Raw Milk and Uninspected Meat – Food Freedom or Safety Issue?

April 04, 2011

There is a growing demand for food produced in different ways…from raw foods, unpasteurized milk, and organic produce to grass-fed beef and free-ranging poultry products.   While consumers can certainly request–or demand–products raised in various ways, the farmers producing those products are required by state law to comply with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture regulations that monitor the safety of our food supply or face investigation and charges.

For the second time in the past year, a man from Freeport has been accused of selling farm products in violation of state laws.  The Star Tribune reports about the charges here.

Alvin Schlangen’s argument seems to be that he knows he’s breaking the law, but he thinks the law should be changed.  State officials counter that food safety regulations are necessary to protect Minnesota consumers.  Minnesotans might remember a similar case last year in which people purchased raw milk from an unlicensed farmer and were sicked with E. coli.  Apparently, the unlicensed farm was operating in unsanitary conditions, according to an article describing that case.

So what do you think?  What do these trends mean for traditional agricultural methods, responsible growers who want to comply with state law, the people of Minnesota, the state?  On which side do you fall?

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