Defiance in KY, As Food Club Members Grab “Quarantined” Raw Milk; Allgyer Claims FDA Search Warrant “Null and Void” Because Agency Lacked Farm Authority

On Friday afternoon, as the administrator of a Kentucky buying club was setting out raw milk and other food for pickup by members, an inspector for the Louisville Metro Department of Health and Wellness appeared at the church basement storage site. He presented two pieces of paper: a cease-and-desist order (from the Louisville Metro Department of Health and Wellness) and a quarantine order (from the Kentucky Department of Health Services), and placed “Quarantine” notices on each of several coolers containing 76 half gallons of milk. (See the quarantine order below.) The order is made out to one of the administrators along with the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, apparently because the buying club administrator called a FTCLDF lawyer while the inspector was present.

By the time members arrived, a new piece of paper had been placed on the coolers, stating:

I, the undersigned, hereby declare that I have taken my milk that comes from cows I own via private contract under the protection of the KY constitution (articles 1,2,4,6,10,16,26), and if the county health department would like to speak with me about this matter, I can be reached at the number given below.

Before the afternoon was out, about 40 members of the buying club had signed the statement, and taken their quarantined milk. “A large number of my members pulled in today and ignored the cease-and-desist and quarantine orders,” John Moody, a co-administrator of the buying club, told me.

In other words, these buying club members openly defied the Louisville public health authorities. In so doing, I believe they are the first consumers to sign on to such an act of group defiance to protect and preserve their food.

We’ve seen any number of farmers defy official notices, one of the most notable being Vernon Hershberger, the Wisconsin farmer, who last year cut the quarantine tapes on his fridges, and pronounced himself open for business; he continues in business to this day, as no prosecuting authority has seen fit to follow up with legal action. We’ve also seen the administrators of the Rawesome Food Club in Venice, CA, immediately re-open after a local health department order ostensibly shut the place down. There was also the humiliating scene in Georgia in September 2009 where members of a buying club poured out many gallons of raw milk they had previously purchased, on orders from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, under the watchful eye of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration official.

In none of these cases did consumers sign on to take places on the front line as have those in Kentucky.
The action by Louisville public health officials might be seen as an isolated event, were it not for the Rawesome case, and the FDA’s undercover investigation of a Maryland food club served by Amish farmer Dan Allgyer. In that vein, it’s worth noting that the Kentucky order says it is to “Quarantine all milk products until such time they are shown to be in compliance with FDA and state of Kentucky food code.”

FDA food code on raw milk? I must have missed that particular code, but it is certainly notable that the FDA is front and center in this inspector’s mind, especially since this is entirely an intrastrate situation, with the milk having come from a Kentucky dairy. (Kentucky law forbids the sale of raw milk, but is silent on the matter of herd shares, leasing, and other such private arrangements between farmers and consumers.)

The Kentucky consumer action is potentially a very important development in the war that is raging between the government and its citizens who desire to consume various foods the government disapproves of. The FDA has indicated in its responses to the court suit over raw milk by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund that it is desperate to avoid involving consumers in its offensive against raw milk, that it wants to confine the battle to farmers it can harass and try to force out of business.

Now that consumers have joined the fray, a few questions come to mind:

* What is the penalty for a consumer who violates a quarantine?

* Will the authorities go after everyone who signed the statement and took their milk?        

* Will the authorities seek to make an example out of one or two of the rebellious consumers?                        

* Presuming the authorities can impose a fine, will the consumers band together to fight the government offensive in court?

* Might the public health authorities slither back to their cubicles and quit while they’re ahead, leaving consumers to access their food?

* What will the government do when many dozens, and possibly hundreds of others sign on to the Kentucky food club’s defiance? 

If the Kentucky food club members can stick together, this bit of defiance could turn out to be a turning point in the government’s assault on food rights.

Amish farmer Dan Allgyer has filed several documents in federal district court in Pennsylvania contesting the FDA-Justice Department effort to obtain a permanent injunction against him serving buying club members in Maryland. He makes three objections:

1. That the issuance of a, FDA warning letter prior to the court case was illegal. “Nowhere in FDA statutes or regulations does it permit or authorize the FDA to issue ‘Warning Letters’ as part of their administrative procedures concerning investigations or procedures. Therefore, the Warning Letter concerning our farm was bogus, illegal and should not have been issued. FDA Warning Letters were never intended to be final demands, but intermediate requests for voluntary compliance….this is misrepresentation and fraudulent error of omission causing inferences and allegations that are damaging to the integrity, well-being and future success of our farm.”

2. The buying club members are outside the FDA’s purview. “The raw milk that is produced at Rainbow Acres Farm is only consumed by private persons that own or lease the cow. These private persons are not the public which the FDA agency has a mandate to protect. The FDA’s jurisdiction and authority is limited to situations which present an imminent hazard to the public health.”

