Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Maine Raw Milk Dairy Farmer Likely to Appeal Fine

Dan Brown, a Maine dairy farmer from an area called Blue Hill, has 21 days to file an appeal of court cases and fines for illegally selling raw milk from his roadside farm stand that was found to be without either labels or licenses.

At a penalty hearing, Justice Anne Murray said Brown failed to persuade her to rescind her May 2nd decision calling for penalties and court fines totaling $1,138. Brown’s attorney, Sandra Hylander Collier, argued that raw milk is safe with or without a license.

Murray, however, found that the public health implications of allowing Brown to sell raw milk without a license are substantial.

The judge ruled Brown must have a license, and the dairy farmer said the cost of compliance including all state requirements along with facilities and infrastructure costs would exceed $20,000.

Murray took her own motion ordering Brown to comply under advisement, meaning she can take as much time as she likes before taking final action on what long range actions he must take.

Maine’s Legislature has voted to deregulate small-scale production to raw milk, but Gov. Paul LePage has not yet acted on the measure. It would allow dairy farmers to sell up to 20 gallons of raw milk per day so long as it was labeled and tested.

The new Maine law is likely why the judge withheld her ruling. If the Governor signs the law, her action would be meaningless.

The appeal of Brown’s fine will go to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Brown contends Maine’s Department of Agriculture gave him permission to sell raw milk at his roadside stand so long as sales were not for wholesale purposes or go off his property.

© Food Safety News