A Pennsylvania-based Amish dairy farmer has lost his battle against the Food and Drug Administration after a two-year battle focused on the sale of raw milk to consumers in the Washington, D.C. area.
Earlier this month a judge banned Daniel Allgyer from selling milk produced on his farm near Lancaster, Pa., across state lines.
According to The Washington Times, Judge Lawrence Stengel warned Allgyer that if he is found to violate the law again, he will have to pay the FDA’s costs for investigating and prosecuting him. Following the ruling Allgyer told his customers he will shut down his farm altogether.
Supporters of Allgyer’s raw milk were enraged by the judge’s decision, saying that the government is interfering with their parental rights to feed their children. Although Allgyer’s customers were uncomfortable with speaking to the press in fear of further FDA investigations, a few spoke with The Washington Times anonymously.
"I can't believe in 2012 the federal government is raiding Amish farmers at gunpoint all over a basic human right to eat natural food," one customer told the newspaper. "In Maryland, they force taxpayers to pay for abortions, but God forbid we want the same milk our grandparents drank."
FDA officials, however, agree with the judge’s decision.
"Intrastate sale of raw milk is allowed in Pennsylvania, and Mr. Allgyer had previously received a warning letter advising him that interstate sale of raw milk for human consumption is illegal," said Siobhan DeLancey, FDA spokeswoman.
The FDA began looking into Allgyer in late 2009, when an investigator in the agency’s Baltimore office placed orders for fresh milk and had it delivered to a private residence in Maryland. By crossing state lines it became part of interstate commerce and subject to the FDA’s ban.