3. The FDA had no right at the time it obtained a search warrant early last year to inspect farms. “There is no statutory right to inspect ‘farms,’ thus there is not a legal basis for the application or granting of an Administrative Warrant by the Honorable Court to Rainbow Acres Farm.” (The Food Safety Modernization Act passed early this year did give the FDA new authority to regulate farms.)

Allgyer does suggest in one of his filings that he might have inadvertently sold milk to the public. “This Answer is intended to inform the Court and the FDA agency that any and all manufacturing and sale of our products to the public is hereby terminated. We now understand that the FDA agency has a mandate from Congress to protect the public…Be it known that we will fully comply with FDA statutes, regulations and orders in the future. We are also aware that the FDA’s jurisdiction and authority is limited to the public domain…”

In addition, Aajonus Vonderplanitz, the head of Right to Choose Health Food, filed a cross-complaint in federal court on behalf of Allgyer and the Maryland food club. It was Right to Choose Healthy Food that oversaw the farm leasing arrangements under which food was made available to the food club members.

In his cross complaint, Vonderplanitz argues that pasteurized milk is more dangerous than raw milk, based on a number of sizable outbreaks, including one affecting 197,000 people during the 1980s. He also argues that the Maryland buying club members “contracted with Amish farmer Dan Allgyer to caretake members’ animals, and
produce, package and deliver products from members’ animals to members. Contract signed May 2010. RTCHF members oversee that the products from members’ animals were grown, processed, packaged and delivered to its members with specific natural standards far removed from the typical chemical standards adopted by health departments.” He seeks a permanent injunction against the FDA to stop “further actions” against Dan Allgyer and Right to Choose Healthy Food, along with $498,000 in damages.

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44 Comments on "Defiance in KY, As Food Club Members Grab “Quarantined” Raw Milk; Allgyer Claims FDA Search Warrant “Null and Void” Because Agency Lacked Farm Authority"

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May 30, 2011 3:30 am

YES!!! Wonderful news! Your most exciting and encouraging article yet!

Here's an article on the Allgyer raid; the comments are great, both for and con…. the FDA is taking a bashing:

Bill Anderson
May 30, 2011 3:58 am

Reminds me of this:

Mark McAfee
May 30, 2011 4:17 am

John Moody called me on Friday and explained the situation in Kentucky…and asked me to come and lead a raw milk rally for the citizens and the farmers that have been violated by a FDA clone clown. After reading about what John and the consumers did….I do not think they need any help. They kicked butt better than anyone yet!!! All they missed was the cameras rolling. You need the video along with this. Remember this, you must change by exposure of the truth and will of the moms, the political reality of sleeping people in your local political climate. Video of moms that are really pissed off is a very awakening and startling story. Regulators stealing your families baby food is a tragic story. Scream it loud.

The consumers breaking of the quarantine embargo seal and the signing of a receipt showing the that the true owners of the raw milk had picked it up…is sheer genius. This was private property not public retail inventory. Way to go moms and dads !!!!!!! You Rock!!!!

It does so many great and unifying things. It puts the criminal pressure on the consumer…huge numbers of them.

It creates unity among all of the consumers to hang together and fight.

It attempts to make a mom into a criminal…and this is just not possible.

It creates huge judicial burdens that no District Attorney will ever press charges on.

This is brilliant and it is the kind of consumer activism that is critically needed. In Kentucky raw milk sales are illegal. So this action could not have happened in a better more depraved place. John shared with me that any time that legislation or change for raw milk has been attempted in Kentucky, the corrupt dairy and ag industry will not allow even a bunt to first base. They will not even allow a batter in the warm up box or the team on the field.

He said that Kentucky is locked up politically with the good old boys etc….RAW MILK can not even get a hearing.

Well, that means the only alternative is civil unrest and protest with real action.

Keep your camaras ready… need the footage.

The more outrageous the protest the more rediculous the FDA Clone Clowns will appear.

Go get um Kentucky….do not forget, call a press conference and drink your raw milk in defiance and keep those cameras rolling. The world is looking at you.

Do not forget to share the CDC data on pasteurized verses raw milk deaths and illness. 422,000 sick people from pasteurized milk since 1973 verses 1100 from raw milk since 1973. At least 20 deaths from pasteurized milk ( 80 if misscarrages are counted ) ZERO deaths from raw milk ( official CDC data ).

Do not forget to share that the #1 most allergenic food in America is CAFO PMO pasteurized milk.

Do not forget to share that pasteurized milk causes lactose intolerance and raw milk does not.

Speak truth to power. Share the facts. They are very powerful.

All of us in CA support you 100%.


