Andrew Wimer
Andrew Wimer · February 26, 2020

Arlington, Va.—A federal judge dismissed a Maryland farmer’s suit against the FDA filed in order to protect his right to accurately label his all-natural skim milk. Current FDA regulations require that dairy products labelled as skim milk also contain synthetic vitamins. Randy Sowers, represented by the Institute for Justice (IJ), filed a federal lawsuit in 2018 asking a federal court to protect his First Amendment right to sell an all-natural, additive free product labeled as skim milk.

With the FDA issuing sworn statements that it has no plans to enforce the relevant regulations or require state agencies to enforce them either, Randy will be able to label his product as skim milk for the time being. Given the FDA’s current promise not to enforce against Randy, U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane dismissed the suit without prejudice. This would allow Randy and IJ to resume the suit should the FDA enforce the regulations in the future.

IJ Senior Attorney Justin Pearson released the following statement:

“We are happy that the FDA has decided not to enforce its unconstitutional ban on describing pure skim milk as skim milk. We are also happy that the FDA has instructed the states that they are free to ignore these regulations too. However, these regulations are still on the books, and the FDA could change its mind again in the future. Therefore, we will keep fighting until the regulations are repealed, even if that means appealing the district court’s decision to dismiss the claim against the FDA.”