podcasts, and articles we have for you there.

Our most recent webinar, "Making a Difference: How to Bring About Changes in Food Policy,” is now available for viewing at your convenience.

You will also find our 24-Hour Emergency Hotline that connects you quickly to our attorneys in the case of an unexpected farm visit or inspection from regulators.

We look forward to continuing to provide you with all of these great resources, and we thank you again for joining with us to make these important services available for our independent farmers, artisans, and cottage food makers.

Thank you again for your support as we work together to improve our food system.

In good health,

Alexia Kulwiec
Executive Director
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