Shana Milkie
May 30, 2011 4:20 am

Hooray! Thanks, food club members in Kentucky. You provide inspiration to all of us in similar situations.

Congratulations on taking rightful possession of YOUR food.

Mark McAfee
May 30, 2011 4:21 am

As a take off on Sarah Pallin statement…"do not retreat… reload"…

Our Raw Milk saying must be…"do not shut down…re-open and drink up"

In your face works. This is food….more important than drugs or guns. Let them treat this like drugs or guns. It will be their Waterloo.


Gordon Watson
May 30, 2011 5:23 am

history repeats itself, the second time around, as farce

Former commissioner of the FDA, Dr Herbert Ley

"People think the FDA is protecting them. It isn't. What the FDA is doing and what the public thinks it's doing are as different as night and day."

in response to a question from Senator Edward Long about the FDA during US Senate hearings in 1965

from the essay "Diabetes our deadly deception" by Thomas Smith on his website

Mark McAfee
May 30, 2011 6:14 am

The "Nutritional Civil Rights Movement" is really heating up!

Why….Because little FDA Cloned Clowns are really screwing up. I guess they did not get the memo.

There is an Inverse Relationship between Harrassment of Raw Milk and its Education and Consumption.


Mark McAfee
May 30, 2011 11:57 am

During hearings in Kentucky six years ago, the official policy of no raw for Kentucky was based on errant data. Dig a little deeper and we find that the so called death from raw milk that maybe killed a child was not raw milk at all. Instead it was Mexican bathtub cheese, made in Mexico.

This is the kind of biased political crap that is classic FDA cloned thinking.

People we must memorize and regurgitate the CDC data verbatim. The data and truth are our best friends. And when we catch these jokers in a lie. Call it a lie and show the data. Not that data and truth matter. It does not seem to matter to them. It matters to the public that seem to think that these agencies are perfect and do no wrong.


Milky Way
May 30, 2011 12:53 pm

Since you bring up statistics including deaths in the 1970-80s, these should probably be added to the discussion.

1. Association between raw milk and human Salmonella dublin infection.
Werner SB, Humphrey GL, Kamei I
Br Med J. 1979 Jul 28;2(6184):238-41

Between 1971 and 1975 the mean annual incidence of human Salmonella dublin infection in California increased more than five-fold. Investigation of the increase showed an association with exposure to raw milk in 44 out of 113 cases. Of these 44 patients, 35 had used certified raw milk from a single dairy. Faecal swabs confirmed S dublin infection in the dairy herd and the milk, and so a pasteurisation order was issued. S dublin appears to be an unusually invasive and life-threatening salmonella serotype: 65% of isolations were obtained from non-faecal specimens (mainly blood cultures), 89 patients (80%) were admitted to hospital and 22 patients died. Almost three-quarters of the patients were aged 20 or over, and half had serious underlying diseases, particularly leukaemias and lymphomas. Five patients presented with infected vascular lesions that included aneurysms with abscesses and infections of previous arterial graft sites. The public's increasing desire for a "health food" such as raw milk should be tempered with an appreciation of its attendant risk to health.

2. Invasive Salmonella dublin Infections Associated With Drinking Raw Milk
Joshua Fierer, MD
West J Med. 1983 May; 138(5): 665669

Salmonella dublin is a serotype of Salmonella that is host-adapted to cattle and rarely infects people. In one year (1980-1981) we diagnosed five cases of salmonellosis due to S dublin at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, San Diego. Four patients had positive blood cultures and one died. A sixth patient, diagnosed in 1978, had a mycotic aortic aneurysm but survived. Compared with nine patients who had Salmonella infections due to other serotypes, the S dublin patients were older, had a greater number of underlying chronic illnesses and were more seriously ill with their infections. Four of the six S dublin cases occurred in association with drinking certified raw milk from a commercial dairy.
Two microbiologic features of S dublin strains circulating in San Diego were distinctive. They failed to ferment arabinose and could not be grown in a minimal medium using citrate as the sole carbon source. Chronically ill elderly patients should be cautioned against drinking raw milk, an increasingly popular health food.

3. Assessment of the excess risk of Salmonella dublin infection associated with the use of certified raw milk
Richwald GA, Greenland S, Johnson BJ, Friedland JM, Goldstein EJ, Plichta DT.
Division of Population and Family Health, UCLA School of Public Health
Public Health Rep. 1988 Sep-Oct;103(5):489-93

The risk of serious illness attributable to infection with Salmonella dublin associated with the consumption of certified raw milk in California was evaluated. Data were derived from case reports of S. dublin isolations from persons in the State of California during the period 1980-83 and from production figures for raw milk from the major supplier. It is estimated that more than one-third of reported S. dublin infections in California in the first 4 years of this decade were attributable to raw milk consumption. Among raw milk consumers, it is estimated that more than 95 percent of reported S. dublin infections were acquired from raw milk; this proportion corresponds to a rate of reported S. dublin infections acquired from raw milk in the range of 8 to 35 cases per 100,000 users per year. It appears that immunocompromised persons are at exceptionally high risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from S. dublin exposure, and therefore raw milk is a particular health hazard for such persons.


