ST. CLOUD  (AP) - A Central Minnesota farmer who distributes raw milk goes on trial next week in a case that pits efforts to ensure a safe food supply against the rights of consumers to choose what they drink and eat.

Alvin Schlangen refuses to back down despite facing charges in two counties.  The Freeport farmer is set for trial Monday in Hennepin County. His supporters plan to rally at the courthouse.

Schlangen doesn't produce milk but operates a private club with members who buy farm products he delivers including raw milk.

Minnesota law says raw milk can be sold directly to consumers only on farms where it's produced. Advocates say it's easier to digest and contains beneficial enzymes. Public health experts dispute that, noting it can contain harmful bacteria.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved)