South Carolina’s Milky Way Farm, which produces raw milk, cream, buttermilk, and butter under a license from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, is now in trouble with the federal government.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has charged dairy farmer L.D. Peeler, owner of the Milky Way Farm, with illegally making interstate sales of raw milk.

On its website, the dairy says: “Milky Way Farm is located in the beautiful rolling hills of western South Carolina near Lake Hartwell.  We are a family owned dairy dedicated to providing the highest quality, fresh, natural raw milk to customers in our region.”

In a April 20 warning letter released Tuesday, FDA told Peeler it “has reviewed your website at the Internet address and has determined that you are causing to be delivered, selling, or otherwise distributing raw milk, in final package form for human consumption, in interstate commerce.

“Such distribution is a violation of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act), 42 U.S.C. §§ 264(a) and 271(a), and the implementing regulation codified in Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), section 1240.61(a). The regulation prohibits the delivery, sale, or distribution in interstate commerce of milk and milk products in final package form for human consumption unless they have been pasteurized.

“You cause unpasteurized milk, in final package form for human consumption, to be shipped into interstate commerce through raw milk “co-ops.” For example, your raw milk is sold through your co-op in Augusta, GA. For your information, we have enclosed a copy of 21 C.F.R. § 1240.61 as it was published in the Federal Register, 52 FR 29509 (August 10, 1987).”

John R. Gridley, FDA’s Atlantic District director, sent the warning letter to the South Carolina dairy.

While the dairy has already had time to respond to the warning, FDA has not yet closed out the case.

Milky Way Farm, which Peeler has operated since 1987, is one of nine raw milk dairies licensed in South Carolina.  It is located at Starr, SC.