Milky Way
May 30, 2011 1:19 pm

Similarly, using the FoodNet Atlas of Exposures (, if 3% of the population drank raw milk in the last 7 days, it is statistically improbable (virtually impossible) that an outbreak involving almost 100% raw milk drinkers from a single herdshare or dairy, with no other common exposure, is just a coincidence. The FoodNet data provides evidence that raw milk was the culprit in a number of recent outbreaks. In comparison, the 3% consumption rate is very low compared with other foods if you cruise through the tables, which makes the outbreak statistics even more remarkable given the overall low exposure to raw milk.


John M
May 30, 2011 5:03 pm

I will let others with more skills and knowledge than I take a full look at the above.

But to clarify,

1. Why is it virtually impossible? IMO, and my knowledge as a mathematician, it seems more than possible that an outbreak of certain things among people who share one major behavior in common could be caused by a 2ndary factor also shared in common by many members of the class. This is basic statistics and confounding at its best and happens all the time.

2. I believe even the CDC and others state that food born illnesses are under reported by up to a factor of 10. Thus, if it is possible or likely that real milk illnesses are more accurately reported or even over reported, and that other food born illnesses are under reported, both of which assumptions have likely support, especially the former from the biased ways data are collected and the like, then the statistical argument runs into rocky ground.

Many food outbreaks originally attributed to one or two possible factors were later then blamed on something else – think of the European example happening currently. Milk and meat were suspected – what was the real cause? Produce, cucumbers to be precise.

At the end of the day, I do not think this is a debate that can be settled by statistics, for many reasons. First, because those who should be offering the public accurate, impartial information instead are little more than industry frontmen in political attire. Second, because we do not use statistics to prohibit hundreds of other activities that are clearly harmful, and nor should we. This is not the proper or constitutional role of government.

This is idolatry and pride – one person wanting to set themselves up as "god" and tells others what they should and should not do. Or worse, it is oppression, one person or group of people forcing others to do and think and act like they do, for their personal fiscal benefit.

I am all for helping ensure the safety of RM, but anyone who trades liberty for safety has dishonored all those who went before us and sacrificed their safety to secure our liberty.

Steve Bemis
May 30, 2011 6:34 pm

MW – the salmonella info you cite is ancient history. Alta Dena dairy was a CAFO with acknowledged problems 30 years ago.

May 30, 2011 8:33 pm

"Many food outbreaks originally attributed to one or two possible factors were later then blamed on something else – think of the European example happening currently. Milk and meat were suspected – what was the real cause? Produce, cucumbers to be precise."

I would bet that if the original suspicion of illness cause of raw milk was later proven to be something else that the CDC, because they are anti-raw milk anyway, would not correct the mistake: "Well, it COULD have been the reason, better leave it up anyway… better safe than sorry."

Steve, they have to pull 30-yo data for S. dublin because it's the most recent they can find; they're counting on the average person not noticing how old the data is.

Concerned Person
May 30, 2011 9:30 pm

If everyone knew that Alta Dena Dairy had problems, why is this nonsense posted on the WAPF website?

Mark McAfee
May 30, 2011 10:42 pm

Steve Bemis correct. Alta Dena was a CAFO with 8000 cows. The wrong kind of conditions produce the wrong kind of bacteria.

If the deaths of 22 VA cancer patients was the result of Salmonella from Alta Dena then why is this data missing from CA state records and CDC data. It is not there in fact these cases were litigated and Alta Dena was vindicated I spoke with the Steuves and their attorney about this and that is why this data is not in the CDC records. When a patient has cancer they tend to try hail marry efforts. The information above was a association not a connection. Never proven.

This a 35 year old pissing match. Today we have far better standards in RAMP and what RAWMI is doing. Conditions matter. Claude Bernard told Pasteur this 135 years ago. The idiots in science followed the germ theory instead

Bottom line is this. The CDC data does not show the VA cancer patients in the records.

Nourish Yourself
May 30, 2011 11:23 pm

Where is the LIKE button?? lol
HOORAY Kentucky foodists! Way to go! Keep it up and let em roll….the cameras too! As Mark says….someone (or a few) need to film this stuff!


nancy j

Jan Steinman
May 31, 2011 2:00 am

Yea for the brave foodies in Kentucky!

