State: Skim milk with no added vitamins is 'imitation'

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Ocheesee Creamery in the Florida Panhandle produces all-natural skim milk from grass-fed cows with absolutely nothing added, yet the state says they have to call it "imitation."

And while they argue about it, the dairy is dumping hundreds of gallons of skim milk down the drain each week.

The creamery owners and lawyers for the state Department of Agriculture were in federal court Wednesday over the nearly 3-year-old dispute.

The department argues that in order to be sold as skim milk, the product must have vitamins injected into it.

Owners Paul and Mary Lou Wesslehoeft say they won't label it imitation because their customers expect all-natural products, and labeling as the state requires would be deceptive.

The Institute for Justice is suing the department on behalf of the couple.