Feelings are raw over milk
By JON RUTTER
The long debate over raw milk hit another raw nerve July 9
when the state cited a store in
Your Healthy Food,
In addition, Department of Agriculture officials said, the owner refused to remove the products from its shelves.
A woman who answered the phone at Your Healthy Food last week said the state inspector who visited the store ordered her to destroy the raw milk items.
"I shipped her out of here very fast," said the woman, who refused to give her name. "I was not going to comply with her."
The inspection report and other documents identify the store
owner as Jane Haller, of Lititz.
The woman at the store said she purchases raw milk from a local member of Communities Alliance for Responsible Eco-Farming, a self-regulating cooperative of raw milk dairymen. CARE standards are "much higher" than those of the Department of Agriculture, the woman claimed. "It was a witch hunt," the woman said of the inspection.
She said that she has since stopped selling raw milk items
at the store, but added that she called the agriculture department to complain
about being harassed.
"It is a very touchy subject," she said. "It is a God-given right that we consume whatever we want to consume."
Not so, says the state. Agriculture department Press Secretary Chris L. Ryder said any harassment complaints are duly investigated. However, he said, the law bars retailers from selling raw milk unless both the store and the producer are licensed by
Nor is it legal in the commonwealth to sell foods made with raw milk, except for aged hard cheese. Ryder said Your Healthy Food was allowed to remain open while coming into compliance because "there does not appear to be an imminent health risk. "We have made plans to go back to the store and discuss [the situation] with the owner," he said.
Advocates say raw milk conveys exceptional health benefits because its nutrients remain undamaged by processing.
The store at
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