Attorney General, Department of Agriculture File Lawsuit to Halt Lancaster County Farm’s Illegal Distribution of Raw Milk and Other Products

January 23, 2024 | Topic: Consumers

Recent tests of raw milk products were positive for Listeria; E. coli cases reported in December

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Michelle Henry, in collaboration with the state Department of Agriculture, announces the filing of a complaint against Miller’s Organic Farm, its owners, and related businesses.

The filing action was taken after years of attempts by state and federal officials to bring the farm into compliance with the law.

A complaint submitted to the court Tuesday outlines violations of Pennsylvania’s Milk Sanitation Law, Food Safety Act, Retail Food Facilty Safety Act, and Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. The alleged violations include failing to obtain licenses and permits, selling illegal raw milk products, and selling raw milk and raw milk products outside of Pennsylvania.

Two recent E. coli illnesses reported by other states’ departments of health are suspected to have originated from Miller’s Organic Farm raw milk or raw milk products. Additionally, samples of raw milk and raw milk products collected by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture earlier this month recently tested positive for Listeria, which is a bacteria that poses serious health risks, especially to young children, older people, and people with weakened immune systems.

“For years, this business has brushed off efforts to bring its commercial farm operation into compliance with the law — as all commercial farms are required to do,” Attorney General Henry said. “We cannot ignore the illnesses and further potential harm posed by distribution of these unregulated products. We have long had food safety laws in this Commonwealth to protect the public from harm. Pennsylvanians should know what is in the products they and their families are consuming.”

Efforts to bring the farm into compliance date back several years. In 2019, in a case involving violations of federal laws concerning meat and poultry handling, a federal court ordered Miller’s Organic Farm to comply with Pennsylvania licensing requirements and all applicable food codes. After multiple findings of contempt for failure to follow that order, Miller agreed to a consent decree in August 2023, which remains in effect today, in which he affirmed his “independent responsibility for complying with relevant provisions of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

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