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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Judge Rules Against Farmer in Ohio Raw Milk Case

Judge rules against farmer in raw milk case

MILLERSBURG, Ohio - A judge has ruled that a state law prohibiting the sale of raw milk does not violate an Amish dairy farmer's religious beliefs and has ordered him not to sell unlabeled milk from his farm.

Arlie Stutzman, who owns a herd of 27 cows near Mount Hope, in northeast Ohio, appeared in court June 30 to protest a law that he says violates his religious beliefs because it prohibits him from sharing milk he produces with others.

Judge Thomas D. White wrote that Stutzman may give his unpasteurized milk away to people in need, but may not accept money for it.

"Calling the compensation for milk a 'donation' is clearly a subterfuge to skirt the requirements of the law," White wrote in his decision issued Friday.

Stutzman lost his dairy license after an undercover agent from the Ohio
Department of Agriculture gave him $2 for a gallon of milk last September. He was cited for selling milk in an unlabeled container. He got a new license in April.

Sales of raw milk are illegal in Ohio and 24 other states.

"We're pleased with the decision and it makes a lot of sense," said Melanie Wilt, spokeswoman for the agriculture department. "The judge understands Ohio's dairy laws are there to protect consumers."


Brad K. said...

I thought most people selling raw milk labeled it 'not for human consumption', for pet use or crafts or whatever. People wanting raw milk understand who they are dealing with, and are willing to take responsibility for using the milk as they see fit, once they get home.

That allows the state 'we are here from the government and we are here to help' people to do their job working with commercial milkers. This protects the state full of 'store bought' constomers that believe everything on Wal-Mart's shelf is a safe as the deli-cooked chicken.

Lucy said...

In Ohio it is no longer quite that simple and in this case an ODA agent pretty much coerced Mr Stutzman into "selling' his raw milk.

there are several articals about this on this blog.

but back to the sale of raw milk in Ohio. It is illegal to sell it even as pet food. I know several dairies that have been shut down this year for doing exactly that. Buying into a cowshare program skirts the law as it is still legal for a cow owner to drink the milk from their cow in a raw unpasturized state but even that is coming under the gun in Ohio

Gina said...

I saw this on the local news this morning (over here in IN) and it saddens me. I think your above commenter said it best when he said the bit about how consumers "... wanting raw milk understand who they are dealing with, and are willing to take responsibility for using the milk as they see fit, once they get home." People who don't "trust" raw milk are probably not going to Amish farms and buying unlabeled milk (IMHO).

I have been following this debate via your blog and hoped it would go the other way. Seems the cow share may be the only option as Govn controls more and more of our food supply.

Catherine said...

Yeah, I can't count the number of times I've meant to stop by the supermarket for some pasteurized Trauth's, and not noticed that I'd accidentally stumbled onto an Amish farm and was buying raw milk instead. It's a good thing state undercover agents are fighting to make this sort of disaster absolutely impossible.

You know, I've never even thought to want raw milk, but this annoys me a lot.