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.

  • Concious Hobbyfarmer

    Leave the local dairy farmers alone so that consumers can have their right to choose where they get their milk.

  • Lainey

    This is ridiculous. Of all the things the federal government could try to put a stop to that actually hurts Americans, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, child abuse, etc, and they choose to do it regarding milk. Someone tell me a case in which any of Mr. Peeler’s customers have ever gotten sick from the milk he provides? Seriously! This is a product that our grandparents, great grandparents, etc, drank their whole lives. Now the government says it’s illegal if it’s not pasteurized the the point that nothing good remains in it! The government has no business putting their hands into the matter of what we are allowed to eat or drink. That’s gone too far and I am certain our founding father’s would have been against this! Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…not governmental control at every angle! If certain people don’t want to drink it, no one is forcing them, but families like mine should legally be allowed to buy raw milk if we choose, wherever we choose, and Mr. Peeler should not be in trouble for this.

  • Bass Ackwards

    I’ve always said that we live in a backwards society, and as a result, we’re led by a backwards government.
    The right to choose is okay for people that choose to have uncommitted and unprotected sex, so that they can murder their babies… but it’s not okay for a family to choose to drink milk the way that it was intended. If you know your farmer, and understand his sanitation practices, you mitigate the risk of getting sick from infected milk/sick cows.
    You keep the cows clean, and test them regularly. No problem!
    This government allows countless amounts of drugs across our borders (talk about interstate sales!!), and wants to spend its time busting dairy farmers instead of tightening border security.
    Just bass ackwards!!!

  • Lisa

    So much for freedom of choice – let us eat and drink what we want

  • Mel

    And we wonder where all the wasted money goes….our government worrying about a little dairy farm in SC when there are real threats to our food supply every day. Could the FDA at least pretend to not be protecting the big companies that truly do pose read dangers to our food supply?

  • Karin

    Please, please, the FDA works for us, the tax payer. If we want unpasteurized dairy products, then they need to come up with ways for us to get it!!!!!! Otherwise, I can’t see how my tax dollars are working to my benefit!!!!! I live in a state where cows are even banned! How am I supposed to get my unpasteurized milk legally? The FDA has to own up to the 3+ million tax payers who want them to work with them on this issue, not against them!!

  • Lainey

    So what do we do about this? Sitting around just talking about it is doing nothing.

  • Tonia

    Leave the dairy farmers alone!!! If anything the government should be REWARDING them for continuing to farm a traditional dairy farm!
    I grew up in a farming community. I am saddened by the number of farms that can’t support themselves anymore, and have shut down. What is the government doing for those that can’t sustain? He is just trying to sustain his farm!
    Go after the drug dealer harder! Interstate sales… my A$$!!!!!

  • aed939

    Milky Way Farm is legally selling raw milk in SC. They are under no obligation to check the driver’s licenses of their customers, and besides, it is perfectly legal for a resident of any state to purchase milk in SC. Once the purchase is made, that person may legally possess the milk and drive wherever they want with it.
    The “co-op” is a buying club whereby they pickup presold milk, acting as agents of the buyers. They are carpooling several people’s milk; again legal to possess. They are a customer of Milky Way Farm, and MWF has not obligation to make sure they do not go out of state. Once the milk is sold, it’s out of commerce, and is transformed into legally possessed private property, and the FDA’s jurisdiction ends.