The nanny state is everywhere and in all things – even your glass of milk. In its effort to regulate and control what you consume, the government is slowly chipping away at your First Amendment rights. Case in point is a nasty situation evolving at South Mountain Creamery in Middletown, Maryland. Their crime? They have the audacity to want to produce skim milk without all the additives.

Here’s the Skinny

Have you noticed how just about everything has vitamins added to it these days? You walk into a Subway and want an Iced Tea, and it’s “infused with vitamin x, y, and z.” But what if, like me, you are allergic to one of those vitamins? Well, you are pretty much out of luck. It’s an epidemic of good-for-you additives – take it or else.

Dairy farmer Randy Sowers is now suing the FDA because he doesn’t want to put a bunch of vitamin additives into the milk he sells – specifically, vitamins A and D. He wants to produce all-natural skim milk, but if he does that, the FDA says he has to label it “Imitation Skim Milk.” And what happens if Mr. Sowers doesn’t do it? He faces a $1,000 fine per violation and up to a year in jail.

A Customer’s Story

A couple of years ago, I found out about South Mountain Creamery. I’ll admit there was a little je ne sais quoi about having the milkman come to my door every day. But there were other reasons; chemical-free products were appealing, freshness was a draw, and frankly, I like supporting the little guy. Thus began our journey with South Mountain and their bevy of farm-fresh products. We were not disappointed, though my husband (the skeptic) kept wondering why we were purchasing milk from a farm rather than the grocery store. What can I say but I married a New York City boy.

On vacation last year my husband complained to me about the cream in our coffee because it “tasted funny.” (Yes, there are still human beings who put real cream instead of milk or half-and-half in their coffee.) I explained to him that he wasn’t used to all the chemicals in the cream – that he had gotten used to the taste of fresh cream without all the additives. That spoke volumes to him, and henceforth he became a believer.

Now folks like us use South Mountain Creamery so we can get away from the chemicals and additives. It’s likely Mr. Sowers recognizes this desire in his customer base. So, what’s a dairy farmer to do?

FDA: It’s Their Way or the Highway

In order to keep the additives out of his skim milk, the FDA is forcing Mr. Sowers to label his product “Imitation Skim Milk.” This strikes Sowers (and his customers, if I may be so bold) as rather ironic. To make a wholly natural product, he must label it as imitation? Really? That’s government “common sense” for you.

Mr. Sowers has asked the Institute for Justice to step in and to defend him and his creamery against government overreach: “Randy is taking steps to stop the FDA’s ban of honest labels. He is suing the FDA in federal court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania for violating his constitutional right to free speech.”

Here here, Mr. Sowers. Tyranny in government starts with these small things, does it not? You give them an inch, and they’ll take the proverbial mile. South Mountain Creamery has every right to sell a chemical-free product and call it “all-natural” without facing time in the slammer. And the American people have a right to drink milk without all the government-mandated goodies foisted upon us.

Enough already.


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Leesa K. Donner

Leesa K. Donner

Leesa K. Donner is Editor-in-Chief of

A widely published columnist, Leesa previously worked in the broadcast news industry as a television news anchor, reporter, and producer at NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates in Charlotte, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC.She is the author of "Free At Last: A Life-Changing Journey through the Gospel of Luke."
Leesa K. Donner



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