Food Police in MN and CA Giving Us More Opportunities, and Incentives, to Resist


“We will not comply!”

That was the rallying cry from Raw Milk Freedom Riders leader Liz Reitzig and 200 participants at the Minneapolis demonstration Monday in support of Alvin Schlangen.

Alvin Schlangen, speaking with Liz Reitzig, hopes his supporters are taking his t-shirt message to heart. That was also the message when I visited the home of one of the moms targeted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for warnings of possible criminal action for allowing the home to be used as a drop site for farmer Michael Hartmann. The talk there was of anticipating possible actions by the MDA, and making sure, whatever the agency comes up with, not to comply. (You can be sure the agency has its lawyers and police advisers hard at work at figuring out options for trying to force compliance.)

And it was the message some of Organic Pastures’ customers have been giving to overly aggressive public health inspectors after the inspectors have telephoned customers seeking to confiscate milk subject to recall. Mark McAfee describes some of the troubling follow-up activity by public health inspectors with his customers.

It is a message that more and more Americans will need to become familiar with if they are going to protect their right to decide which foods do and don’t go into their bodies. It is a right the government and its corporate backers are moving ever more aggressively to take from us. And each time they don’t encounter serious resistance, they make sure to push harder the next time to expand their message of intimidation.

In Minnesota, the MDA a couple years back singled out one individual for serving as a drop point for farm products. Now, having judged the resistance to that operation to have been minimal, the MDA is going after nine or ten individuals.

In California, the Department of Food and Agriculture’s May 10 press release announcing a recall of OPDC milk, stated, “Consumers are strongly urged to dispose of any Organic Pastures products of these types remaining in their refrigerators…”

The key word there is “urged,” as in “encouraged” or “advised.” Yet the health department inspectors seems to be acting as if consumers are “ordered” or “required” to dispose of their milk.

The especially troublesome aspect is that these people, whether at MDA or CDFA or local health departments, see such activity as noble work. In their minds, each bottle of milk they grab from a consumer may prevent an illness, no matter how far-fetched the reality. In their fear-mongering view of the world, any notion of individual privacy and rights is subverted to this supposedly grand task.

The really scary part is that each such effort to forcibly interfere with people’s personal and private lives represents an expansion of the State’s police powers. The notion of public health inspectors, or agriculture inspectors, acting as police agents with the authority to arbitrarily confiscate people’s food is so outrageous as to be almost laughable. But it is happening.

What is encouraging in both Minnesota and California is that consumers are beginning to resist. The decision by Dori Copperthite, as described by Mark McAfee following my previous post, to give a health inspector the heave-ho, and get her video camera ready for another visit, is inspiring.  As Michael Badnarik, the Texas constitutional expert and former Libertarian Party candidate for President, said at the Food Rights Workshop on Sunday, “We have to get rid of the idea that defiance is not allowed…Defiance is the key to freedom.”

Badnarik acknowledged that defiance isn’t easy for most of us, who have been conditioned to obey all orders coming from authority figures like police and agents. “We outnumber the government,” he said. “What we lack is the emotional willingness to act.”

The affronts to our food rights will continue to occur more frequently and on a more widespread basis unless we take to heart Badnarik’s sage advice, and Liz Reitzig’s refrain, “We will not comply!” There’s nothing radical in this advice—it was the basis of the founding of this country, of taking it back from tyrants who used the same kind of bullying tactics we are seeing in Minnesota and California…and much worse.

Michael Schmidt describes well in a post on The Bovine the dilemma that will confront ever more of us as the government campaign continues inevitably to intensify: “We have different approaches in the movement; the ones who are targeted and stand by what they are doing, and those who operate out of the public eye with the hope to not be the target. At some point, every one will have to face the music to either stand by their beliefs or their fear.”

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47 Comments on "Food Police in MN and CA Giving Us More Opportunities, and Incentives, to Resist"

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Karen Goeben
May 16, 2012 4:35 am

I laughed when I read that CDFA wanted consumers to dump their OP products. I’m glad I stocked up for my family. I think it’s also time to get a cow share for back up. Really, I thought it would be easier here.

I’m encouraged by the moms and families who are standing up in Minnesota and California. Liz from Raw Milk Freedom Riders, juggling her sweet baby on her hip as she helps to lead this movement…just inspiring! Really FDA, CDFA, MDA, DTCP etc., didn’t you ever hear the advice not… Read more »

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
May 16, 2012 1:45 pm

It appears that as the demand for raw dairy and healthier foods has grown, so has the harassment and oppression from the bedfellows of govt/big ag/monsanto types/GMO, etc.

