U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled the participation of Daniel L. Allgyer and his Rainbow Acres Farm in a so-called private buying club does not shield him from federal oversight. Allgyer was accused of selling "cow share" agreements as a subterfuge for sales of raw milk.
"Members of the private buying club had allegedly purchased 'shares' of individual cows and then claimed that their reputed ownership entitled them to raw milk from those cows," federal prosecutors said in a statement. "Allgyer provided the association members who lived outside of Pennsylvania with containers of raw milk, even though federal law prohibits sales of raw milk for human consumption across state lines. Raw milk sales are legal within the state of Pennsylvania."
Prosecutors said Allgyer violated federal law by not providing labeling on raw milk containers sold to consumers.
The FDA said it sought the injunction against Allgyer after documenting multiple and repeated violations of federal law. The agency issued a warning letter to Allgyer in April 2010, informing him of the violations and requesting that he take corrective measures to avoid regulatory action. Allgyer kept operating, in violation of federal law, justice officials said.
A recent study determined raw milk products were 150 times more likely to cause a foodborne illness outbreak than pasteurized milk products.
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