20110130_hartmann_39.jpgAccording to press reports, a Minnesota dairy farmer accused of selling contaminated raw milk that made 15 people sick is due in court on a contempt charge. State agriculture officials say Michael Hartmann has ignored a court-approved embargo on his food. He has a court hearing set for Monday.

The state has cited Hartmann with a long list of violations. He has said his products haven’t sickened anyone, and he denied “knowingly or intentionally” violating a court order. The state Health Department says it has linked at least 15 illnesses to his unpasteurized milk and other products.

It will be interesting what, if any, impact farmer Hartmann’s legal troubles has on the state legislature picking up the raw milk issue. My strong suspicion is that that legislators who introduced the bills are simply playing to their base and “milking” this issue for political gain.