Sting Against Amish Raw Milk Producer Results in Federal Case
May 1, 2011
A year long sting operation against an Amish “contraband” raw milk producer in Pennsylvania has resulted in a court case against Rainbow Acres Farms. The government filed a ten page complaint against the Amish business in federal court last week.
“It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” said Tamara N. Ward, spokeswoman for the FDA.
According to the complaint, the FDA began to investigating Allgyer’s farm in late 2009, when an investigator in their Baltimore office used aliases to sign up for a Yahoo user group for Rainbow Acres’ customers, and began to place orders under the assumed names for unpasteurized milk, according to the Washington Times.
In order to make the case federal, orders were delivered to private residences in Maryland, where the investigator, whose name was not disclosed in the documents, would pick them up. By crossing state lines the milk became part of interstate commerce, thus subject to the FDA’s ban on interstate sales of raw milk, Stephen Dinan writes for the Times.
The FDA also says bottles of milk were unmarked, which is also a violation of FDA regulations.
In April of 2010, Amish farmer Dan Allgyer was raided two FDA agents, two U.S. Marshals, and a Pennsylvania state trooper for the crime of selling raw milk. “We have credible evidence that you are involved in interstate commerce,” FDA investigator Joshua C. Shafer told Allgyer.
“An investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that you are causing to be delivered into interstate commerce, selling, or otherwise distributing raw milk in final package form for human consumption,” the FDA said in a letter to the farmer.
“These busybodies are citing Allgyer’s violation of the misinterpreted commerce clause, which was originally intended to prevent states from prohibiting individuals from doing business with one another across state lines. In other words, the federal food authorities are doing the exact opposite of their constitutional mandate,” writes Andrew Ward of Campaign for Liberty.
“Thank God for the federal government keeping us safe,” writes a FavStocks blogger sarcastically. “Perhaps, they will start strip searches at airports and feeling old lady’s boobies up to protect us from radical Islamic terrorists or some scary guys wearing camouflage who shoot guns on their own private property. Oh, wait, the federal government is already doing that too.”
Advocates cite evidence raw milk is more healthy than pasteurized milk when purchased from responsible farms. They say that pasteurization made sense in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when sanitation was poorly understood and practiced by players in the milk production/distribution chain, leading to outbreaks of milk-borne disease in urban areas, according to Craig Weatherby, writing for Vital Choices.