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Indiana Sheriff Defies the FDA and Its War Against Raw Milk

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should be concerned with protecting us from the greedy agribusiness interests that are responsible for the rampant contamination of our food supply, this organization has much smaller fish to fry. At the urging of the factory dairy farming industry, the FDA has been carrying out a relentless campaign designed to put raw milk sellers and producers out of business once and for all.

If the FDA were really concerned about our health, they would be publicizing all of the studies that have shown drinking pasteurized milk causes all sorts of health problems, including severe allergies, asthma, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, tooth decay, and diminished immune system response, just to name a few. Raw milk consumption, on the other hand, delivers all of the vital nutrients and beneficial living bacteria to the human body that are lost in the killing heat of the pasteurization process, and study after study has demonstrated the incredible health benefits associated with the consumption of this product. But if the FDA told the truth about the actual health effects of raw milk, and about how it compares to the nutritionally damaged pasteurized version, it could be bad for the profit margins of agribusiness. And so, this front organization for the corporate/government complex has instead been carrying out a campaign of persecution aimed at destroying the small farmers who are producing raw milk, which is seen as a threat by the corporate farming bigwigs.

Targeted in Indiana

One of the victims of the FDA’s heavy-handed campaign is a small Indiana raw milk producer named David Hochstetler, who runs an operation called Forest Grove Dairy. The trouble for Mr. Hochstetler began back in 2007, when approximately twelve cases of a serious stomach illness in Michigan were traced back to milk sold by Forest Grove Dairy that was apparently contaminated with a malicious microbe known as campylobacter. While raw milk is generally a healthy product, the pasteurization process will kill certain kinds of bacteria that are potentially dangerous to human health, and because theoretically these bacterial agents can remain alive in raw milk this has provided a rationale for the FDA to use to justify its vendetta against raw milk producers.

Raw milk advocates are adamant in their insistence that situations like this are rare, and that when they do occur they result from errors in handling or poor sanitary practices on the part of individual producers. In any event, after the contamination in Michigan had been linked to Forest Grove Dairy, the FDA had the excuse they needed to carry out a campaign of harassment against Mr. Hochstetler that has continued up to the present. Despite the fact that whatever went wrong back in 2007 has now apparently been taken care of, since no evidence of subsequent contamination of Forest Grove Dairy products has ever been found, in 2010 and 2011 FDA agents began showing up at Mr. Hochstetler’s farm in Elkhart County again and again, demanding that they be allowed to inspect the facilities under authority granted by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This legislation basically ignores Fourth Amendment prescriptions on unreasonable searches and seizures, as it authorizes government agents to carry out unannounced inspections at any food product processing or manufacturing establishment at any time, even if they do not possess a warrant.

A Sheriff Stands Tall

Careful monitoring of our food supply to protect the American consumer from the dangers of contaminated food may indeed be necessary, at least on some occasions. But when one producer is visited over and over and subject to repeated invasive inspections even when nothing is ever found, this is a clear case of harassment and abuse, which is why Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers finally decided that enough was enough.

On December 5 of last year, he wrote a letter to FDA officials warning that if their agents continued their harassment of Mr. Hochstetler by showing up at his farm again without a warrant, he would place them under arrest. For Sheriff Rogers, it seemed clear that the FDA was abusing their authority by using the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act as an excuse to repeatedly violate David Hochstetler’s Fourth Amendment rights, while also violating Tenth Amendment limitations on federal authority with respect to the national govenment’s dealings with individual states. Even though interstate commerce in raw milk is prohibited by law (thanks to the lobbying of agribusiness), states still have jurisdiction over what happens within their borders, and the state of Indiana allows raw milk producers to sell their products legally as long as they don’t sell it to consumers directly, which Forest Grove Dairy apparently was not doing (although it appears they may have broken the law against interstate commerce in the past). But from Sheriff Rogers’s perspective, FDA actions were clearly far over the line of what was constitutionally permissible. They were carrying out a vendetta against a law-abiding Elkhart County citizen, and he was bound and determined to use his authority to put a stop to it.

At first, the FDA and the Justice Department reacted with indignation and outrage at Sheriff Rogers’ actions, haughtily informing him in a written retort that federal law gave them jurisdiction to inspect any farm at any time in any location. Interestingly, however, shortly after word of this incident broke in the national press, the Justice Department announced without fanfare that they were dropping legal action against David Hochstetler, who had been facing a grand jury subpoena for denying FDA personnel access to his farm in the days before Sheriff Rogers had decided to come to his rescue on constitutional grounds. It appears the bad publicity they were getting has been enough to convince FDA officials to back off, at least for now.

Health Under Siege

But regardless of whether or not they decide to challenge Sheriff Rogers’ authority and renew their campaign against Forest Grove Dairy, there is little doubt that the federal government/agribusiness war against raw milk producers – and by extension against those Americans who choose of their own free will to consume this product – will not be ending any time soon. We can only hope that in the months and years ahead, other local law enforcement officials will have the guts to stand up to the campaigns of harassment that are being launched against the producers of a perfectly healthy and respectable substance, which is only being attacked because corporate agricultural interests want to eliminate their remaining competition.

©2012 Off the Grid News

© Copyright Off The Grid News


  1. Goes to show you – be careful of the caliber of person you elect as County Sheriff. Too many counties just don’t seem to concern themselves about who is elected. A good County Sheriff can interceede between you and the Feds; a bubba boy will just sit by and watch. Good for you Sheriff Rogers.

  2. The article on sheriff rogers very encourging. I myself belive this is all a tool used by our administration to not only destroy small bussiness but also reduce our population by adding substance to our food products. These additives are effecting the human bodies and creating numerous health problems. I support sheriff rogers and will continue to stay in tune with this matter. Benjamin tellez……………..

