MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The case of a Minnesota man charged with violating the state's raw milk laws has gone to the jury.

Alvin Schlangen of Freeport is charged with three misdemeanor counts including distributing unpasteurized milk, operating without a food handler's license and handling adulterated food. Deliberations began Wednesday in Hennepin County.

Minnesota law prohibits raw milk sales except directly to consumers on the farm when it's produced.

Schlangen contends he doesn't sell milk - that he merely operates a private buying club that distributes raw milk to members, mostly in the Twin Cities. He says all he does is deliver the end product to members who lease the cows from Amish farmers.

The state Agriculture Department contends the state's restrictions on raw milk sales are necessary to protect the public from diseases.

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