There are waiting lists for many cow shares and community-shared agriculture (CSA). Indeed the demand is growing. Each time information, such as ‘pink slime’, or mass out breaks, like cantaloupe/spinach, etc. hits the masses, a few more move further away from the processed food chain.

As more people learn about the toxins in the processed food chain, more will stand up to the above mentioned bedfellows.… Read more »

Wayne Craig
May 16, 2012 6:40 pm

I agree with Sylvia, knowledgable gardeners and livestock caretakers are few and far between. Amanda Rose suggests everybody get a goat. Think about that, people with no experience and no one to guide them can turn that idea into their own pathogenic bacteria fest. I think Amanda should do pathogen testing of her own milk and probably some fecals and publish it here on David’s blog. Let’s she if she knows what she is doing. She has no problem critiquing other food producers.

Does any one have the exact language found… Read more »

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
May 16, 2012 8:15 pm


I believe Amanda does have goats and chickens,etc. She does have the knowledge and she has access to those who have even more knowledge. She also knows how to search out what she doesn’t know.

Unfortunately, many won’t search out information,some don’t know how to go about finding information, some may not know they are lacking in information or safety issues. I’ve been told “it isn’t hard dropping seeds in the ground, feed them water and poop and that’s all there is to it”. I don’t know all the details of gardening, I do know there… Read more »

Mary Jean
May 16, 2012 8:25 pm

Article XIII Section 7 of the MN constitution

“Sec. 7. NO LICENSE REQUIRED TO PEDDLE. Any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor. “

Lotus Lady
May 16, 2012 10:04 pm

The Government wants you to be compliant. That is why there is Fluoride in the water. It makes you compliant. The Nazi’s used fluoridated water to make the Jews more compliant. If your state requires fluoridated water, get an RO filter. I’m thinking a lot of these moms who buy raw milk already figured out they didn’t want to be drinking fluoridated water either–for health reasons. Turns out there is another reason as well.

Amanda Rose
May 17, 2012 12:42 am

Thank you Sylvia. I don’t have a goat right now. I have a rule of having only one lactating species on the property at a time…

Wayne — The big advantage with your own small operation is that you are continually exposed to the pathogens in your specific animals and build an immunity to those specific pathogens. Think of it this way: Why would I worry much about my kids eating raw eggs if they are rolling around in grass and dirt with the chickens? They are exposed constantly at small levels.

The other advantage to your own operation is that… Read more »

mark mcafee
May 17, 2012 3:58 am

Radiation tests were finnally completed at Silliker Labs for OPDC….they will be posted at our FB in the morning….non detect on any of the radioactive isotopes from the Japanese event. The complete report tested a tons of them….all negative. Fresno is in an area of little rain…rain brings in the radiation and drops it to the ground. No rain…very little if any radiation.

All CDFA recall biology tests are perfect and match ours. We are waiting for the pathogen tests to come back and then we should be good to go.

Breaking News!!….OPDC has made a major advancement and… Read more »

Shana Milkie
May 17, 2012 2:53 pm

It’s an outrageous violation of privacy to seek people’s contact information and attempt to confiscate their food. It’s one thing for people to voluntarily register their cars, baby seats, etc. in case of a recall and quite another for government employees to seek out and intimidate citizens into giving up their food they freely acquired. How spooky. Keep up the noncompliance!

Barney Google
May 17, 2012 5:14 pm

California is the hot spot of the world as far as radiation. You need to check out this video. You’re lucky if you’ve avoided the nuclear fallout, since there has been many hundreds of nuclear tests in the California area in the past 50 years.
“A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945”

Plus, radiation from Fukushima was found in both pasteurized and raw milk just a year ago.
“9/1 (4:22pm): Two raw milk samples were added to our raw milk page. Both samples come from a single dairy the Sacramento area, and one sample is cow milk and… Read more »

May 17, 2012 11:14 pm

It’s also outrageous for a savvy, veteran seller, trusted by his customers, to cough up that list upon demand, assuming he didn’t actively offer it to them (and then rush over here pretending to have done it out of naivete, like a kid with his first lemonade stand). It’s bizarre that no one else here considers that the worst part of all.

But then McAfee and his fellow milk corporatists consistently call for appeasement and collaboration with the food fascists.

May 18, 2012 12:18 am

Russ = let us compare philosophical models, especially, the results thereof …. how much REAL MILK did you deliver today? To how many households?

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
May 18, 2012 2:39 am

Berkly and numerous private citizens have been monitoring the after effects of Fukushima. There has also been in the news about the seaweed off the Ca coast being contaminated. Food from the Gulf is out as is the Pacific.

May 18, 2012 8:11 am

Yes, let’s compare. You’re one of several here who lurch schizophrenically between deploring fascism (which you bizarrely keep calling “socialism”; news flash – the Cold War ended over 20 years ago, and corporate capitalism won across the board) and thinking it can be appeased. Well, which is it?

