By David E. Gumpert
The Complete Patient
Minnesota raw dairy producer Michael Hartmann has been in state court this week, pursuing a suit that would allow him to re-open his dairy. He’s been shut down for about three months by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, based on an outbreak of E.coli 0157:H7 that authorities say sickened at least eight consumers of his dairy’s milk.
What makes his case especially noteworthy is the fact that the authorities haven’t allowed him to re-open once he could demonstrate he had resolved potential problems at his dairy. If you look at even the most notorious cases of food illness, including the current illnesses associated with eggs, factory farms associated with illness don’t even get shut down, let alone have to petition a court to allow them to re-open.
Moreover, many of Michael Hartmann’s customers have continued to support him throughout his combat with Minnesota agriculture officials, and say they want access to his milk, despite allegations of illness. About 30 or so have attended each of this week’s court sessions on his suit, and he’s responded by hosting buffet lunches out in a park across from the court.
It will be interesting to see how the judge rules in this case. It raises a number of interesting issues.
Read the full post at The Complete Patient