Tuesday, April 26, 2011

FDA Files Suit Against Pennsylvania Dairy for Selling Raw Milk

On April 26, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) filed suit against Rainbow Acres Farm in Pennsylvania seeking a permanent injunction to halt the sale of unpasteurized, or "raw" milk.   The press release from the FDA can be found at:  http://www.fda.gov/pressrelease.

The FDA had previously sent a number of warning letters to the farm warning that its selling of raw milk violated federal law, including this letter on April 10, 2010:
An investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that you are causing to be delivered into interstate commerce, selling, or otherwise distributing raw milk in final package form for human consumption. Such distribution is a violation of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, Title 42 United States Code, Section 264(a), and the implementing regulation codified in Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 1240.61(a). The regulation prohibits the delivery into interstate commerce of milk and milk products in final package form for direct human consumption unless they have been pasteurized. For your information, we have enclosed a copy of the regulation as it was published in the Federal Register, 52 FR 29509 (Aug 10, 1987).
Complete letter is found at:   www.fda.gov/warningletter2010

Although producers tempted to sell raw milk may worry about state law liability, the FDA suit is a good reminder that federal law prohibits the sale unpasteurized milk if such sale is accomplished through interstate commerce.  The Code of Federal Regulations states:

Mandatory pasteurization for all milk and milk products in final package form intended for direct human consumption.
(a) No person shall cause to be delivered into interstatecommerce or shall sell, otherwise distribute, or hold for sale orother distribution after shipment in interstate commerce any milkor milk product in final package form for direct human consumptionunless the product has been pasteurized or is made from dairyingredients (milk or milk products) that have all beenpasteurized, except where alternative procedures to pasteurizationare provided for by regulation, such as in part 133 of thischapter for curing of certain cheese varieties.
21 C.F.R. § 1240.61

Finally, for those new to the raw milk debate, the FDA website contains a good synopsis of why the law prohibiting the sale of raw milk in interstate commerce exists. www.fda.gov/dangersofrawmilk  This includes, according to the FDA, a number of "myths" about the benefits of raw milk:

Raw Milk & Pasteurization: Debunking Milk Myths

While pasteurization has helped provide safe, nutrient-rich milk and cheese for over 120 years, some people continue to believe that pasteurization harms milk and that raw milk is a safe healthier alternative.
Here are some common myths and proven facts about milk and pasteurization:
  • Pasteurizing milk DOES NOT cause lactose intolerance and allergic reations. Both raw milk and pasteurized milk can cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to milk proteins.
  • Raw milk DOES NOT kill dangerous pathogens by itself.
  • Pasteurization DOES NOT reduce milk's nutritional value.
  • Pasteurization DOES NOT mean that it is safe to leave milk out of the refrigerator for extended time, particularly after it has been opened.
  • Pasteurization DOES kill harmful bacteria.
  • Pasteurization DOES save lives.


  1. The FDA is a joke! Their main priority is to put small businesses and farms out of business. They are paid by (owned by) big multi-million dollar greedy corporations. The same corporations that own our government. They care nothing about our health! We are slaves to them and if you don't know it by now, you better figure it out soon, because they take more of our rights away every day. Plug "alternative news" into your search engine and start reading! Wake up!

  2. If you're so enamored with the FDA, you're probably enamored with the mainstream media as well. So here's a link from Fox News... http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/09/14/kids-who-drink-raw-milk-have-less-asthma-allergies/

    Raw milk from careful farmers is better for you. Period.

  3. The actual FDA is really a laugh! Their own primary concern would be to place smaller businesses as well as farming from company. They're compensated through (possessed through) large multi-million buck money grubbing companies. Exactly the same companies which personal the federal government.

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