The can lock up Michael Schmidt or Dan Allgyer. But they don't have enough jail space for all the herd-share owners out there. Solidarity!

But they don't dare lock up all the "moms" out there, as David notes. The real battle will take place "in between" radical actions that could actually wake up the sheeple. We need to be diligent about things like fines and technical legal action (so-called SLAPP suits), which could bankrupt individuals. They will try to divide the movement and pick off individuals.

As David notes, that's how this action is so brilliant. This fascist abuse of the regulatory system will only stop when common people stand up en-masse.

Denise Burns
May 31, 2011 4:32 am

I've taken to calling it "Righteous Disobedience".

So proud of the Louisville buying club, for John Moody's clear-headed thinking, and the FTCLDF for being there when they were needed most. Let the battle begin!

Bill Anderson
May 31, 2011 4:46 am


Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding of Alta Dena is that it was actually multiple farms. Whichever farm was testing the lowest on a Standard Plate Count each week would have its raw milk bottled as raw market milk, and the other farms would be sent for pasteurization.

Talk about playing "Russian Roulette"! That is NOT how raw milk should be done!

Mark McAfee
May 31, 2011 10:53 am

Alta Dena evolved as a raw milk organization. It did one thing in the 1960-1970s then it did quite another thing after 1988 when it sold. The Stueves then struggled with their own brand for 11 years until May 1999 when it permanently closed

The entire time it was a CAFO. CAFO is a raw milk no-no. Conditions matter. The standards for the AAMMC medical milk commission was less than 10 coliforms per ml, less than 10,000 SPC per ml and ZERO pathogens. Where Alta Dena got into trouble was the conditions. CAFO with 8000 cows in tight manure filled confinement does not work. They fed grain and used antibiotics. Zero pastures. Hence the repeated salmonella findings and the bad press and decline from grace.

Milky Way
May 31, 2011 11:38 am

John M,

I agree with you that battling the statistics quickly becomes unproductive. But, since they keep coming up, it is worth looking deeper into the data being tossed around. CDC did a major revamping of their surveillance system for foodborne disease outbreaks in 1998; one must be very careful comparing trends before and after those changes (any food item, not just raw milk). Second, even after the improvements in the surveillance system, there are flaws. Not every health department takes time to report every outbreak (and there is tremendous variation in the amount of verification of the food attribution from state-to-state, outbreak-to-outbreak). It is important to look at multiple sources of information including the literature. I brought up the Alta Dena Salmonella reports because of the blanket statements repeated over and over again, of late, about no deaths from raw milk for 30 years. This is not true.

It could be said that the number games played by raw milk organizations with the old CDC line listing and the FoodNet Atlas of Exposures are as unhelpful as CDC's recent lumping the 2 deaths from queso fresco cheese since 1998 into the same category as fluid raw milk.

All that said, wouldn't it be smarter to focus on recent trends instead of dwelling in the past? There is a well-documented uptick of raw milk related-outbreaks since 2005, and this should be addressed. Hopefully the efforts described by Mark and others related to safety guidelines are on the right track, and the raw milk movement will boast a success in reducing outbreaks and illnesses over the next 5 years.


May 31, 2011 9:38 pm

There is a well documented up-tick in anit-raw milk efforts on the part of the government, a government whose standard MO in many areas of operation is modify or fake statistics, corrupt test data, and engage in bold faced lies. This so-called uptick in raw milk related outbreaks does not come from a neutral third party but from the very organization which wants to outlaw raw milk and has repeatedly shown it self to have evil and dishonest intentions.

Statistics are a distraction. What matters is that consumers have a right to drink or eat the food of their choosing and an increasing number of them are choosing raw milk and thereby restoring health and healing from illness.

Mark McAfee
May 31, 2011 10:34 pm

Pete and Milky Way,

The opposition relies on the old data to make their case. They disregard the new data and even point to "up ticks".

We must be experts in the data and when they point to an incident, we must be able to show the rest of the story, exposing the Mexican Bath Tub cheeses that are classified as American Raw Milk illnesses. When the public hears this, they do not like the corrupt illusion that the FDA and CDC has tried to create.

I do also agree, that our best days lay ahead. We must do better in the future and give the jokers nothing more to point at. The CAFO has made its bed and it is filthy. It will be very hard for the NCIMS and PMO to change and that means that CAFO is done….

What we must do is concentrate on the future and things like RAWMI. But….never ever become complacent and give up the past either. Lies from the past is all they have. Do not allow them any peace with their lies. The dark days of Swill Raw Milk in the 1880s is a problem with commerical swills not grass fed farmers.

This reality is something we must bring back to the surface and remind them about. The CAFO was excused by the PMO and the pasteurization process. With out pasteurization, the CAFO would be gone long ago, just like Swill Dairies.

