Raw Milk Bans

Raw Force vs. Raw Milk

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Warning: Aggravating bullshit ahead, as reported in the Washington Times:

A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area.

The product in question: unpasteurized milk….

Why? Why Why Why? The Food and Drug Administration has some very strong feelings on the matter:

"It is the FDA's position that raw milk should never be consumed," said Tamara N. Ward, spokeswoman for the FDA, whose investigators have been looking into Rainbow Acres for months, and who finally last week filed a 10-page complaint in federal court in Pennsylvania seeking an order to stop the farm from shipping across state lines any more raw milk or dairy products made from it.

The farm's owner, Dan Allgyer, didn't respond to a message seeking comment, but his customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland were furious at what they said was government overreach…..

Raw-milk devotees say pasteurization, the process of heating food to kill harmful organisms, eliminates good bacteria as well, and changes the taste and health benefits of the milk. Many raw-milk drinkers say they feel much healthier after changing over to it, and insist they should have the freedom of choice regarding their food.

One defense group says there are as many as 10 million raw-milk consumers in the country. Sales are perfectly legal in 10 states but illegal in 11 states and the District, with the other states having varying restrictions on purchase or consumption…..

The Obama administration is totally and completely serious about budget sense in these trying times. Believe it! But here is where your tax dollars that they need so many more of are going:

According to the complaint the FDA filed in court, the agency began to look into Mr. 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.

The 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. The court papers note that the jugs of milk were not labeled—another violation of FDA regulations.

Armed with that information, investigators visited the farm in February 2010, but Mr. Allgyer turned them away. They returned two months later with a warrant, U.S. marshals and a state police trooper, arriving at 5 a.m. for what Mr. Allgyer's backers called a "raid," but the FDA said was a lawful inspection.

The investigators said they saw coolers labeled with Maryland town names, and the coolers appeared to contain dairy products. The inspection led to an April 20, 2010, letter from FDA telling Mr. Allgyer to stop selling across state lines.

He instead formed a club and had customers sign an agreement stating they supported his operation, weren't trying to entrap the owners, and that they would be shareholders in the farm's produce, paying only for the farmer's labor.

Customers hoped that would get around the FDA's definition of "commerce," putting the exchange outside of the federal government's purview.

The FDA investigators continued to take shipments, though, and last week went to court to stop the operation.

Nothing is outside their purview, alas, those damn dairy racket-busters. Reason magazine has lamented the death of the Commerce Clause in the past, and I guess we'll have to keep doing that.

Baylen Linnekin fights for food freedom.

NEXT: A Waste of Space

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  1. I live in a state that prohibits the sale of raw milk. I drive 37 miles to a farm in a neighboring state in order to buy raw milk and bring it back across state lines to my home. I really, really, really hope that I am not in violation of some law. I can just see my kids being taken away and my driver’s license being revoked due to my desire to dring creamy, fresh-from-the-teat milk.

    The public education system is supposed to teach us critical thinking, but only so far as we think critically along their lines. I have thought critically about food and determined that gubmint is generally wrong. Apparently, my capacity for critical thinking is not the correct capacity, since it seems my ability to buy raw milk will be curtailed.

    What is next – my kids won’t be able to eat a bagged lunch of my own choosing?

    1. “What is next – my kids won’t be able to eat a bagged lunch of my own choosing?”

      Don’t move to Chicago.

      1. Disturbing how all the reductio responses of old are coming to pass.

        1. It is only an absurd argument when you posit it in opposition. To the tyrant wannabe it is merely a suggestion for future action.

  2. “or dairy products made from it.”

    Really? Where are the bodies FDA? People drop dead from eating Roquefort all the time I guess and the French gubermnent covers is up.

    Come to think of it there was a giant pile of dead bodies behind the cheese shop in south Philly last month. Wait no, there wasn’t.

    What a bunch of douchebags.

    1. Wait a minute…. What do they make pasteurized milk from?

      1. Nice.

      2. Dude, I think you’ve got a case. File charges against every milk seller you know of.

        1. “Pasteurized cows.”

          aka, porterhouse

  3. Between this, going after those wicked food carts, and Four Loko, we’ll be free of the tyranny of those evil food vendors. I just hate when they force me to buy their products and consume them.

