Liz Reitzig is a confessed criminal

From Liz Reitzig, on

Activist Liz Reitzig puts her own freedom on the line by transporting raw milk across state borders. Picture above from demonstration at FDA headquarters in Maryland, December 2011.

Not many people would look at me and see a confessed criminal. As a suburban mom with 5 small children, a minivan and a dog, it’s just not people’s first assumption about me. However, I am a repeat and proud offender of the FDAs regulation 21 CFR 1240.61 – the ban on interstate transportation of raw milk.

For years I have transported raw milk across state lines and have every intention of continuing to do so until this food is widely available within my home state of Maryland.

About 9 years ago, when my oldest child was just beginning to eat real food, she had major problems digesting milk and milk products. After much research and thought, I decided to try raw milk for her. So I joined a cow share operation. (A cow share operation is very similar to horse boarding. You buy a share in a cow and then pay a farmer to board and mil the animal and then you receive the milk from your own cow. This is a great way for suburban and urban families to enjoy the benefits of raw milk from their own animals. But, it is currently illegal in Maryland. As is transporting raw mil across state lines. Which puts me in a difficult position.)

We were very happy with our cow share. We enjoyed visiting the farm, petting our cow and learning about what is involved in taking care of the animals. My daughter’s health improved as a result and it was a win-win. Shortly after we began though, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (MDHMH) arbitrarily changed the definition of “sale” of raw milk to include a cow share operation. They even included barter arrangements in that. It was crushing to lose access to the food that I had carefully chosen for my children and devastating to the farmer involved. The MDHMH rule already criminalized all peaceful farmers who simply wanted to share excess milk with their friends or neighbors and the altered definition destroyed the means for suburban and urban families to enjoy the milk from their own dairy animals.

It is most unfortunate that the state of Maryland has actively continued to allow the criminalization of hard working, peaceful farmers who produce a product people want. With this criminalization, comes a scarcity. Because of the scarcity of fresh milk from Maryland producers, thousands of Maryland families procure their fresh milk from Pennsylvania Farmers and, in doing so become criminals for transporting that fresh milk across state lines….”




Filed under News

4 responses to “Liz Reitzig is a confessed criminal

  1. “The statutes of the United States define federal crimes. Behavior that is considered a crime must be behavior forbidden by statute …”(1) which in this instance must be a federal legislative act and every Act of Congress carries with it a land-based jurisdiction that consists of property that is owned by the “United States of America”. However, the previous Organic Law(2) clearly declares that “the free inhabitants of each of these states … shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states; and the people of each state shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other state, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce …”

    Based on what the Organic Law clearly says – I do not recognize that a crime has been committed as Liz describes it and therefore she is no “criminal”!

    (1)Bouvier law Dictionary: Crime ; (2) Article IV – Articles of Confederation (1777)

  2. aed939

    Chef Jem,
    Liz is trying to raise awareness of the FDA’s current misinterpretation of interstate commerce. Yes, the final consumer can drive with their milk across state lines as much as you can buy a big mac in one state and eat it in another. But the FDA has prosecuted a PA farmer who made use of a buying club to carpool milk. It is a matter of unsettled law, but the key factor in these cases is that milk is not resold subsequent to crossing state lines. I believe that is the standard that would separate interstate commerce from intrastate commerce if a case is ever heard by the Supreme Court.

    • Thank You aed939!

      I’m also aware of the plight of a number of the real milk farmers as well as a member on Vernon Hershberger’s food club and therefore I agree with you about the “misinterpretation”. In light of all of this and with a renewed focus on supporting the farmers now I’d like all the small family real milk farmers to know that there is a proprietary requirement for all federal agencies before they can Lawfully act in any way against a private American farmer who is farming on his own land. That is the one central point of my message and I am sticking with it unless someone is able to show that this information is incorrect.


  3. It never ceases to amaze me the lengths to which the government will go to regulate what Americans can and can’t consume. Who is the better judge of what is best for my health and the health of my family? Me or a bureaucrat hundreds or even thousands of miles away? So sad.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s