Regulation

"Is Daddy Going to Jail?"

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were you involved in the making of the movie "Witness"? No? OK, you're free to go.

"They came in the dark, shining bright flashlights while my family was asleep, keeping me from milking my cows, from my family, from breakfast with my family and from our morning devotions, and alarming my children enough so that the first question they asked my wife was, 'Is Daddy going to jail?'"

That's Amish farmer Dan Allgyer, describing an early morning visit from FDA agents, U.S. Marshals, and a Pennsylvania state trooper, looking to bust him for selling unpasteurized milk across state lines.

They rooted through his belongings and kept him from milking his cows after showing him a warrant that authorized entry using "reasonable force." Daily Caller staffer and former Reason intern Mike Riggs reports:

Several days later, Allgyer received a letter from the Food and Drug Administration that read, "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 letter does not list the evidence against Allgyer, nor does it name specific violations. In fact, the letter from the FDA says exactly the opposite: "This letter is not intended to provide an all-inclusive list of violations." Two paragraphs later, the letter instructs Allgyer to report within 15 days "the specific steps you have taken to correct the noted violations."

If Allgyer doesn't "promptly" address the violations the FDA found, including the ones they haven't bothered to tell him about, it "could result in regulatory action without further notice" including "seizure and injunction."

More on the increasingly aggressive and occasionally violent raw milk crackdown here and here.

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  1. This is so utterly pointless. If producer and consumer both know its raw milk, I don’t care whether or not it’s actually any healthier or more dangerous.

    1. If producer and consumer both know its raw milk, I don’t care whether or not it’s actually any healthier or more dangerous.

      When it comes to the insatiable appetite of the liberal tyrant it is your body, your choice. Unless you choose to consume unpasteurized milk, chose drugs not named alcohol, caffeine or tobacco, chose to sell your sexual services, chose to sell your labor below a rate they deign acceptable…ad nauseum.

      1. That comment is easily the stupidest thing I’ve read in the past week.

        1. ORLY, how so? The only thing questionable in that post was the comment about the ‘liberal tyrant.’

          Both liberals and conservatives insist on controlling what people do with their own bodies, liberals just claim they don’t.

  2. Everything not Prohibited is Mandatory.

    1. Well, there goes my big idea to create a truly anti-government entity: The Amish Party.

      1. Instead of the Big Tent, the Big Barn!

  3. Big agra, Monsanto and Nutrasweet don’t like these bastards…farmers milking cows

    so they will have them sent to jail.

    This is how corporate welfare works.

    Bush-Obama-Neocon-facist-all the same thing…just don’t call this free minds and free markets.

    1. This is how corporate welfare works.

      This is how government regulation works. The FDA was supposedly brought in to police the big business.

      But of course we’re poised to do the same thing again in financial reform.

      1. And just wait until the government regulates breathing.

        1. And just wait until the government regulates breathing.

          Read the Health care reform bill, they’re already taxing it.

      2. So wait, this isn’t government looking out for the little guy? Shit.

      3. It’s the Libertarian Catch-22 again!

        1. I don’t think you understand libertarians very well at all. But what do I know? I’m just the friendly neighborhood troll feeder.

        2. “Mommy, don’t you want to eat Precious? That’s the only way to get immunity from the Pox. I can eat half of her, and you can eat half, and then we won’t get the Pox.” Janet opened her mouth and clamped her teeth around one of the cat’s hind legs, struggling to tear off a piece of its flesh.

          1. I think the Pox was caused by kittens drinking raw milk.

          2. When I first read it, I thought by “Precious” you meant that really fat chick from the movie last year.

      4. Regulatory capture anyone?

        1. I think this one’s more related to the slippery slope of regulation.

    2. Big agra, Monsanto and Nutrasweet don’t like these bastards…farmers milking cows

      so they will have them sent to jail.

      Big Milk doesn’t give a rat’s ass about some Amish dairy farmer selling hippies milk.
      This is the Progressive FDA “protecting” people from their own choices. They need a schedule like the DEA. Raw milk can be “Schedule I” and salt can be “Schedule IV”

      1. The two usually go hand in hand. Government regulation doesn’t always directly relate to some form of corporate welfare but it does tend to be a powerful motivator.

  4. “We’re from the government, and we’re here to help.”

