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Amish Milk: The Latest Target of the Obama Regulatory State


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Posted April 30th, 2011 at 10:00am in Enterprise and Free Markets

Milk might do a body good, but if it’s unpasteurized milk sold by an Amish farmer across state lines, it’s a whole other story… or at least according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Washington Times reports:

A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area.

The product in question: unpasteurized milk.
It’s a battle that’s been going on behind the scenes for years, with natural foods advocates arguing that raw milk, as it’s also known, is healthier than the pasteurized product, while the Food and Drug Administration says raw milk can carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria.

And so, let the nanny state regulation begin. Well, actually, let it continue. We’re seeing an awful lot of it these days, especially when it comes to food. Take vending machines, for example. Heritage’s Diane Katz writes:

To temper the snack food cravings we are supposedly incapable of controlling, Congress is forcing vendors to post the calorie counts of vending machine items. Thus, we’ll supposedly pick the healthier brand of potato chips, cookies, candy, and soft drinks.

Expect to see more of it. Last year, President Barack Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which grants the FDA a host of new powers. Katz explains:

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act would authorize the FDA to dictate how farmers grow fruits and vegetables, including rules governing soil, water, hygiene, packing, temperatures, and even what animals may roam which fields and when. It would also increase inspections of food “facilities” and tax them to do so. And, fulfilling the dream of a long line of agency officials, the bill grants the FDA unilateral authority to order recalls.

On top of being costly ($1.4 billion in new spending between 2011 and 2015), the necessity of new regulatory powers is questionable. The motivating force behind FDA regulations — and the reason for the crackdown on Rainbow Acre Farms — is a concern over food-borne illness. Katz says that incidents of such illnesses “have actually been declining for more than a decade, in spite of higher consumption of the raw foods that are most often associated with outbreaks of food-borne illness.”

Tags: cow, dairy, fda, milk, pasteurized, regulations, unpasteurized

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAMASUDS 4/30/2011 2:21PM

    In Germany, raw milk is commonly called Vorzugsmilch.[11] It is sold widely in all health food stores, large supermarkets, gourmet delis and delicatessen sections of department stores, and in most of the German predecessors of health food stores called Reformhaus. Raw milk is legally sold in the entire country, and the same goes for raw milk cheeses, which are especially sought out and promoted by the health food and slow food movements.

When we first arrived in Germany and lived in the mountains, we were amazed to see people coming out with their milk bottles and pails at 5pm to get their milk from the local farmer. There are plenty of regulations here as well, don't get me wrong. But the regulations are on the cows and the milking process, not on the milk.

Why is it that our president wants a European health care system, but rejects other European practices? Hmmm.

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DIANESMILES 4/30/2011 1:48PM

    Well I've never had raw milk,,,and am a city girl,,with no cnance to buy such a product. I guess it should be up to each person.

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WYO_CASEY 4/30/2011 1:22PM

    We used to have two milk cows. Drank "raw" milk all the time. Some people will get sick, some won't. Same with processed milk.

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ILLINITEACHER52 4/30/2011 1:11PM

  I think people should be able to make up their own minds about what they are going to eat as long as they have appropriate information for making the choice. I see nothing wrong with posting calories on vending machines. Government regulations aren't always helpful. Look at the problems with spinach and eggs lately. I think there are good reasons fopr some people to drink raw milk just as there are reasons for some people to refuse immunizations or request they be given one at a time so as to not overwhelm an infants body. (my personal soapbox)

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EVWINGS 4/30/2011 12:16PM

    The raw milk may not be that big a problem now since the law became active. It is because of that law that the incidents are much lower to almost non-existing. But BEFORE the law, it was a HUGE problem with many sick people and even some deaths. This was long before actions now. I never experienced a time without the law, but my mother did as her father ran a large farm from 1913 to sometime in the 40's. Her older sister and her husband also had a dairy farm. Why anyone would want to take a chance on raw milk is beyond my thinking. It is like playing Russian roulette with your health. Anything that is done to keep our water supply and foods safer for us is done to keep unhealthy practices from continuing.

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