Tag Archives: MDA

Further legal wrangling in Minnesota over the Alvin Schlangen raw milk case

From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:

“First, the  judge in the administrative case launched by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture against Alvin Schlangen put a hold on the agency’s  attempt to  score a quick legal victory  against the farmer. The MDA fileda motion in a state administrative court for summary disposition against Schlangen, growing out of MDA administrative hearings earlier this year in which Schlangen was declared in violation of Minnsesota dairy and food licensing regulations by distributing food to members of his food club.

As part of these latest proceedings, the MDA (via the Minnesota Attorney General) asked the judge in the  case to rule in its favor because Schlangen hadn’t filed the  requisite responses in the agency’s administrative case earlier this year by the required deadlines. Schlangen’s FTCLDF lawyer, Nathan Hansen, argued that the farmer didn’t have  proper legal  representation to handle the paperwork. Several days ago, the judge denied the MDA’s request to penalize Schlangen for being late in filing his papers, and asked some pointed questions of the MDA. Continue reading

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MDA vs Alvin Schlangen… again!

From David E. Gumpert on The Complete Patient blog:

“You might think the Minnesota Department of Agriculture would regroup and reassess after being handed its head by a Minneapolis jury that acquitted Alvin Schlangen of misdemeanor charges just two months ago.

But no, the agency is pushing full speed ahead in a separate administrative case it filed months ago–one of three cases, together with the Minneapolis case and another misdemeanor case in Schlangen’s home of Stearns County that were filed against the farmer in connection with his food club’s distribution of food to more than 100 members.

The MDA clearly is more confident taking its case to a judge, rather than a jury, which isn’t required in an administrative case such as this. The administrative case is potentially less onerous for Schlangen– the judge in this case can order Schlangen to obtain a food license and discontinue distributing raw milk, but can’t penalize him for ignoring his orders; that would require the MDA to appeal for criminal penalties, and could put the case before a jury…again. No, this is more about harassment, requiring an expenditure of time and energy by Schlangen and his lawyer from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.   Continue reading

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Raw milk farmer Michael Hartmann does plea bargain deal with MDA to save his family from prosecution

From David E. Gumpert on The Complete Patient blog:

“In the end, Michael Hartmann made the best deal he could–if he was going to save his family–when he pleaded guilty Monday to two misdemeanors in connection with sales of raw milk  and other foods, and agreed to pay a fine of $585. Seven other misdemeanor charges were dismissed in the process.

According to news accounts, he was placed under non-supervised parole for six months and  ordered to comply with all state labeling and licensing  regulations.

In the end,  also, Hartmann  went alone to his fate. He didn’t want supporters present, and he has many.  Perhaps he went alone because this particular court  case had  become  a private matter between himself and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. There was no glory in copping a plea, so why have supporters waste their  time and energy coming, he may have  reasoned. (He hasn’t been talking to the media, nor has he wanted media attention when I’ve spoken with him over the last year.)    Continue reading

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MDA sore losers in raw milk case

From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:

This frame grab from a Japanese film sums up what the regulators must be feeling about now.

“The 250 or so people attending my presentation Saturday on “America’s Underground Food War” at the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania broke into applause when I told them, near the end of the talk, that Alvin Schlangen had been acquitted of all charges Thursday in connection with his raw milk and private food case. Continue reading

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Minnesota mom faces off with MDA regulators over allowing her garage to be used as a raw milk drop off site

Charlene Chan-Muehlbauer and her daughter, Amanda, stand in the garage that is used as a monthly drop site for Sibley County farmer Mike Hartmann’s raw milk products. Photo and caption via Daily Planet.

“For north St. Anthony Park resident Charlene Chan-Muehlbauer, it all comes down to the health of her 22-year-old daughter. “To protect [her] access to raw milk,” says Chan-Muehlbauer, “I’m willing to go to jail.  But to be jailed for something like this—it’s just wrong.”

Chan-Muehlbauer is reacting to the latest development in a long-running dispute between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and families like hers, who believe so strongly in the nutritional and curative properties of unpasteurized milk that they’re willing to risk legal sanctions in order to get it. Continue reading

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MDA threats against raw milk moms

Health Ranger Mike Adams of Natural News, on Infowars.com:

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Mothers plan to openly defy authorities in Minnesota milk battle facing threat of criminal charges

In a new level of intrusion into private contracts between farmers and local customers, mothers who host “drop sites” for their farm buying club are being threatened with criminal charges in Minnesota. Fed up, some consumers are willing to risk arrest rather than have their state dictate food choice. –Kimberly Hartke, Publicist

Minneapolis, MN, May 7, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A civil disobedience action and rally will be held next week to protest the Minneapolis trial of farm buying club manager, Alvin Schlangen. Sponsored by the Farm Food Freedom Coalition, customers and supporters from around the state and country will rally for Schlangen on the first day of his criminal trial on Monday, May 14 at 7:00 a.m., outside the Minneapolis courthouse.

At the rally supporters will sign a “Declaration of Food Independence” and demonstrate non-compliance against what they deem “unjust” regulations. The rally is expected to draw hundreds. Details about the event are on the Raw Milk Freedom Riders website. Continue reading

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