  5. “This letter is not intended to provide an all-inclusive list of violations.”

    Good thing I’m a fucking pacifist.

  6. Consumers aren’t smart enough to make their own choices, so we must make them for them. If a few people get roughed up as a consequence, so what? They can take comfort in knowing that they’ve sacrificed for the collective.

    1. two wrongs make a right.

      1. No. Three lefts make a right.

  7. Amish bastard. They ought to penalize his sorry ass by mandating his ass buy health insurance!

  8. Amish bastard. They ought to penalize him by making his sorry ass buy health insurance!

  9. Amish bastard. They ought to penalize him by making his sorry ass buy health insurance!

  10. Amish bastard. They ought to penalize him by making his sorry ass buy health insurance!

  11. They’re pulling this same shit on the raw almond growers in California. I think Carney has a piece on the regulations written by the large growers to shut down the small farmers.

    1. Don’t you understand that the radical deregulation of the almond market is what caused the need for the almond bailout? The FDA must go in and re-regulate!

  12. Amish bastard. They ought to penalize him by making his sorry ass buy health insurance!

  13. Look, I’m as opposed to pointless regulation and enforcement as anyone here, but isn’t this account a bit overdramatized?

    While it’s definitely a stupid law they’re enforcing, I can’t find any reason to be outraged about the manner of enforcement. They had a warrant. They identified themselves and provided a copy of the warrant. They searched the property, asked questions, and took photographs.

    The only complaints were that they arrived early before dawn (~4:30am) and carried flashlights *GASP*.

    1. Did you RTFA? The demanded he correct things without giving him a list of things to correct.

      1. Kafka lives!

      2. Yes,

        I did RTFA. The letter you’re talking about came “several days later”.

        Quote: Allgyer refused to say anything and the agents left. Several days later, Allgyer received a letter from the Food and Drug Administration that read, “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.”

    2. Let me see.

      1. Cops actually were able to get a warrant for illegaly selling MILK.

      2. Cops from 3 agencies involved.

      3. 0430 raid – I know the Amish start early, but politeness would dictate a after sunrise search. Would make the search easier anyway.

      4. Farmer gets no list of violations but is required to specifically address the violations within 2 weeks or face arrest and/or seizure of his assets.

      1. It is well known that cows are noctrunal and come sunrise they hide in thier burrows and tree top nests. Also the Amish, given the least hint of warning of the raid, would have flushed the evidence (actually dumped it in the outhouse and no way are the cops from any of the 15 agencies involved going to muck around in that shit).

        1. Thanks for making me lol.

    3. They showed up with 5 or more government agents. What were they expecting; a shoot out with squirt guns loaded with unpasteurized milk?

    4. Russ R…you sir are a bootlicker

  14. Seig Heil! Vie have vays of making you comply…and vie von’t tell you vhat you have to comply vith.

    If some dip shit wishes to drink raw milk, then I say let him get what ever the little nasties will give him. Informed buyer? Yes. Informed seller? Yes. No problem.

    1. This is the correct response. Pasteurization of milk has been one of the most important advancements in public health. If individuals choose to drink unpasteurized milk, it is their right to do so, as long as they know what the risks are.

  15. I’m glad they shut this guy down. We all know that milk is a gateway liquid.

    1. Nice.

  16. The latest threat to our national security-The Amish!

    1. Little-known fact: The Amish are the aliens that Stephen Hawking has been saying we should fear.

      1. Revealing Amish secrets is not a good idea. I’d hate to see you get munsoned out in the middle of nowhere.

  17. Amish bastard. They ought to penalize him by making his sorry ass buy health insurance!

  18. Amish bastard. They ought to penalize him by making his sorry ass buy health insurance!

  19. Man I am so relieved the pigs from three different agencies are on the ball. Shit like this is what keeps me awake up at night. Raw milk….. the very concept sends shivers down my spine.

  20. It’s a good think the FDA agents brought along the U.S. Marshals and the state police. You never know when Ezekiel and Jebediah might go gangster on your ass with some flintlocks.

    1. You never know when Ezekiel and Jebediah might go gangster on your ass with some flintlocks.

      Actually, the Amish are pacifists so they wouldn’t even have flintlocks.

