The FDA has won its fight against a Washington-area Amish farmer who had the temerity to sell unpasteurized (raw) milk to willing customers who were typically fully aware of the risks.
The FDA has won its two-year fight to shut down an Amish farmer who was selling fresh, raw milk to eager consumers in the Washington region, after a judge this month banned Daniel Allgyer from selling his milk across state lines, and he told his customers he’ll shut his farm down altogether.
The decision has enraged Mr. Allgyer’s supporters, some of whom have been buying from him for six years and who say the government is interfering with their parental rights to feed their children. But the Food and Drug Administration, which launched a full investigation complete with a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and a straw-purchase sting operation against Mr. Allgyer’s Rainbow Acres Farm, near Lancaster, said unpasteurized milk is unsafe and said it was exercising its due authority to stop its sale from one state to another.
Kentucky has a piece of legislation winding its way through the process that would recognize “cow sharing,” the legal recognition of those who own a cow in common for the purposes of divvying up the raw milk.
Even if this bill becomes law, the FDA would still be empowered by Congress and the White House to go after those who sell natural food to willing customers. Most of us will continue to buy pasteurized milk from a grocery store and are perhaps a bit weirded out by something so … well, raw. So why allow the federal government to engage in 5 a.m. raids and undercover sting operations just to shut down the willing buyers and sellers of a natural product?
There’s no question that raw milk is a controversial topic. There are risks associated with consuming it. Whatever those risks, taking responsibility for one’s own diet is one of several responsibilities of adulthood. How many other rights are implicated when a federal agency can legally prohibit the sale of natural food in the name of protecting you from your own choices?