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Tax Dollars Pay for War on Health Food: Dairy Farm Shut Down by Feds

The FDA has been working for two years at the War on Health Food to shut down an Amish dairy farmer who was selling fresh raw milk to health-conscious individuals in the Washington, D.C. area. This month a judge banned Daniel Allgyer from selling his milk across state lines; customers were informed that the Amish farm would be shut down all together.  While your tax dollars could be paying for ops to shut down meth labs, illegal drug cartels, and the overprescribing of addictive and dangerous prescription narcotics, instead your taxes are going towards shutting down family farms for selling real food to people who consciously choose to purchase and consume it.

Needless to day, the judge’s decision has not been popular among supporters of the Amish farm. Many consumers of raw dairy products from this Amish farm have been buying from Mr. Allgyer for six years; they say the government is interfering with their rights to feed their children real food.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, unpasteurized milk is unsafe and it is the duty of the FDA to stop sales of milk from one state to another in order to protect the public.  As if this were a drug raid, the FDA 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 for selling MILK!

According to Judge Lawrence F. Stengel, Mr. Allgyer’s will have to pay the FDA’s costs for investigating and prosecuting him if he is found selling raw milk again to ready and willing customers.  This is flat out ridiculous!  Even drug dealers are not forced to pay for the costs of police raids on their production and selling of dangerous, illegal drugs.  Why are the feds picking on a small Amish farmer for selling FOOD?

Customers of the Amish dairy are hesitant to talk publicly about their support of raw dairy, fearing the FDA will come after them.

“I can’t believe in 2012 the federal government is raiding Amish farmers at gunpoint all over a basic human right to eat natural food,” said one customer, who wished to remain anonymous.  The customer received weekly shipments of eggs, milk, honey and butter from Rainbow Acres, a farm near Lancaster, Pa. “In Maryland, they force taxpayers to pay for abortions, but God forbid we want the same milk our grandparents drank.”

The FDA is in full support of the judge’s decision to illegalize sales of raw dairy across state lines.

“Intrastate sale of raw milk is allowed in Pennsylvania, and Mr. Allgyer had previously received a warning letter advising him that interstate sale of raw milk for human consumption is illegal,” said agency spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey.

Neither the FDA nor the Justice Department, would provide any information to reporters on the cost of the investigation.

Consumers who seek out raw dairy products tend to be highly educated and health-conscious.  They are aware of the benefits of drinking unpasteurized milk and making cultured dairy products such as yogurt and kefir from the the milk.  With benefits including beautiful teeth, a strong immune system, and better digestion, raw milk is extremely popular among young parents who want it for their children.

The movement to legalize raw milk unites liberals and conservatives who both make the argument that the federal government has no business controlling what people choose to eat.  If one wants to eat “junk food,” fast food, or large quantities of soda laced with high fructose corn syrup, it is the right of the consumer to do so.  Likewise, consumers should have a right to know which foods in the grocery store have been genetically modified, and they have a right to be able to access healthy unpasteurized dairy products.  Apparently, the FDA does not agree with this position.

In a rally last year, raw milk activists drank fresh milk in a park across Constitution Avenue from the Senate.  The FDA has still concluded that raw milk from clean, small farms is never safer than pasteurized milk that is laced with recombinant bovine growth hormone and genetically modified corn and soy.  With this logic, there is no such thing as “good bacteria” or natural food enzymes, and genetically modified food has no ill effects on health.  This disputes countless numbers of health professionals and consumers who say pasteurization — the process of cooking food at high temperatures kill all bacteria present — makes it less healthy.

Pasteurization became widespread in the 1920s and 1930s dramatically reduced instances of milk-transmitted diseases such as typhoid fever and diphtheria, according to many “experts” on food safety.  Many professionals dispute this claim, stating that milk-transmitted diseases are caused by unhygienic handing of milk, unsanitary farming practices, and extracting milk from unhealthy animals contained in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).  When milk is handled properly, and sick animals are kept separate from animals used for producing food, there is less risk of developing foodborne illness from raw dairy than from pasteurized dairy.

According to the Washington Times:

“The FDA began looking into Mr. Allgyer’s operations in late 2009, when an investigator in the agency’s Baltimore office used aliases to sign up for a Yahoo user group made up of Rainbow Acres customers.  The investigator placed orders for raw milk and had it delivered to private residences in Maryland, where it was picked up and documented as evidence in the case. By crossing state lines, the milk became part of interstate commerce and thus subject to the FDA’s ban.”

Mr. Allgyer tried to avoid clashes with the FDA by changing his business model two years ago. He started selling shares in the cows to his customers so that technically the customers owned the milk; he was only transferring it to them.  To that, Judge Stengel said this was “merely a subterfuge.”

The buying club known as “Grassfed On the Hill Buying Club” has about 500 active members.

One organizer of the group said “Many families are dependent on the milk for health reasons or nutritional needs, so a lot of people will be desperately trying to find another source now.”  Shame on the FDA for creating hardship for these families!