    Seriously though, you weren’t kidding at all: “Aggravating bullshit ahead…”

    So frustrating it makes me want to go start a raw dairy farm out of freaking spite.

  4. Somewhat unrelated:
    I don’t drink milk anymore, but i have a friend who is a chef that swears by raw milk. Says it’s amazing and won’t drink or use any milk that isn’t raw. I’ve kind of wanted to try it. Anyone familiar with it?

    1. And also, considering how shitty the FDA is at it’s actual job you would think they would have better things to do than this.

    2. Rainbow Acres is about 30 miles from my childhood home. I personally don’t like drinking straight raw milk as it has a higher fat content and it’s a bit thick. People often describe it as milkshake like. For those same reasons I like cooking with it and love cheese made out of it. It should be noted I don’t really like drinking milk regardless of it’s variety so I can’t really weigh in on it’s taste per se.

      As for healthfulness and flavor; The diet of the cow (grain vs grass, or ratio of the 2) in question has a large impact on the health (omega-3) content of the milk and it’s flavor, pasteurized or not.

      1. Also ice cream made out of it is especially rich and creamy. It’s the tits. Literally.

        1. haha Sounds delicious, I guess I’ll have to give in.

          1. You won’t be sorry. I make kefir, yogurt, ice cream and (occasionally) cheese from raw milk, all to the great delight of myself and my family. It really can’t compare to the pasteurized stuff from the grocery store.

            1. I want to try some 🙁

      2. Duh, if you don’t like the consistency or level of fat just let it sit and skim off the cream doofus.

    3. I had some of a friend’s milk when she was lactating. Tasted saltier than cow’s.

  5. It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed

    The FDA opposes breast feeding, nice to know.

    1. If you heat the breasts to 161 ?F for 15-20 seconds before feeding, the FDA is fine with it.

      1. This is good advice. I assured my wife that a vigorous massage for several minutes would heat her breasts enough to make the “mommy juice” safe for the children. Did it work? Who cares?

    2. Good to know I’m poisoning my kids with every sucking gulp they take…

    3. To be more fair than the FDA deserves, most mothers aren’t rolling around in septic tanks before suckling the kids. A lot of the large dairies are unspeakably filthy – the reason raw milk tends to be safe is that its producers tend to work on a small enough scale that they can run a healthy operation. This level of nuance is beyond the FDA, however, so they treat it all the same.

      1. Your level of nuance is beyond what most Hit ‘n’ Runners can comprehend, but thanks for trying.

      2. Large dairies are not unspeakably filthy. Dairy cows are a valuable commodity and healthy cows produce more milk. The problem with milk from large dairies is that the cows are fed grain which effects the microbial makeup of the milk. With grass fed cows the good bacteria crowd out the bad.

  6. Hopefully the FDA never researches how lambic beer is made, because if my Cantillon supply gets cut off, someone is gonna die.

    1. now I KNOW you are religious…While I love a good belgium lambic, the idea of leaving my brewing up to God is fucking crazy. Do you have any idea what kind of shit wants in my wort? Sorry, I am a control freak when it comes to my beer…i will violate the shit out of the rights of lactobacilis every day of the week (yes, yes it is a joke)…little bastards.

      SPIT IT OUT!!!

      1. do what you will to the lacto, but leave the brett alone. Brettanomyces does god’s work.

      2. If you lived in the Seine Valley, I would tell you that you are nuts. But since you dont, keep that stuff out.

        It isnt exactly clear what makes Cantillon Gueuze so awsometastic, but I know when they changed the slats in the roof, the flavor changed, so they put the old ones back.

        Plus there is the cat with access to the open coolships. And the centuries old bugs living in the wood of the aging vessels. And the spiderwebs.

        A sane brewer would freak out over all that shit, but God truly has blessed a little corner of Belgium.

  7. Humans have consumed raw milk for thousands of years, but now it’s bad. Got it.

    1. Humans have grown hemp for thousands of years, but it has only been in the last six decades that we have understood that even looking at it will addict you, drive you insane, and then kill you.

      It’s called the march of progress, Episiarch, and it’s a lot less painful if you lie down first.

      1. Lube helps too.

        1. In France, all the best cheeses are made from raw milk, as the cheese-makers claim that pasteurization destroys the delicate nuances of flavor. Trader Joes has a number of raw milk cheeses for sale, as does Whole Foods.