  21. How fucked up does a government have to get in order to persecute the fucking Amish?

    1. Why do you think they’re here in the first place, X? The Mennonites and Amish left Europe because they were tired of the gov’t screwing with them.

      1. Interestingly, Amish men won’t grow hair on their upper lips because all the officers who persecuted them in the old country had moustaches.

        1. It’s why they eschew the use of metal buttons on jackets as well.

  22. Fuck the FDA. Just fuck them. What a fucking joke.

  23. WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET A POST ON THE SUPREME COURT VIDEO GAME CASE?!?!?!? Nerdy Reason readers want to know.

    1. The Amish are severely underrepresented on the Court.

      1. Obama will rectify that by appointing a wise Amish.

  24. Life was so much better when people could freely sell you milk that would kill you.

    1. Life was so much better when the government made all my decisions for me.

    2. If it weren’t sold across state lines, there would be no violation here, so yeah shut the fuck up. The FDA is just flexing their muscles at a time when they should be back at the lab approving life saving drugs and unscheduling all narcotics for human consumption forever and ever, amen. Turd.

    3. You know, this is the 2000s now. We have this neat thing called refrigeration, greatly reducing the risk associated with unpasteurized milk.

      1. Yeah, but… they’re Amish. They don’t have refrigeration.

        1. Actually, many Amish diary farmers have electricity hook ups in their barns just for meat and milk fridges. They use appropriate technology where needed–they just eschew what they view as “luxury”.

          And if none of your cows have TB (and with a herd of less than fifty, you’ll know that) raw milk poses less of a health problem than store-bought, FDA-inspected ground beef

    4. I have been drinking raw milk for many years and have not had a single health issue. Billions of people have been drinking raw milk for thousands of years and the human race is still here.

  25. Life was so much better when people could freely sell you milk that would kill you.

    Right on, Dan T. Everyone knows that those dairy-farming bastards love nothing more than killing their customers whenever the opportunity presents itself, so we should be thankful the FDA is out there breaking heads. They’re doing God’s work in some of the hardest neighborhoods in Lancaster County.

    Seriously, though — shut the fuck up, you retarded piece of shit.

  26. Amish farmers are more often than not heavily armed and willing to use force when confronted with police. Also, you can’t give them time to dump the raw milk down the outhouse. So, the “reasonable force” warrant for a midnight search was completely justified.

    1. Oh yeah, cuz Midnight or 4:30am are when everyone’s vision and mental clarity are at their peak. Really? Why not right after lunch when the suspects are full from a hearty home cooked meal? Walk up like a man, and them the warrant and proceed in everyone’s plain view. Call me crazy but people are less likely to react in stupid ways when people don’t take them off guard.

    2. Give the cops a break … they just wanted some overtime.

    3. Might as well put the Amish on the SPLC domestic terrorist watch list, then…

  27. Why do you think they’re here in the first place, X?

    I can see how an absolute monarchy somewhere in the 18th century might see danger in such a weird sect, but in this day and age? Seriously?

    Interestingly, Amish men won’t grow hair on their upper lips because all the officers who persecuted them in the old country had moustaches.

    Specifically, the ‘stache was the style rocked by cavalry officers, who were typically the lash wielded when anybody needed persecutin’ back then. I wouldn’t expect you to know that though, English.

    1. but in this day and age? Seriously?

      Mennonites in general are fairly rabid about not participating in government schemes that they feel are in contradiction to their beliefs. Surely you can see why that might be an example governments might not want to let slide?

      cavalry officers, who were typically the lash wielded when anybody needed persecutin’ back then

      All the way through the 19th century, X. My boys did some of that work against the peaceful natives.

  28. They need to start going after the Hutterites next. Sure, they claim they’re pacifists, but they’re a bunch of commies, so who can trust ’em?

    1. We’re goin Waco on their asses. They got have guns somewhere.

  29. Wait til they pull this shit on a cop who’s just pretending to be Amish because he’s hiding out from other corrupt cops. They’ll get an old-fashioned whack-down!

  30. What a fine use of law enforcement resources.

    As a compliance attorney, if I got a letter like that, I would probably go to court and try to get an injunction against enforcement, pending a detailed notification of the alleged violations. Until I know exactly how I’m supposedly violating the law, its kind of hard to know what I’m supposed to correct.

