Organic Consumers Association

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Advertising Ban in Raw Milk Being Challenged

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Raw Milk: It's Our Right page and our Oregon News page.

If you believe that it is your right to decide what food to feed yourself and your family, you will be interested in the latest legal battle brewing between an Oregon raw milk farmer and the state Department of Agriculture.

In Oregon, sales of raw milk from small farms directly to consumers are legal, but advertising that such milk is available is not.

This means that Christine Anderson, who owns a small farm in Oregon, is unable to post fliers at health food stores, get a booth at a local fair or even post a sign about her raw milk dairy on her own land.

Even a price list available on her web site received a complaint, and she was forced to take it down.

The advertising ban makes it virtually impossible for a small milk farmer to stay in business, and certainly to flourish, which is why Anderson is now suing the Oregon Department of Agriculture and asking that the ban be declared a violation of free speech rights.

Decades-Long Advertising Ban Being Challenged

Retail raw milk sales have been banned in Oregon since 1999. However, the state has an exemption for small farms with up to three cows, nine sheep, and nine goats to sell raw milk on their farms.

The catch, of course, is that they're not allowed to advertise, and if they do, they could be punished with a year in jail, more than $6,000 in fines and up to $10,000 in civil penalties.      
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