Our attack must take every educational angle possible. Do not let them rest until their has been change and every mom in America can access safe delicious raw milk for their families if they so choose.


Mark McAfee
May 31, 2011 10:41 pm

Nice Article….

Take this poll.

It appears that plenty of people like raw milk and it has returned as a consumer preferrence, regardless of the FDA gardage talk.

One of my personal peeves is when the FDA says that " there is no way to gurantee the safety of raw milk". What guarantee did pasteurized milk give three people in MA in 2007???? or 17 more since 1973….

Guarantee is a word that should never be associated with food…never. Ask the Germans that ate vegetables last month.


The Complete Patient
June 1, 2011 12:00 am

Milky Way,
I appreciate your acknowledgment that the statistics get misused by all sides in the debate over raw milk (along with assessments of food-borne illness in general). Unfortunately, it's not very persuasive to suggest that the dangers of raw milk are greater than government statistics indicate because data-collection efforts are lacking. It just begs the question of why the government isn't making data collection a higher priority if the problem is so serious.

Beyond such contradictions, I think your point about "a well-documented uptick of raw milk related-outbreaks since 2005 (that) should be addressed' is well taken. I'd like to see the public health community engage raw dairy producers and consumers in a rational exploration of the data. Are there people from the public health community…anywhere…willing to have that discussion?


June 1, 2011 12:29 am

Wow, that Fox News poll is running 75% for raw milk, 19% against!!

Mark McAfee
June 1, 2011 4:28 am

I have a personal challenge to anyone and everyone….can any one identify the last time that the raw milk community or producers engaged in meaningful dialogue with federal regulators….?

How about state regulators???

I can think of only a handful of times. Michigan with Dr.Beals and the Fresh Milk discussions that lasted several years and actually came up with all sorts of information, including the new information that Somatic Cells in Raw Milk are actually beneficial to human imunity.

I can think of the Raw Milk Summit held in Nebraska years ago with the USDA and University Ag extension representatives and producers and consumers present for two days. The dialogue was chronicled and recorded and then written about briefly a year later. But…nothing came of it and nothing was published or celebrated.

The last time I tried to speak with John Sheehan he refused to speak with me….and I was being really really nice. Instead he had the DOJ continue to sue me for CFR 1240.61 violations.

I can recall a meeting in December 2007, right after AB 1735 passed in CA, when I demanded a meeting with CDFA to have them answer to why no hearings were held on the coliform standard change in CA. That meeting did not go well. CDFA's Dr. Beam reported that the coliform standard was just an attempt to "harmonize with federal raw milk standards". I went nearly ballistic stating that there are no federal standards for raw milk aside from prohibition….I called him a liar, straight to his face in a pacted room with raw milk supporters on one side and 12 CDFA clones on the other. There was no peace that day and 18 months of hard protest, SB 201 senate hearings, Senator Dean Flores mediated senate hearings and litigation followed right after that.

So does anyone have an example of meaningful fruitful dialogue with state or federal regulators that brought good things for rawmilk???

The bottom line in my experience has been this….this is not about meaningful dialogue. This is about dairy and processors lobby protectionism. The policies have long been set and the bed warming is done.

All about the government laying with the processors and co-support of their extremely old agenda. Money, Money Money…

Go to the people and teach, teach, teach…that way they can vote, vote, vote with their dollar, dollar, dollar… is working gloriously.


John M
June 1, 2011 4:37 am

You are only too right. The role of federal and state regulators has little to do with public health and wellness, despite all the high sounding titles – tis little more than 1984 type doublespeak.

They are the goons and group forces of industrial/agricultural/military/pharma, etc. Some perhaps unknowingly or unwittingly, but they are doing their evil grunt work day in and day out none the less – subsidizing destruction via the farm bill and state grant programs, serving nutritional and health lies to the ignorant populace, and seeing that those who could easily dethrone agri-business if given a level playing field have as little opportunity as possible.

They are not there to have an informed, rational discussion. They are there to systematically seek to deny you your basic rights and freedoms, and ensure the multi-billion dollar processed, adulterated, addictive, health destroying and drug company enriching food empire continues to chew up and spit out person after person with their deadly, pesticide laden concoctions.

We want freedom, it is they who want war, a war that leaves the average consumer with the ability to choose only what enriches their mafia like leaders in gov't and industry.

Kevin Gordon
June 1, 2011 4:46 am

Everyone please sign the FTCLDF petition to support HR1830, which will automatically send letters to your elected representatives:

And also, to back up Violet's earlier post, please support the man who started it…it's time for a 'Revolution'! (or is it 'Raw-volution'?)


