“Federal agents watched the home closely for a year, gathering evidence. Then, in a pre-dawn raid, armed members from three agencies swooped in.
No, this is not a retelling of the lightning U.S. commando attack in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Rather, the target of the raid late last month by U.S. marshals, a state police trooper and inspectors from the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) was Amish farmer Dan Allgyer of Kinzers, Pa. His so-called “crime” involved nothing more than providing unpasteurized, or raw, dairy milk to eager consumers here in the Washington area.
The sting operation against Mr. Allgyer’s Rainbow Acres Farm has touched a nerve around the country and across the ideological divide. Mr. Allgyer’s customers – including a soccer mom I know – are outraged. Former Sen. Fred Thompson, Tennessee Republican, took to Twitter recently to blast the raid, calling it a waste of time and resources and mockingly suggesting the FDA would do better to shut down the “many unlicensed lemonade stands” operating around the country. AuthorDavid Gumpert, writing at the left-of-center environmental website Grist, wondered whether those who took part in the raid felt “remorse or shame” over this “official effort to deprive people of food.” On May 11,Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, introduced H.R. 1830, the Unpasteurized Milk Bill, which would end the FDA’s ban and permit the sale of raw milk across state lines.
What could possibly be the rationale behind this FDA action? The agency banned the interstate sale of raw milk in 1987. It says raw milk can contain harmful pathogens such as listeria and that pasteurized milk is safer.
No one disputes that pasteurization helps kill harmful pathogens. But where the FDA claims to see a mountain, most states see a molehill. Nearly 25 years after the FDA policy was instituted, just 11 states ban raw milk within their own borders….”