Members of a Washington, D.C.-area raw milk buying group, known as Grassfed On the Hill, are planning a demonstration next week on Capitol Hill for what they are calling the “aggressive treatment of peaceful Amish dairyman” in the context of limited budget resources.
Dan Allgyer, a Pennsylvania farmer who supplies the group with fresh unpasteurized milk, has been served by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with notice of a permanent injunction against selling milk into interstate commerce.
More than half the states, including Pennsylvania, permit the sale or distribution of unpasteurized milk within state boundaries and there is no law against consuming raw milk. But there is a ban on interstate sales of unpasteurized milk, which can contain a wide variety of infectious bacteria — including Listeria, E.coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia, and Brucella. The FDA is responsible for enforcing the federal law against interstate sales of unpasteurized milk, and began an investigation into that part of Allgyer’s Rainbow Acres Farm business more than a year ago.
“It is absolutely inexcusable that FDA has spent time, energy and money conducting an undercover sting and armed raid against a farmer over distribution of milk.” says Liz Reitzig, one of the group’s organizers, in a press release. “We contract with farmers we know and trust and engage privately with them. The FDA has no jurisdiction here, and it’s time we stand together and demand that they stop treating our honest farmers like hardened criminals.”
Grassfed on the Hill has organized a Capitol Hill rally to protest the FDA’s actions. According to the group’s release, they plan to milk an actual cow and drink the fresh milk. The rally, planned for 10 a.m. May 16 at Upper Senate Park in DC, is “expected to draw hundreds of raw milk advocates,” according to the group.