|Christine Anderson, Castironfarm.com|
November 20, 2013
An Oregon farmer filed suit against the Oregon Department of Agriculture Tuesday, in hopes to remove state law that bans the advertisement of raw milk to the public.
According to the lawsuit’s plaintiff Christine Anderson of McMinnville’s Cast Iron Farm, the ban not only suppresses her First Amendment right to free speech, but also her ability to properly inform consumers. Oregon, one of some 30 states which allow the sale of raw milk, has continued to place an increasing amount of rules and regulations on farmers who choose to sell the product.
“Raw milk is legal to sell but you can’t talk about it. I work really hard, and I do a good job as a producer,” Anderson told The Oregonian. “Running a business without the ability to be able to talk about your business at all is a very difficult thing to do.”
Under state law, sale is only permitted if a farmer with three or less cows, only two of which that can be lactating, sells directly from their own farm without using advertisement. Each individual advertisement, a Class A misdemeanor, can land a farmer in jail for a year with up to $10,000 in civil penalties. The restrictions have made it impossible to put up signs, send emails or even pass out fliers at her local farmers market, in turn slowly destroying her business as a seventh generation farmer.