  3. whoa….if you all…recall an incident back when clinton and reno were killing old men and children in waco texas because they THOUGHT David Koresh…was a wanted felon for defying what ever…too bad they did not have a Sheriff Roger as their advocate and protector!d…… I am.. of course very glad to see a sheriff exercise his authority as perhaps the most powerful of our protectors from outlaws…be they other govt weenies with an agenda which usually is an over blown sense of their own importance…uncontrolled….under-brained….over fed and over paid agents of the same….where is the common sense…the obvious place is between the ears…however in the case of many bureaucrats that space is un-occupied and displaced with a foul gas….just so one gets the idea I that I despise govt or the men and women that work for the good of the people…let me say this…there are and we should be glad that there are many fine upstanding folks working for our benefit and they do so tirelessly….and I know they must cringe when they see an out of control agency out of control….there are good leaders and bad leaders and unfortunately many of these operate within the letter of the law….not the spirit….the letter of the law is in case they have to have… the full force of legality to conclude a case against a criminal…the spirit is to examine and then find ways to insure the public safety while not using a sledge hammer to curb the natural rights of people to conduct their lives with others of the same ilk….nothin wrong with that and if people want to drink raw milk….thats’ their business….I drank raw milk on the farm every day….my grandfther said one day…when I was nine years old…”son….this is your cow…Suzy….and beautiful big blue eyed sweet heart became my every morning and every day after shool chore to milk by hand….I had to filter and jug her milk…I made all the
    all the by products….to include the butter….butter milk….cottage cheese…. Suzy soon began to interfere with my hunting…fishing…week ends and girl friends….long about the time I was getting pretty anxious about my future….I looked in the crystal ball and determined that I had to do somethng drastic to end my contract with Suzy….she mooed as I packed my bag…walked down to the barn and said good bye…climbed on the bus and went to Fort Jackson for basic training..thus ended a wonderful relationship…My Grand Dad just laughed as my younger brother…. who was ten years my junior cried…. as Gramps handed him the milk stool……and if my brother wanted an allowance…he was going to learn responsibility…if he wanted a weekend off….what he got is a discipline…a work ethic that exemplified a sense of a “can do spirit” and was rewarded for his diligence….by acceptance and respect from the adults….he became a young adult much earlier then the likes of many today…..

  4. I’m in Minnesota and I would like to buy some raw milk from this farmer. I don’t drink milk myself but I would buy it and pour it down the drain just to support the cause of freedom. Government is anit-freedom. When enough people wake up to this fact there will be a sweeping change to get rid of it once and for all. Once that happens, just like outright slavery and womens rights, we will never look back at our old ways of thinking. “The State” is dead.

    • You are correct, during the 1930’s there was a man? in Europe who was then the people’s savior from themselves. Except when they came to relialize that he was a slaver, and a killer with a demented mind and absolutley no morals whatsoever. He was responsibile for disarming Germany, providing jobs? and in general getting the sheep to follow. Then he began a war that cost 50 million or so lives. Anyone hear of Adolph Hitler? Including thousands of America’s young men. We are seeing the ignoring of the Constitution by an illegal sitting in the white house with a spend thrift wife who thinks she is queen. Spending untold millions on vacations at tax payers expense. While millions of American’s are out of work. Will we ever get the congress to do anything, very doubtful, they are either complicite or cowards.

      • You’re so right about Hitler gaining power. This was another of his quote’s where he bragged about gun control: OThis year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!” -Adolf Hitler-
        I’m not as good w/words as you are, I hope you can use this! -Robbo-

  5. I live in Minnesota too. I sampled some cheese made from raw milk one day at a local organic foods co-op. Awesome stuff! That was a couple months ago. I’m still here to tell about it, so the stuff can’t be too bad. If any federal agents should read this, here’s my advice to them; Get a life! Grow up and go out and get a real job like most of the rest of us do. Quit being such losers and go out and make something of yourself! I used to play cops and robbers too, when I was about 10 years old, but I grew out of it a long time ago. It’s high time you move out of your adolescent phase and act like adults!

  6. An American Woman

    I will defend the right for people to sell/trade their home grown goods– because they do have that God given right. It’s NOT a government right to stop us from this. We NEED to defend this right (Before its taken away from us) forever by an evil administration. Just saying.

  7. It is good stuff, but the FDA wants you to drink the stuff that is watered and poluted and not the real milk.

  8. Cannot sell directly to the consumer? Seems that this forces large scale production. What then if one supplier has bad product or middleman provider screws up – guess that could shut down every supplier??

  9. I grew up on a dairy farm drinking raw milk and I have 2 college degrees. My brother grew up drinking raw milk and he has a PHD. All of my cousins drank raw milk when they visited our farm and all my cousins have at least one college degree. If you drink raw milk there’s no telling how you’ll turn out.

  10. And when you get an outstanding sheriff, the maggot from mumbasa and his cockroach holder….will go after them……watch how they go after Joe Arpaio! Arizona’s finest…well , not quite…we have several of the best!

  11. This is a good example of what we as States can do. The Fed refuses to enforce the immigration laws. Lets get the States to refuse to enforce Fed laws. See how long this lasts. They do not have enough manpower to take on the States. Especially with deputized civilians as backup for the local Sheriff.

  12. What excuse does the FDA use for invading and otherwise trying to stop the raw milk revolution? After all , it is JUST milk, why the hoopla over this particular product?
    If enough people get sick after drinking raw milk, wouldn’t they just sue the maker?

  13. Anyone? Why milk??

  14. Drinking raw milk is on my “bucket list” (pun intended). I will drink it one day. In the meanwhile….Dr. Ron Paul for president!!!! 🙂

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