          In reality, homogenization is far,far more dangerous and harmful than raw milk. See references below:

          http://www.google.com/url?sa=t…..XE3MRfyCBA

    2. Humans have consumed raw milk for thousands of years, but now it’s bad. Got it.

      This is not a valid argument. It’s like saying “Oh sure, for thousands of years humans did without vaccines and now you’re telling us that it’s dangerous to skip our shots.” It’s one thing to argue that you and the farmer should be allowed to trade in raw milk if you wish but it’s something else entirely to act as if it’s anywhere near as safe as pasteurized milk. (It’s also another thing entirely to feed the raw cows’ milk to children.)

      1. It’s for teh children!

        Damn, I’m still recovering from last night… too early to start drinking again… meh, who am I kidding.

        1. That “It’s for the children” line only works when someone is calling for laws banning something for everyone. I’m just pointing out that the risks of raw milk are greater for children than adults (and, while I’m at it, that they don’t have the capability of giving informed consent).

          http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=491

          1. The risks of dangling from monkey bars are more dangerous for children than adults too.

            1. More children than adults are injured at elementary schools every year.

              1. Do you know how much dihydrogen monoxide is stored in the average public school?

            2. Is that a sincere argument? If so, I apologize for giving you more credit than you deserve. Reasonable people take risk versus benefit into account.

              1. The ethical way to handle the matter is to inform those affected that their infection was a result of drinking infected milk.

                The fist of government way is to tell them they may not consume raw milk, even when it is not so infected.

              2. Reasonable people take risk versus benefit into account.

                And reasonable governments allow them to do that for themselves.

              3. Reasonable people take risk versus benefit into account.

                But being a wise-ass is so much easier!

      2. I seriously doubt that raw milk is enough of a health hazard to justify restricting parents’ right to raise their children as they wish.

        At some point (a very early one in my opinion) you just have to trust parents to do what’s right for their children.

        1. I’d like to point out that the danger of any modern food product is considerably lower than it’s 1800’s counterpart because better standards of sanitation in all levels of handling and production. I still wouldn’t serve a rare burger to a child, but to say ground beef bought from a modern grocery store is as dangerous as beef bought in 1890 in an open air market, sitting at room temperature all day, and handled poorly from farm to table, because neither one is pasturized is displaying massive willful ignorance about every other component of what makes modern food safer than it was 200 years ago.

          /rant

          1. …to say ground beef bought from a modern grocery store is as dangerous as beef bought in 1890…

            Who said that?

            1. The risk/benefit ratio of pasturization is lower in the modern age with better standards of sanitation. That’s my point. It closes a smaller gap between possible contamination and absolute decontamination. Pasturization is fantastic, saved lots of lives, it has less benefit when food is handled safely and cleanly like it is now or atleast relative to how it was handled when it was invented.

              It’s the argument Hugh should have used, but didn’t.

              1. From the distinguished medical blogger Orac:

                Indeed, the WHO reports that there are no known proven reliable methods to reduce Campylobacter levels around dairy farms, which means that there is no known effective intervention farmers can use to decrease the risk of Campylobacter contamination of cow’s milk as it’s harvested. As a consequence, the WHO quite reasonably strongly discourages the consumption of raw milk. The evidence of the link between raw milk and serious infections is incontrovertible, as Dr. Joe Albietz points out after describing a patient he took care of who was sickened by raw milk. As blog bud PalMD points out, there have been 45 outbreaks of infections due to raw milk-borne Campylobacter, Salmonella, and E. coli. Given the lack of evidence for truly compelling health benefits of consuming raw milk compared to consuming pasteurized milk, the risk just isn’t worth it. Even if the benefits were that compelling, other methods would need to be found to eliminate the risk of infection, because, even if the raw milk faddists’ most extreme fantasies were true, I’m still not sure the risk-benefit ratio would favor raw milk. Given that the fantasies of raw milk faddists for raw milk apparently to prevent and cure all that ails you are not based in science, there’s no doubt that the risk of infection far outweighs any possible benefit that raw milk can provide.

                He has links for citations within that paragraph at his site.

                http://scienceblogs.com/insole…..e_huff.php

                I will not stand in your way if you want to drink raw milk, but it sounds like you are taking unnecessary risks.