    1. Hmm. So “you know what you’re guilty of, just quit doing it” isn’t enough detail? Funny, that.

    2. I’m against this kind of regulation and enforcement, but you really should read more carefully. They tell him exactly what he’s not supposed to do (sell unpasteurized milk across state lines).
      I’m not sure why he “can’t comply” with an order to desist.. he simply needs to stop selling unpasteurized milk across state lines. Easy.

      Not that I agree that it should be illegal, of course.

  31. We drank fresh, whole, un-Pasteurized milk, almost exclusively, for about 15 years. We would skim off about 2/3 of the cream and make butter from it. At least half the time, the milk was still warm. No one in the family ever had a single issue with it, whatsoever. In a family of five, it never lasted long enough to go bad.

    1. In a family of five, it never lasted long enough to go bad.

      And it doesn’t even really “go bad” in the same way pasteurized milk does.

      Raw milk sours, but there is still nothing wrong with it when it does. It actually can be made into a tasty yogurt once it sours.

      My family has been drinking raw milk for years without a problem. Our local farm in michigan is also being persecuted by the FDA for this same bullshit. It’s ridiculous.

  32. Surely you can see why that might be an example governments might not want to let slide?

    I suppose i do. My wife was smart not to let me put a Gadsden bumper sticker on my car.

  33. Homer: Five-alarm chili, eh? One…two…Hey, what’s the big idea?

    Ned: Oh, I admit it. It’s only two alarm, two and a half, tops! I just wanted to be a big man in front of the kids.

    Todd: Daddy, are you going to jail?

    Ned: We’ll see, son. We’ll see.

  34. Since this is an FDA thread, I’m surprised that this board hasn’t noted the agency’s recent consumer update:

    http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumer…..208365.htm

    They’ve concluded it’s unsafe to give your dog a bone. Any bone, even the big ones from a ham or something. Uh, despite dogs kinda evolving in the wild to be uh, predators, and doing exactly this sort of stuff.

    So when does something like this start showing up as a charge of animal cruelty? About as ridiculous as busting some Amish farmer for selling milk.

    1. Enjoy it while it’s still legal.

  35. Arrest them all, they are just a bunch of Racist Neo-Nazis. Consider:

    1> They speak German.
    2> You ever see a Black or Latino Amish person?
    3> They don’t smoke, just like Hitler.

  36. Raw milk is definitely dangerous when it is industrially-processed. A little rat feces goes a very long way in milk. However, those dangers are much diminished when you buy directly from the farm.

    Why chance it? Well, raw milk supposedly has a superior nutrient profile and is much more easily digested than pasteurized milk. Since the only dairy folks used before the mid-1800s was raw, the thought is that lactose-tolerant humans cannot use and absorb pasteurized milk in the same way.

  37. They need to get Harrison Ford back up there to pop some caps in some asses.

  38. “could result in regulatory action without further notice”

    Look, I feel for this guy and all, but when has the government not subjected its citizens “regulatory action without further notice”?

  39. Actually, the Amish are pacifists so they wouldn’t even have flintlocks.

    Are they pacifists towards bears/wolves/mountain-lions too? Or do they just turn the other cheek when something preys on their herds?

  40. Sounds to me like the FDA has too many staff.

    Maybe some budget cutting is in order.

    1. Why can’t they just look at porn like the SEC?

  41. The Dan Allgyer incident is only the tip of the milk mafia iceberg.

    The USDA & FDA are tax feeders and simply exist to do the bidding of large corporations and corrupt politicians & Washington.

    Thanks to Washington, at present milk prices are suppressed below the 1970’s price.
    Dairy farmers are getting less than $16 a #100 weight for their milk. But you the consumer pay well over $2.50 a gallon.
    It all very incestuous considering that it costs well over $7 to produce one gallon of milk.

    Farmers that sell direct to consumer “legal” raw milk in my part of Pennsylvania are getting over $50 a #100 weight for their milk.

    Raw milk is popular and is cutting into the State Sponsored Control Paradigm.

    Just so you folks know:
    Amish are complete pacifists
    Amish smoke
    Amish eat junk food
    Lots of Amish pasteurize their own milk before they drink it.
    Raw milk does have risks.

  42. If he sets up a cow share program, like I have, he should be fine.

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