Gov’t to Creamery: Your Milk is Entirely Too Natural to Not Be Labeled “Imitation”

Sometimes government’s dishonesty, incompetence, wastefulness, and misguided nannyism combine to make a perfectly ridiculous story. Today’s comes to us from Florida, where the Ocheesee Creamery is being forced to dump gallons upon gallons of good, natural skim milk because the state is requiring the business to label its good, natural skim milk “imitation” because they haven’t added anything to it.

Paul and Mary Lou Wesselhoeft have been fighting this in federal court with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, which had formerly allowed them to sell their skim milk while calling it skim milk. No one seemed confused by this except the state government, which changed its requirements.

The Institute for Justice is helping the Wesselhoefts take on the state, arguing they should not be prohibited from telling the truth about their product.

DACS has decided what is commonly known as skim milk—whole milk with the cream skimmed off—cannot be called “skim milk” unless it is artificially injected with vitamin A. DACS has demanded that Mary Lou either inject vitamin A before she can call it skim milk, or use a confusing and misleading label that calls it something it is not: Non-Grade ‘A’ Milk Product, Natural Milk Vitamins Removed. Mary Lou suggested other labels that would ensure customers her skim milk is only pasteurized skim milk, not just a “milk product,” but DACS rejected each one.