WASHINGTON (AP) — Raw milk buyers in Washington and Maryland say they will challenge federal action being taken against a Pennsylvania farmer.

The Justice Department announced last week that it was seeking a court order against the owner of a Kinzers, Pa., farm, claiming the firm distributed unpasteurized milk across state lines for human consumption. The complaint was filed against Daniel L. Allgyer, owner of the Rainbow Acres Farm.

The federal Food and Drug Administration warns that raw milk can contain a wide variety of harmful bacteria including Listeria, E.coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia, and Brucella.

“Drinking raw milk is dangerous and shouldn’t be consumed under any circumstances,” said Dara A. Corrigan, FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “FDA has warned the defendant on multiple occasions that introducing raw milk into interstate commerce is in violation of Federal law.”

A group of Maryland and Washington consumers named the Grassfed on the Hill Buying Club said Tuesday that it has more than 1,000 members and plans to fight FDA jurisdiction over what it claims is a private transaction

“We have every right to obtain the foods of our choice from the producer of our choice based on our values,” said Karine Bouis-Towe, the group’s founder. “There is trust that is created and built between the farmer and consumer in this relationship. The FDA and other federal government agencies should not interfere in private, direct relationships between farmers and consumers.”

The group said the FDA planted an investigator in the group in October 2009 to gather evidence.

The FDA said it sent a warning letter to Allgyer on April 20, 2010, but the farm continued to violate federal law.

A telephone message left Tuesday by The Associated Press at Rainbow Acres farm was not immediately returned.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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