(FoodSafetyNews ) Outside Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court this week, Dan Brown was being celebrated as another raw milk outlaw, but inside, one justice was comparing him to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Bundy is the guy who has refused for years to pay U.S. Bureau of Land Management fees for the right to graze his cattle on federal land.
State of Maine v. Dan Brown was one of about 20 cases the Maine Supreme Court heard this week during tightly clocked oral arguments. There’s no way of knowing exactly when the high court will render its decision, but it’s likely to be before it hears another group of oral arguments in June.
Brown is a Blue Hill farmer told by the Maine Department of Agriculture in 2005 that he did not need a license to sell raw milk from an on-the-farm stand. Based on that advice, both he and his wife quit their day jobs and went at making a living from a $22,000 farm stand they built. About six years later, different Maine agriculture officials decided the department made a mistake and operations such as those run by the Browns should be licensed and the raw milk products they sell should be labeled with consumer warnings.