Disappointment for Family That Sells Raw Milk
A judge refused to dismiss the state lawsuit against a family that was caught selling raw milk from its distribution stand in a parking lot. The state claims that it’s illegal for farmers to set up any raw milk pickup locations away from their farms.
In a Springfield News-Leader article, the assistant attorney general explains why selling milk “from a farm,” as state statute requires, should preclude off-site pickup spots:
“A farm is not anywhere defined in Missouri statutes as a vehicle in a parking lot away from the farm premises,” Blome argued.
Of course, no one would define a farm as a vehicle temporarily parked in a lot. But that isn’t a good definition of a food establishment, either — and the state, calling this family’s parked vehicle a food establishment, says it should be subject to the same regulations as a mini-mart or a grocery store.
If you can’t pick up raw milk from a farmer’s vehicle, what can you do with it? You can pick it up yourself at the farm. But suppose you drive your car to a parking lot, meet a friend there, and give him a gallon of the milk. Does your car now become a food establishment? Or maybe you bring your milk home, invite guests over, and serve them milk with dinner. Does your house turn into a restaurant?