Does the Minnesota State Constitution Allow for Raw Milk Sales?

A district court judge in Cook County, Minnesota has ruled that local farmer David Berglund is not in contempt of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) following his argument that the Minnesota State Constitution gives citizens the rights to “peddle” products of their farm without a license.

The battle between Berglund and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) started in 2013, when he refused to allow state inspectors onto his farm.

Berglund argues that Section 7 of the Minnesota State Constitution, which has been in place for over 100 years, reads: “No license required to peddle. Any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor.”

Berglund’s case will continue but because of this ruling, “contempt of court” and the $500 per day fines that come with it are off the table. Read more via Food Safety News.

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Food Rights at Stake in Minnesota

A small, family-owned farm in Grand Marais, MN is facing excessive fines by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) because the family is refusing an unconstitutional inspection of their farm.

“On October 14, 2014 the MDA demanded to do an inspection of the farm, which the family refused on the grounds that the Minnesota Constitution acknowledges their right to peddle the products of their farm. Now the MDA hopes to fine the small operation a crippling $500 per day after the March 9, 2015 hearing if they are found to be in contempt,” according to blog Nourishing Liberty.

This is not only another case of farms being unjustly targeted by local and state departments of agriculture but, more importantly, it is a case about food rights. This community farm provides nutritious, locally raised meats, dairy products and baked goods to their neighbors. Don’t community members have the right to privately obtain foods of their choosing from local farmers without interference of regulators? Why is it okay for regulators to excessively fine a family for feeding their neighbors?

Read more about how you can support this family farm here.

Realmilk.com is a consumer education project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Visit their website, westonaprice.org.

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