Minnesota Farmer Found "Not Guilty" in Raw Milk Case


A Minnesota farmer who volunteers at the Freedom Farm co-op, which distributes raw milk (along with many other products) to about 130 members, says no one has ever gotten sick from the milk he regularly picks up from local Amish farmers.

He was nonetheless charged with three misdemeanor counts of selling unpasteurized milk, operating without a food license and handling adulterated or misbranded food. After a three-day trial and more than four hours of deliberation, during which the city attorney argued that the purpose of anti-raw milk laws is to protect the public health, a jury found Alvin Schlangen not guilty.

While this victory sets no precedent, raw milk advocates were pretty pumped:

Schlangen's attorney, Nathan Hansen [called it] "it's a huge victory for food freedom."

"I think the jury read the statute correctly," Hansen said. "The Department of Agriculture reads a lot of things into the statute that just aren't there.

Schlangen is set to appear in court again in nearby Stearns County next month on similar charges.

Check out Reason TV on other raw milk providers who haven't been so lucky: