July 19, 2019

Permanent Injunction Filed Against Amish Dairy Farmer

On Friday, February 2, 2012, Federal Judge Lawrence Stengel issued a permanent injunction against a Pennsylvania Amish farmer who allegedly supplied a Maryland food club with raw milk. The injunction is a result of a two-year FDA investigation of Rainbow Acres Farm, owned by Daniel Allgyer.

It’s not legal to sell raw milk in Maryland, and it’s illegal to transport raw milk for sale across state lines in the United States. A Maryland food club, Grassfed on the Hill, leased Allgyer’s cows. That agreement was overseen by another organization, Right to Choose Healthy Food. Grassfed on the Hill sent a truck to Allgyer’s farm to pick up the milk. According to the injunction, the website of Grassfed on the Hill warned members to “not share information” about the group with government agencies or doctors.

The FDA alleged that Mr. Allgyer sells unpasteurized milk for human consumption to out-of-state consumers under the name “Rainbow Valley Farms”. Mr. Allgyer states that his agreement with the Right to Choose Healthy Food, and therefore Grassfed on the Hill, is a “private membership cow sharing organization [that] precludes FDA involvement” and that he is not the owner of or in control of the organization.

The FDA sent Mr. Allgyer a warning letter on April 20, 2010, informing him of the alleged violations enforceable by federal law. In response, Mr. Allgyer posted on his website that he was “going to continue selling raw milk by ‘leasing’ his cows through a private organization.”

The judge found that Mr. Allgyer violated ยงยง 331(a) and 343(e)(1) and (i)(1) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). However, the judge found that even though a district court “has considerable discretion in granting injunctive relief … the relief must not be overly broad in light of the conduct of the enjoined party” and not all of the government’s injunctions would be applied.

Therefore, Mr. Allgyer is not prohibited from selling raw milk in Pennsylvania, and the FDA cannot have access for “open-ended inspections of the farm”.

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