Tag Archives: interstate commerce

The absurdity of raw milk prohibition

This Carolina Journal Online columnist gives voice to a sentiment that seems to be growing across North America these days in regard to raw milk. Continued prohibition is just not making any sense. Why should governments be cutting back on everything from meat inspectors  to social services, while at the same time pouring what must be vast amounts of public money into prosecuting peaceful farmers who’ve finally figured out how to make a living providing something people want, and model citizens who are just trying to feed their families with what they see as the best and most nourishing foods they can find.

Are we missing something here? Who’s driving the rabid anti-raw milk agenda that we’re seeing from the FDA and other enforcers of the dairy status quo?

From the Carolina Journal Online:

This week’s “Daily Journal” guest columnist is Fergus Hodgson (@FergHodgson), John Locke Foundation Director of Fiscal Policy Studies.

RALEIGH — Picture a peaceful, Amish farmer, selling one of nature’s super foods — fresh, raw milk. Eager customers came from afar, even across state lines, to savor the taste and access a nutritious product. Who could oppose such harmonious commerce on Rainbow Acres Farm? Continue reading

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FDA takes heat over controversial raid on Amish raw milk farmer Dan Allgyer

From David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog:

Michael Taylor, of the FDA. Photo via The Complete Patient blog

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking a lot of heat about its undercover investigation and court action against Pennsylvania Amish farmer Daniel Allgyer. The FDA’s number-two , Michael (Son of Monsanto) Taylor, was even asked about the matter at a corporate get-together, where he spouted the expected rhetoric  about “doing our public health job” in connection with the legal assault, designed to prevent Allgyer from supplying a food club in Maryland with raw milk.

But Taylor made another interesting remark, noting that the campaign against Allgyer results from a “statutory directive” to the FDA.  He presumably was referring to the FDA’s implementation in 1987 of the federal ban on interstate distribution and sale of raw milk (PHS law 1240.61), at the behest of a federal judge the previous year. The judge ruled on a consumer group’s suit, demanding that the FDA put an end to interstate sales of unpasteurized milk. At that time, at least one large producer, Alta Deena, was shipping raw milk from its home base in California to a number of neighboring states. Continue reading

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Got (raw) milk? — disconnect grows between government and the people

From Fredericksburg.com:

Morgan the cow on Capitol hill in Washington D.C. during recent protest. Photo via Overoll.com

“AMERICA, sleep well. After a year of surveillance, an undercover operation, and a pre-dawn raid by gun-toting U.S. marshals, the country is safe from an Amish farmer. Dan Allgyer’s crime? Selling unpasteurized milk to a food co-op in the Washington area.

But raw-milk advocates, the feds are learning, do not go down easily. About 400 people protesting Mr. Allgyer’s arrest arrived on Capitol Hill earlier this month with a cow named Morgan, a milking stool, plastic cups, and plenty of passion. Toasting their favorite drink, they pointed out that the signers of the Constitution also drank raw milk and proclaimed “the right to choose what to eat and drink” without government interference. Continue reading

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Raw milk fans in Maryland have had to go “underground” to get their raw milk

From Allison Bourg on Hometown Annapolis.com

Suzy Provine of Millersville is an advocate for legalizing the sale of raw milk in Maryland. As a member of private buying club Grassfed on the Hill, she has raw milk shipped from a farm in Pennsylvania to her flower shop, where other Grassfed members pick it up once a week. Photo by Allison Bourg, The Capital

When the truck carrying the goods pulls up to Suzy Provine’s flower shop in Millersville, as many as a hundred people may show up to get their fix.

They’ll snatch up their share of the contraband and take it back to their homes, where they are free to consume it in peace.

The illicit substance in question?

Raw milk.

The members of Grassfed on the Hill – a private club for Marylanders who want to purchase unpasteurized milk – pay $6 per gallon for the milk, shipped directly from an Amish-run farm in Lancaster County, Pa. Some tout the health benefits of drinking natural milk. Others like the idea of knowing exactly where their milk is coming from.

Whatever their reasoning, they’re a devoted bunch of consumers. They just wish they could buy their milk at local farms. Continue reading

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FDA tells consumers “you’re breaking the law” but we’ll go after the farmers

The latest from The Complete Patient blog;

When agent Jim Roettger of the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture was caught on video confiscating raw milk last December in suburban Minneapolis, he could be heard at one point telling a complaining consumer to bug out. “I don’t have to respond to your questions. You’re not part of this investigation.” In other words, we may be taking your milk, but it’s none of your business if we bring the wrath of the law down on your farmer supplier.

I get the same feeling reading through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s response to the FTCLDF federal suit challenging the agency’s prohibition on interstate sale and distribution of raw milk. I’ve gone through the FDA’s response several times during my travels since it came out a couple weeks back, trying to make sense of it beyond its legalese—after all, the FDA rarely reveals much about its real strategy, except when forced to in legal confrontations like this one….” Continue reading

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Is raw milk as dangerous as say, prescription pharmaceuticals?

The latest, from David E. Gumpert at The Complete Patient blog:

“….I’m not especially enamored of the public employees in Wisconsin. Remember, they include bureaucrats with the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, who have been going after dairy farmers with a vengeance during the last couple of years. I wouldn’t mind seeing their budgets cut so far back that many of them would have to find real jobs. But I dislike even more the scapegoating that is driving the Wisconsin budgetary situation.

It’s a situation not unlike what we face with the regulation of raw dairy. We see the regulators jump on any indication of illness, while sanctioning huge numbers of illnesses and deaths from prescription drugs and all kinds of lifestyle problems. Continue reading

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Raw milk consumers win round one on interstate commerce legal challenge

Excerpted from “Real Raw Milk Facts” blog:

Falls Church, Virginia (August 20, 2010) –  In a complex federal district court ruling, Judge Mark W. Bennett refused to grant a motion by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the agency by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) and eight other named plaintiffs.  The lawsuit argues that federal regulations (21 CFR 1240.61 and 21 CFR 131.10) prohibiting raw milk for human consumption in interstate commerce are unconstitutional as applied to FTCLDF’s members and the other plaintiffs named in the suit. Continue reading

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