The federal government has sued a California dairy that ships raw milk to other states, claiming that the company falsely labels its products as “pet food” to exploit a purported loophole in the law about raw milk distributed in interstate commerce and makes claims that its products can treat or prevent a host of diseases without Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. U.S. v. Organic Pastures Dairy Co. LLC, No. 08-00692 (E.D. Cal., filed November 20, 2008).

The complaint requests that the dairy be permanently enjoined from shipping (i) products across state lines whether labeled as “for human consumption or pet food” and (ii) “products with labeling that makes them drugs” under federal law. According to the complaint, the FDA issued the defendants a warning letter in February 2005, stating that distribution of raw milk in interstate commerce violates the law and that failure to comply could lead to product seizure, injunction or prosecution. “Despite FDA’s warning, the most recent evidence confirms that Defendants continue to distribute raw milk and raw milk products in final form for human consumption.”

The complaint provides specific allegations about the defendants’ sale of raw milk and claims about the products since 2004, as well as information that the dairy provided to undercover investigators.

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.