“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….”