SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Shipping raw camel’s milk across state lines is apparently a crime in the United States, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) threatened a Missouri farmer because he did just that.
Sam Hostetler can sell raw camel’s milk to his neighbors in Southwest Missouri but he cannot ship it to out-of-state customers.
“We can sell all we want in Missouri and nobody cares,” Hostetler, who is Amish, told The Springfield News-Leader.
Raw camel’s milk isn’t cheap and sells for upwards of $8 a pint, although people who buy it in bulk get it a discount.
“There’s a lot of people in this country that will drive a ways and pay good money for raw milk,” Hostetler said.
Like raw cow’s milk, raw camel’s milk is valued because some people think it is healthier than regular milk. People in Saudi Arabia have been drinking camel’s milk for centuries, and true believers, like Walid Abdul-Wahab of a company called Desert Farms, believe it is a super food.
“It has three times the amount of vitamin C, almost 10 times the amount of iron and almost half the amount of fat,” Abdul-Wahab told CNBC. Desert Farms has around 100,000 customers.
Another reason that people drink camel’s milk: They are unable to digest cow’s milk.
“The response that we get from most consumers is that they haven’t been able to drink milk for the last 10 years until they discovered camel’s milk,” Abdul-Wahab told CNBC.
Despite that, Hostetler received a letter in December from the FDA telling him that distributing raw camel’s milk across state lines was a violation of federal law, Food Safety News reported.
“Such distribution is a violation of the Public Health Service Act,” the letter stated.
Hostetler complied with their wishes. He can still sell it in Missouri — as long as it is directly to customers.
“They told us we gotta quit, so we’re gonna quit,” Hostetler said of the FDA.
What is your reaction? Do you believe the farmer should be able to sell raw camel’s milk across state lines? Share your thoughts in the section below: