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Amos Miller Wins Right to Sell Raw Milk Across State Lines

Amos Miller Wins Right to Sell Raw Milk Across State Lines

Apr 15, 2024

Amos Miller Wins Right to Sell Raw Milk Across State Lines

In a recent court ruling on April 12, Amish farmer Amos Miller of Miller’s Organic Farms in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, received permission to sell his raw dairy products to customers outside of the state, despite an ongoing legal battle with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The state's Agriculture Department, following a January armed raid on Miller's farm which led to the confiscation of his dairy products, had sought clarification from Lancaster County Judge Thomas Sponaugle on his March 19 order. The initial ruling prohibited Miller from selling within Pennsylvania due to alleged regulatory non-compliance. State lawyers argued for a broader interpretation of Pennsylvania law to ban all raw milk sales without a state permit, regardless of the seller's location.

Judge Sponaugle's response was clear, as he stated in his two-page order that the law pertains to sales "within the commonwealth." He maintained that any ambiguity in the regulations should not be held against the defendants.

Robert Barnes, Mr. Miller's attorney, expressed his views to The Epoch Times, criticizing the state's attempt to extend the ban as government overreach. Barnes emphasized the court's role in upholding constitutional liberties by rejecting the state's demands, which sought to prohibit not only Mr. Miller's sales but potentially any unregulated food distribution, including homemade food for community events.

The legal contention arose after the state attorney general's office secured an injunction against Mr. Miller for selling raw dairy without the necessary permits, following a raid that reportedly uncovered products containing 'harmful bacteria.' Barnes had countered the state's claims, particularly disputing an affidavit that inaccurately linked a death to Miller's farm.

The recent court decision not only allows Miller to continue his business by selling his products out of state but also prevents his potential bankruptcy caused by the previous injunction. The farmer, who has been in business for 25 years and served over 10,000 customers, received strong support from his customer base, as demonstrated by 170 pages of testimonials regarding the positive health impacts of his products.

In Pennsylvania, permits are issued for the manufacture and sale of raw milk and cheese but not for other dairy products such as butter, yogurt, and eggnog, which Miller also provides to a national clientele.

The debate over the sale of raw milk is longstanding, with proponents advocating for the health benefits of unprocessed milk, while government agencies like the CDC and the FDA claim health risks associated with consuming raw milk, citing potential exposure to dangerous pathogens.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has not commented on the court's decision. Meanwhile, the civil lawsuit against Miller continues, and a GiveSendGo fundraising campaign supports his legal defense and business operations, having raised over $291,000 to date.

While Amos Miller's legal troubles are not yet fully resolved, the recent ruling provides a temporary reprieve, allowing him to maintain his livelihood by selling his products outside Pennsylvania.

The Epoch Times Article

Watch our discussion with Chris Hume to get the full backstory.


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