The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania awarded summary judgment to the government on a finding that Daniel Allgyer, dba Rainbow Acres Farm and Rainbow Valley Farms, violated the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Public Health Services Act, the Justice Department announced today. The court made the ruling on Feb. 3, 2012.
Allgyer is the owner and operator of a dairy farm located in Kinzers, Pa. An investigation conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed that Allgyer was packaging unpasteurized milk (also known as “raw milk”) in unlabeled containers, and was then distributing the milk for human consumption in interstate commerce.
The FDA warned Mr. Allgyer that his conduct violated federal law. Instead of ceasing his illegal operations, Mr. Allgyer attempted to evade federal regulations that prohibit the interstate sale of raw milk by creating a private membership organization that he used to enter into cow-sharing agreements with his customers. In the order granting summary judgment in the government’s favor, the court found that the cow-sharing agreements were “merely a subterfuge” and issued an order enjoining Mr. Allgyer and his associates from distributing unlabeled or unpasteurized milk for human consumption in interstate commerce.
While some states, including Pennsylvania, permit the sale of unpasteurized milk, it is illegal to transport unpasteurized milk across state lines. Unpasteurized milk can contain a wide variety of harmful bacteria, including Listeria, E.coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia and Brucella.
“The FDA has determined that drinking raw milk can cause significant harm,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Working with our federal partners, we will bring enforcement actions like this one to ensure that the American food supply is safe and consumers are not exposed to such risks. We are pleased that the court has ordered Mr. Allgyer to stop distributing unpasteurized milk across state lines.”
This matter was handled by Department of Justice Trial Attorney Jessica R. Gunder of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch and Associate Chief Counsel Karen C. Corallo of the FDA’s Office of the General Counsel.