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Milk might do a body good, but if it’s unpasteurized milk sold by an Amish farmer across state lines, it’s a whole other story… or at least according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Washington Times reports:

A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area.

The product in question: unpasteurized milk.

It’s a battle that’s been going on behind the scenes for years, with natural foods advocates arguing that raw milk, as it’s also known, is healthier than the pasteurized product, while the Food and Drug Administration says raw milk can carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria.

And so, let the nanny state regulation begin. Well, actually, let it continue. We’re seeing an awful lot of it these days, especially when it comes to food. Take vending machines, for example. Heritage’s Diane Katz writes:

To temper the snack food cravings we are supposedly incapable of controlling, Congress is forcing vendors to post the calorie counts of vending machine items. Thus, we’ll supposedly pick the healthier brand of potato chips, cookies, candy, and soft drinks.

Expect to see more of it. Last year, President Barack Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which grants the FDA a host of new powers. Katz explains:

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act would authorize the FDA to dictate how farmers grow fruits and vegetables, including rules governing soil, water, hygiene, packing, temperatures, and even what animals may roam which fields and when. It would also increase inspections of food “facilities” and tax them to do so. And, fulfilling the dream of a long line of agency officials, the bill grants the FDA unilateral authority to order recalls.

On top of being costly ($1.4 billion in new spending between 2011 and 2015), the necessity of new regulatory powers is questionable. The motivating force behind FDA regulations — and the reason for the crackdown on Rainbow Acre Farms — is a concern over food-borne illness. Katz says that incidents of such illnesses “have actually been declining for more than a decade, in spite of higher consumption of the raw foods that are most often associated with outbreaks of food-borne illness.”

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