                1. I fail to see how Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend are qualified to make such claims

                2. Flavor is a benefit they dont even seem to be considering.

        2. I seriously doubt that raw milk is enough of a health hazard to justify restricting parents’ right to raise their children as they wish.

          Probably not. I, for one, have not said that it is.

          At some point (a very early one in my opinion) you just have to trust parents to do what’s right for their children.

          I disagree. If you see someone acting from ignorance or misinformation and behaving recklessly, you have a moral duty to harangue and cajole them, especially if children are involved.

          1. I didn’t state it explicitly but I merely meant that you shouldn’t coerce parents to do what’s right for their children (aside from imminently serious dangers). If you want to persuade, persuade. Wouldn’t raise it to the level of moral duty to enhance the ignorant share of the gene pool.

    1. I feel like we mike know each other from other parts of the internets.

      1. I (very) occasionally post on Rippetoe’s site under a different name. I like to keep my personae separate, you see.

        1. Fair enough.

    2. no, no…30BAD dude.

      1. In some alternate universe, there’s a version of Warty who is a raw-food vegan and posts regularly on 30BAD. He hates guns and worked on the Obama campaign. I hate that skinny little smug fucker.

        1. We all do, Warty. We all do.

        2. and in that alternate universe I’d find that Warty sexy, I guess. Does he also wear skinny jeans way below his hips and lack facial hair and discernible biceps?

          1. He only needs to shave once a week. He also wears ironic cowboy shirts, and he meticulously tousles his full head of non-thinning hair. FUCK YOUR HAIR, ANTIWARTY.

            1. hahahah all my friends have been compalining of premature baldness, i’m afraid that mine can’t be too far around the corner.

              1. I assume you’re a lifter if you know about GOMAD. If you have a genetic tendency toward baldness, increasing your testosterone by lifting weights is going to make it happen faster. Sorry, dude.

                The good news is, chicks totally dig dudes who look like Jim Wendler.

                1. Yeah I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that my hair was a goner during the college football days.

                  plus i can always resort to really sweet hats if the Jim wendler look doesnt work out. I just don;t want to look like howie mandel

                2. lack of head hair is no problem if you have a developed, balanced physique. Not talking monster muscles, just a definite look of male-ness. Can’t stand the femme-boy look that so en vogue, or understand the women who find it attractive.

                3. Camera guy: I have to write an article on hypertrophy.

                  Jim: You want to know the truth? Dbol and milk.

      2. Look at this amazing success story. Ow, my brain…

        1. He went from doughy loser to Yaoi doodle in 30 days? Impressive.

          1. The top picture is the before pic. Success!

    1. And fuck you, squirrels.

  8. The reason the FDA is opposed to raw milk is that if it is stored or processed incorrectly it will kill you.

    Granted refrigeration technology is better than today than it was in 1920, but people drinking this stuff are taking real riskes with their health and society ends up paying for that.

    If half of the US health care market were not controlled by the government, I might support this. But all raw milk drinkers are doing is sucking up health care dollars.

    1. please try harder

    2. link or it didnt happen.

      I am not going to go 4chan here

    3. It’s the authoritarian’s refrain:

      “We pay for your healthcare, so we can tell you what to do.”

      1. I’d laugh if it weren’t so sadly true.

      2. “We pay for your healthcare, so we can tell you what to do.”

        It’s actually worse than that.

        “”We have chosen to pay for your healthcare no matter what your wishes are, so we can tell you what to do and force you to do it if you refuse.”

        1. yeah. Shut up and drink your One Size Fits All fluoridated water!

    4. Oh, I see. I guess we better ban skiing, rockclimbing, and well pretty much any physical activity that takes place outside of a gym too. Because of the added risk.

      1. Or driving, for that matter. How can we let Tom, or anyone else, continue to take unnecessary risks by operating motor vehicles. At the very least they should be restricted to only truly essential trips to work and only when there is no public transportation option. Anything else is forcing us to pay for all the health care consumed by auto accident victims.

        If half of the US health care market were not controlled by the government, I might support letting people drive for pleasure or vacations. But all non-essential drivers are doing is sucking up health care dollars.

    5. …but people drinking this stuff are taking real riskes with their health and society ends up paying for that.

