FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Michael Schommer, Communications Director
MDA statement on State of Minnesota v. Alvin Schlangen
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) released the following statement upon the issuance of the jury’s decision in the Hennepin County Court case of State of Minnesota v. Alvin Schlangen:
We respect the role of the jury in the legal process. However, we strongly disagree with this ruling.
The law on this matter is clear, and the jury was tasked with making a narrow finding of whether, in their view, the state had provided sufficient evidence to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the actions of Alvin Schlangen violated state law. This is the highest burden of proof in the legal system, and the fact that the jurors deliberated for as long as they did shows that they found the decision a difficult one to make.
This narrow ruling does not wipe away the fact that many children and adults have gotten dangerously sick from consuming raw milk. It also does not wipe away the other legal rulings that have upheld MDA enforcement actions. Protecting the integrity of our food supply remains our top priority, and Minnesotans expect us to do that job using modern science and the law as our guide. We will continue to work in their best interests.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), 625 Robert Street N, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, firstname.lastname@example.org