Bill Anderson
June 1, 2011 5:26 am

I think it would be a big mistake for the raw milk movement to put our stock in a political candidate. The populist movement fell for this trick over 100 years ago when they endorsed William Jennings Bryan for president in 1896, and they were relegated to the dustbin of history.

Real change must come from an organized independent educated grassroots.

Angelica Totten
June 1, 2011 6:45 am


A full discussion of the flaws in the studies you quoted can be found here:

Andrew Ward
June 1, 2011 6:54 am

"Real change must come from an organized independent educated grassroots."

Agreed. The real foods movement is larger than any political candidate or political ideology anyway, and getting real raw milk mixed in with either is a recipe for embarrassment and guilt-by-association, IMO. In other words, conservatives, progressives, libertarians, socialists, devout theists and atheists alike can agree on this issue, so there's not much reason to tie the real foods issue to a candidate when doing so will associate the movement to any preconceived notions otherwise open-minded persons will have of the politician. I'm glad Ron Paul is talking about food freedom, but I think we need to keep in mind that the issue brings him (more) legitimacy, not the other way around.

Just my two cents.


Violet Willis
June 1, 2011 7:43 am

Thanks Kevin and Andrew.

Now that is has stopped raining in Maine . . . . we are back to planting gardens:)

(and making sure that one Maine Senator who supported S510 is defeated in the 2012 primary with an organized grassroots effort).

I agree that this transcends political lines. If your Senator/Congressman is a Democrat and you are one that believes in food freedom . . . . then you must do all that you can to support a primary challenger that supports small, local family farms and food freedom – get rid of them with grassroots inspired term limits. The same if you are a Republican.

Obama nominated Elena Kagin for the Supreme Court (unfotunately now sits there for life)who believes that the government has the right to tell people what they can eat . . . . what does that say about our President. My own Senator voted to confirm this unconstitutional minded nominee. We need to look two to three steps ahead of these politicians because . . . . . unfortunately those that are entrenched have been bought by Big Ag . . . . and they must go.

As a grass roots movement for food freedom . . .we can inform all of our friends, family, etc . . . . write editorial letters to your local papers is a big plus as well as getting on talk radio shows if you can. We need a much bigger audience than David's blog can provide . . . . please don't take this as an insult David . . . . you have my utmost respect here.

Both parties need to understand that they still work for us and not the other way around.

Kind regards,

Violet J. Willis

Milky Way
June 1, 2011 9:00 am

I've read the entire website and their book. There are many inaccuracies in the data provided, and most of the references cited do not support the arguments or claims made by the authors (if you look up and read the references). As one example, their book confuses E. coli O157:H7 and E. coli O104:H21 in describing a post-pasteurization milk-related outbreak in Montana in 1994 ( That mistake comes to mind right now because an E. coli O104:H21 serotype is the cause of a massive outbreak in Germany under investigation (cucumbers suspected). Bottom line, an author knowledgeable of the subject matter would not have made such an error. There are numerous other examples of scientific errors, which makes me conclude that these resources need to be read with a healthy dose of salt grains.


Violet Willis
June 1, 2011 9:02 am

Just a sidenote:

Both the head of the FDA and USDA are against food choice . . . . . both were put forward by the Obama administration and they were confirmed by the Senate . . . . . Now, do you see what we have to do to change this . . . . .

It is a political game that we need to change over to our side. We cannot and will not win if we are divided politically on food choice issues. We need Senators on our side who will support our cause and vote correctly. And we need a Congress on our side who will hold the purse strings and can put forward legislation that will repeal some of legislation that is unfriendly to small family farms and put forward legislation to help the local food movement grow.

This needs to be done both at the State and Federal level. Unfortunately we don't have millions of dollars to fund an army of Lobbyists and Lawyers so we need to do this locally at a grass roots level ASAP. We need to find those candidates that support local agriculture and Food Choice and vote for them in the upcoming primaries.

Kind regards,


Mark McAfee
June 1, 2011 10:49 am

The OPDC strategy of teaching like crazy and building market seems to working at least in CA and that seems to be bleeding over state lines etc ….

I do not trust the political process at all. You can win the debate and science in all of the legislative hearings and still lose by veto. It happened right here in CA It was big dairy and CDFA politics. They had the money and access to the governor.

This will be won by grass roots growth of dollar voters. It will be won by the random act of some judge whose family drinks raw milk. That is right. As the tipping point tips people in positions of power simply start to make different decisions. That is how a tipping point tips.

Teach teach teach. When they shut you down. Open back up and drink up.


Sylvia Gibson
June 1, 2011 6:20 pm

"an author knowledgeable of the subject matter would not have made such an error."