      Doesn’t society pay a lot more if they live longer, and consume Social Security and Medicare benefits?

    6. Drink two gallons of water within a few minutes might kill you. Thus, let’s ban water?

  9. I don’t know if it’s better for you, but I can attest to the fact that raw milk tastes much better. Unless you have an overnight power outage, in which case it goes bad very quickly.

  10. By crossing state lines the milk became part of interstate commerce,

    Ha! How quaint.

    1. It was affecting me for a long time anyway.

      1. Doesn’t really matter if it was affecting you, because the statute specifies interstate commerce. It’s not a matter of constitutional power, because Congress didn’t take that tack for most of the FFDCA.

  11. We have to find a way to make raw milk abort the unborn.

    1. Doctors already warn pregnant women to avoid raw fish. American doctors do anyway, I’ve heard in Japan it’s no big deal.

      1. A friend of mine is pregnant. Her doctor gave her a very complicated fish list.

        1. I guess it varies. My wife saw a different doc for each kid (we move around a lot) and it was a blanket ban on raw fish.

          1. That may have been the case too. But I remember it being confusing by fish type and preparation method.

  12. The real reason for this is that the triumph of state-mandated pasteurization over disease is one of the major statist propaganda items, right up there with the victory over child labor and the vanquishing of the Great Depression.

    If anyone anywhere is allowed to consume raw milk and they fail to die, it undermines that triumph and every eighth-grade textbook out there.

    That means it cannot be allowed, whether anyone gets sick or not.

    1. Sorry to disturb your conspiracizing, but people have been drinking raw milk in the US, legally, during the entire modern era.

      The issue here is interstate shipments. Yes, it’s stupid regulation, but it’s unlikely to be due to the reasons you give.

  13. Like many rural children I drank raw milk, both from cows and goats, my entire teens. I don’t remember dying from the act.

    I am, however, rather short and fat.

    … Hobbit

    1. Have you ever been in a car accident?

    2. Nobody gives a flying fuck what you did back on the shire. This is the modern world, where people do what they’re told, when they’re told. Part of that means consuming only approved foods.

  14. “Put down your jugs and step away from the lactating bovines!”………Bang…….”This is the police!”

  15. I feel like drinking this disgusting shit just to give some of my money to people the government doesn’t like.

  16. Let me see if I got this right; FDA agents went and purchased raw milk in Maryland ? a state where raw milk is legal, they then transported the milk they now owned into the District of Columbia and called it interstate commerce. That’s like calling nuns in their habits practicing nudist.

    I hope the case gets tossed like an old, ratty blanket.

    1. They then convinced it to try to blow up the metro.

    2. No, they ordered and had it shipped.

  17. There is nothing illegal about Rainbow Acres distributing raw milk through a private club, even across state lines–there are raw food clubs like this in California where members can go and buy anything producers want to sell (including more shocking things than raw milk, like raw chicken ceviche). ?

    Points to consider: 1. Rainbow Acres and this club are not involved in interstate commerce from one state where raw-milk sales are legal (PA) to others that prohibit raw milk sales (MD, DC)?2. Rainbow Acres is not selling raw milk to any members, and members are not buying raw milk from Rainbow Acres; rather, members are a part of a private food club, and are donating money to Rainbow Acres to help with the maintenance and care of their animals. ?

  18. I’m curious about the legality of using “private residences” for their investigation. Does that mean they had the milk shipped to their own homes, did they ask random people if they could use their porch or something? Just pick an address out of the phonebook and then stake it out on delivery day?

  19. Raw milk, with all nature intended is the enemy, while the municipalities add carcinogenic neurotoxin fluorosilicic acid to drinking water. It’s a magical process, wherein the imported hazardous waste transforms from Hazardous Waste into Product. By virtue of having been purchased, the burden/$cost of removal from the over 95% of water that is not ingested (your wastewater treatment plant costs) is reassigned to taxpayers of the community which purchases the toxin for approx $25K yearly for a city of 30K people. They get you coming and going. literally. Read “The Case Against Fluoride” and get more info at http://www.fluoridealert.org

    1. This is fucking woo. Straight up without a chaser.

  20. Pasteurized milk rots. Raw milk ferments.

  21. I think the feds are afraid that we might put an end to the war on drugs, so they’re getting ready for the war on milk.

    -jcr

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