“The latest tactic in impeding raw milk distribution–harassing farmers using drop sites–seems to be spreading from Minnesota to Missouri.
And like in Minnesota, where many of the ten consumer drop site hosts warned by regulators recently are continuing the defy the warnings, resistance is developing as well.
The Missouri events have developed rapidly. Last Thursday, a public health official from Missouri’s Christian County appeared at a residence where farmer Eric Vimont was dropping off milk, and waved a cease-and-desist order in front of him. Vimont, whose farm is actually in a neighboring county, refused to accept the cease-and-desist. So today, via certified mail, he received an “Order to Abate for Food Establishments.” “No food operations shall occur until the food establishment is brought into compliance,” it stated in part.
Vimont, who has for the last six years been making raw milk available privately to customers who order in advance, says he not only has no plans to abide by the order, but he is going to publicly drop off raw milk to a group of customers tomorrow (Thursday) evening…in front of the Christian County Public Health Department in Ozark (301 E. Brick St., which is 1 block north and east of the County Courthouse).
Vimont expects about 30 customers who normally pick up near that location to be present to get their milk, plus, “We expect a lot of people who are not customers.” He emphasized, though, that the milk is only for customers who pre-ordered. “There is no milk for open distribution.”
He says this is in line with Missouri law, which allows for the sale of raw milk from the farm, with delivery to individual consumers. The new rub seems to come over whether the delivery is allowed to drop points or consumers’ individual residences. The county health department has been referring to a 2007 opinion from the Missouri attorney general arguing that farmers are prohibited from selling “to the general public from a distribution center” established by the dairy farmer. …”