This could be said of the govt, drug companies, big ag, monsanto , medical community, etc…

"Choosing raw milk for them is a consumer rights and personal choice issue." (from Mark's link with the poll)

It is my right to choose what I consume, just as it is my right on what to teach, feed ,raise my children, just as it is your right on how you choose to live and eat. To impede that right makes America no longer a democracy. Who gives the govt or anyone else the power to tell me how to live? You want to consume toxic processed foods…go ahead, it's your choice. You want to take those pills without knowing full well the side effects, potential problems, % of how the pill really works, etc—go a head, it's your choice. Most patients are NOT informed on their medications or disease/illness processes. Most just do what they are told and expect it to work….

Look at the ads for that anxiety pill….it starts out saying the anxiety pill you are currently taking may not be enough and you may need ANOTHER pill…Read the stats on how well those psych pills really do work/not work.. If you don't teach a person how to deal with issues, then you will forever give them pills…The whole system is broken.

What's that saying? If you give a man a fish, you feed him for life, If you teach him to fish, he feeds himself for life…

I am currently in Virginia Beach and am missing the abundance of local fresh produce/ grass fed meats that I got in California, I have not been able to find nitrate free bacon, non-irradiated nuts. I can't even find non-homogenized milk, even in Trader Joes or other similar stores, and cream, it's all high temp pasteurization- disgusting! I won't be here long enough to join a heard share.

June 2, 2011 12:19 am


Have any of the Federal candidates you've voted for supported Paul's raw milk bill? If not I think your bias is showing.

I am agreed this is an issue that needs to transcend the political spectrum. In truth, those on the left and the right have more in common with each other than they do with the bi-factional ruling party.


Bill Anderson
June 2, 2011 1:12 am


My only bias is against those who can't see the entirety of the power structure we face. While ultra-libertarianism works great for a small farmer with 50 or 100 acres of his/her own land, it doesn't work so great for factory workers subject to the forces of the new global "free market" economy, or for inner city youth who have no access to land for growing their own food.

There are precious few federal candidates who I would support — I have advocated for radical electoral abstensionism in the past. I have been involved in protests against my own Democratic congresswoman (the first openly lesbian candidate elected to congress) for her continued votes supporting the military occupation of Palestine and for funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have also refused to support Russ Feingold for the same reason — Feingold was the sole dissenting Senator to vote against the US Patriot Act in 2001, yet he is a complete supporter of Isreal, so I refuse to support him even though it is the "cool" thing to do amongst Madison progressives. Feingold was defeated by a corporate "tea party" candidate in the 2010 general elections.

But as I said, it really doesn't matter that much. The grassroots are what matter.

As usual, it is a war on the working class, including farmers. Our current administration in Wisconsin is particularily vicisous in their attacks. The new deputy secretary of Agriculture is a long-time Farm Bureau lobbyist. He is refusing to release the DATCP raw milk working group report which was supposed to be finished in February, and I am having to invoke the Freedom of Information Act to get a hold of it.

Bill Anderson
June 2, 2011 1:41 am

p.s. Regarding Ron Paul, has anyone bothered to look into his position on immigration and birthright citizenship? Or reproductive rights? Or his flirtations with white supremecist groups in the past?

When you get down to it, Paul isn't really all that libertarian — he's just good at populist grandstanding. If we are going to spend time and energy pushing for a constitutional amendment, I'd much rather focus on abolishing corporate personhood than abolishing birthright citizenship. After all, Mexican-Americans are loyal consumers of raw dairy products. I'm sure that Mark could tell us a thing or two about that…

June 2, 2011 7:00 am

There are different shades of libertarian, Paul happens to be on the right side of that spectrum. No candidate is perfect but Paul is a greater supporter of liberty than has ran for that office many many decades. But of all the politicians to run for prez, Paul is the last to be accused of grandstanding. He has been in Congress a good many years and has stuck to his principles, often alone and opposed by his party.

Southern Consumer
June 2, 2011 7:57 am

There is a lot you can say about Ron Paul; Grandstander is not one of them. Disagree with him all you wish, and I do and have,but the man has stood on his principals and has not bowed to pressure from special interest or his own party. Grand standing is not a term that describes him.

Violet Willis
June 3, 2011 8:51 am

Bill Anderson,

Ron Paul is the only political candidate that is currently on the side of food freedom.

I think you are more in the line of Trotsky and also Mao in your beliefs . . . . they are so passe`.

Please go to North Korea and tell me how the "Workers Paradise" has evolved. Every country that has tried communism has failed. . . . . Many of my relatives came from Albania . . . . so I know communism very well. . . . .

Want to take this further . . . . please take it offline . . . . at

Kind regards,


June 3, 2011 11:58 pm

@BillAnderson —
"I'd much rather focus on abolishing corporate personhood"

As would I; this would solve so many problems facing our nation. So, how do we start this?