REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – A Hamilton County Municipal Court recently found a Kentucky man guilty of violating Ohio’s dairy licensing and labeling laws.
A department investigation found Gary Oaks of Verona, Ky., illegally sold raw milk in the Cincinnati area. The investigation found Oaks was operating without a raw milk retailer’s license and his products were not properly labeled, both required by the state of Ohio.
Ohio law. Under Ohio law, all dairy products must be labeled or represented in accordance with the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990. The Ohio Revised Code also states that anyone wishing to sell raw milk must hold a valid raw milk retailer’s license, registered with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the milk must be sold directly to a processor for pasteurization or for use in milk products such as cheese.
Direct sales. The sale of raw milk directly to the consumer is illegal in Ohio and 24 other states. Ohio’s dairy laws do not prohibit dairy farmers from selling milk directly to consumers, provided they meet pasteurization and other requirements and become a licensed and inspected milk processor.
The initial investigation was a joint effort by the department, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Kentucky Department of Public Health.
Penalties. Oaks was fined $415 and an additional $85 in court costs. Oaks was also issued a warning letter from the administration resulting from illegal interstate sales of raw milk.
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