Sometimes Juries Pull Through

Once in a while juries make the right decision. Alvin Schlangen was facing charges for voluntarily trading with fellow individual:

A Hennepin County jury Thursday found a Stearns County farmer not guilty of violating the state’s food safety laws when he distributed raw milk from an Amish farm to Twin Cities customers.

Alvin Schlangen of Freeport was charged with three misdemeanor counts, including selling unpasteurized milk, operating without a food license and handling adulterated or misbranded food. After three days of trial, the jury began deliberating on Wednesday afternoon and resumed deliberations Thursday morning.

Schlangen, an organic egg farmer, doesn’t produce milk himself but operates a private club called Freedom Farms Co-op with roughly 130 members who buy various farm products, including raw milk. Schlangen picks up milk products from an Amish farm and delivers them to members who lease the cows.

Yes a man in Minnesota actually faced charges for selling raw milk. You see raw milk is treated like a radioactive substance by the state. Anybody who comes into contact with raw milk is told to immediately seek medical attention and avoid contact with all other non-medical personell. In reality raw milk isn’t nearly as dangerous as the state makes it out to be and even if it were what you put into your body should be your own business, not the state’s.

I’m glad to hear the jury found an innocent man innocent. Far too often juries allow themselves to be suckered by state prosecutors who claim juries must uphold the letter of the law and should avoid making their decision based on whether or not a law is just.

6 thoughts on “Sometimes Juries Pull Through”

  1. I think sanitation should be optional at hospitals too. When people die of E. Coli its their fault for being fooled.

    1. @Zerg539 – The state doesn’t recognize any form of property ownership. In their eyes everything and everybody is theirs.

      @Chris – I’d much rather give people the freedom to possibly poison themselves (the chances of being poisoned by raw milk is greatly exaggerated and are primarily related to the sanitary conditions of the dairy providing the milk) than use violence to prevent them from eating and/or drinking what they want.

      It makes no sense to kidnap people to put them in a cage for simple purchasing or providing raw milk.

      As for hospitals, you’re making quite a stretch in implying that allowing the sale of raw milk will lead to unsanitary hospitals. In fact those two things don’t even related to one another. Somebody consuming raw milk is making a personal choice whereas an unsanitary hospital is opening itself up for lawsuits and will find difficult getting insurance. Furthermore individuals are unlikely to use a hospital that has a reputation for being unsanitary (and that’s only if an unsanitary hospital could continue operating for long enough to have customers after the first lawsuit leads to their bankruptcy). Overall I’ll give you a point for effort but I can’t give you anything more as the argument is unrelated.

  2. I am not saying it will lead to unsanitary hospitals nor did I argue that people should go to jail so settle down with the straw man 😉

    TLDR; Go nuts people, I hear raw chicken is awesome too.

    I feel pasteurization of milk was one of the great public health achievements of humankind. Up there with other sanitation measures and antibiotics. While I respect that some people feel that these things are optional and want to ignore them, I am sick of the gross misinformation about how healthy and undangerous raw milk is which you imply in your post. Yes its ok to drink raw milk, yes its safe (if drank immediately, but its a crazy short shelf life), yes pasteurization removes some nutrients. but if you google search raw milk you find everything talking about how it will cure cancer and undo the holocaust and blatantly play down the dangers to the point they make it sound like all milk has 0 semantic cell count and for some reason bacteria doesn’t grow.

    I am not saying that people should be thrown in jail for selling it. I am just annoyed by the entire topic and it leaves me a little RAW. I am however no PUNdant on the topic, just grew up on a dairy farm and it makes me sick to think of people doing it. Its up there on my irritation meter as immunizations causing autism.

    1. While I respect that some people feel that these things are optional and want to ignore them, I am sick of the gross misinformation about how healthy and undangerous raw milk is which you imply in your post.

      The only statement I made about raw milk is that it’s not as dangerous as it’s usually made out to be. I made no statement whatsoever regarding the health benefits or detriments of raw milk. I am at a loss as to how you came to see an implication in my post about raw milk being healthier than pasteurized milke or safer than pasteurized milk.

  3. “I am sick of the gross misinformation about how healthy and undangerous raw milk is”

    Unless it has been contaminated by a sick cow or unsanitary dairy, it is just as safe as breastfeeding. Because it literally is.

    “its a crazy short shelf life”

    No shorter or longer than pumped breast milk. About 2 weeks from the cow’s udder, if properly refrigerated.

    If anyone is guilty of misinformation, it’s those that treat raw milk as some sort of poison. Pasteurization is really only necessary if sanitation technology goes back to something out of the 19th century. Buying raw milk is just fine, and it certainly shouldn’t be illegal.

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