“The Raw Milk Freedom Riders were organized to shift the legal heat of the federal and state war against raw milk from farmers to consumers.
Committing a crime? Max Kane, at Chicago rally, pays “agent” Mary Bercke for raw milk she has just brought from Wisconsin.But events Thursday illustrated how difficult that task is going to be. Whereas the U.S. Food and Drug Administration answered a November 1 demonstration outside its headquarters with a pledge not to interfere with consumers bringing raw milk across state lines for their own personal use, the agency chose to send a different message for this demonstration.
The government is fixated on legally hampering raw dairy farmers rather than messing with consumers, per FDA answers to the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund court suit challenging the ban on interstate raw milk sales.
So as half a dozen mothers engaged in civil disobedience Thursday by transporting raw milk from Wisconsin to a Chicago park, where they accepted payment for some of the milk (see photo at left), and passed out the rest to the 200 or so demonstrators protesting the FDA’s crackdown, the FDA chose to go after a farmer. Almost as if it was sending its own message of defiance, the agency began the process of filing legal papers in federal district court, in its effort to convince a federal judge to issue a permanent injunction against Pennsylvania Amish farmer Daniel Allgyer, and thereby end his shipments of raw milk to members of a Maryland food club.
And seemingly as if on cue, Wisconsin’s attorney general filed criminal charges against the state’s most famous raw dairy farmer and resister, Vernon Hershberger. Apparently unable to get a local prosecutor to act, the state’s Attorney General designated a special prosecutor to file the four misdemeanor charges against Hershberger for allegedly violating state dairy laws and selling food without a retail license….”