But it’s good to see that you consider handing over customer lists to the state to be part of acceptable behavior. I take it you have done or would do the same?

Certainly, in the long run a full-scale food sovereignty movement will deliver far more real milk to more people than corporate… Read more »

Ora Moose
Ora Moose
May 18, 2012 11:59 am

Russ, back off. Do you use credit cards? If so, the info on what you paid for is already out there for anyone that wants it. Do you use the internet? ditto.

From what I can tell, Mark is actually trying to do whatever it takes to stop this crap from happening to his company. Is he perfect? No. Maybe I’m just too naive, but from where I sit he doesn’t seem to be the bad guy, on the contrary. He’s making real milk available to more people than anyone else in the US,… Read more »

Amanda Rose
May 18, 2012 3:16 pm

I noticed it, Russ. I didn’t mention anything because I’m sure you all get tired of my playing my broken record and now I see you have a copy of it.

May 18, 2012 5:42 pm

I interchange the term “social-ism” with fascism, ever since Wilhelm Reich taught me that ‘black fascism’ and “red fascism’ are just different manifestations of the same anti-christ spirit. Same with ‘social-ism’ … the disguise used by progressives – read, communists – for their Fabian long march through the institutions.

As for your question “why do you think OPDC keeps having these incidents?” as explained on this forum by those on the front lines : the answer is beyond dispute = there’s an agenda from the highest levels of government, on down, to suppress raw… Read more »

May 18, 2012 6:14 pm

Before Unified School Districts, ala John Dewey et al, there were “one room school houses.”

I think The Complete Patient is like a one room school house.

Keep it up.

God bless all of you.

Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

May 18, 2012 9:34 pm

Well, since I started reading here in September, and then looking back a few months before that, I’ve seen McAfee:

1. Consistently call for appeasement and collaboration with the state, as opposed to a self-managing, self-policing mutual aid movement. We’ve seen how things have gone since then, in California and every other state where the heat is on. McAfee’s gameplan is a failure everywhere, while only the Raw Milk Freedom Riders (direct actionists) have made any progress.

2. Promote a coordinating body (RAWMI) which is to be organized, not according to democratic, decentralized Food Sovereignty principles, but as a… Read more »

May 18, 2012 9:40 pm

1. I see you can’t meet my arguments, which is why you keep regressing to ad hom fallacies. (Much like your friend’s attempts to malign people who post under pseudonyms every time he was losing an argument.) Sorry, but just because I’m not a dairyman while some others are means nothing about the quality of our respective arguments. (For the record, I’m an active citizen in general, especially interested in food sovereignty and anti-GMO issues, a real milk drinker, I’ve written some stuff that was reposted at Food Freedom and the Bovine, I work at a farmers’ market, and… Read more »

Ora Moose
Ora Moose
May 18, 2012 10:34 pm

Russ, again… back off. I don’t know what rock you crawled out from under, but you are being way too aggressive in calling out people here especially Mark. Why don’t you take a different tack, and tell us what you would propose, instead of just criticizing what you call corporate rubric. I despise the system too, but so far haven’t come up with any better alternatives other than what I can do personally, ie supporting my local farmer and avoiding all corporate food.

And btw it isn’t ok to rat, but I don’t believe Mark did… Read more »

May 18, 2012 10:49 pm

I can meet your arguments, but I’m not going to indulge you in worship of your adolescent self-image … like that other dunce who clutters-up this forum parroting the ridiculous boiler-plate communist slogans.

go back and read my post “Story Time” about Al Capone’s contemporary, Sam Giancanna ; at the very end of his life, when they asked him what he’d do over, he said “I’d get a licence”. Jesus Christ warned his friends about the vipers, then left us with comfort “I have given you power to handle snakes”…. with the parasites and… Read more »

Ora Moose
Ora Moose
May 18, 2012 11:06 pm

Oh, and Russ… I actually agree with most of what you say other than the specific anti-Mark stuff. I actually ask myself many of the same questions, and try to read between the lines no matter whose post it was.

Problem is, other than bartering with your neighbors or local farmers, how do you go about being part of the solution instead of problem? I’m not and have never been a big business entity, but what can you realistically expect from those who are? Yes they are in it for the money, but please… Read more »

May 19, 2012 12:13 am

I would never feel comfortable purchasing milk from an operation the size of Organic Pastures. There’s simply too much that can go wrong, and unlike the farm I patronize, there isn’t the same face-to-face contact which I believe increases accountability. Plus, we actually see before our eyes the condition and cleanliness of the operation. I wouldn’t merely trust a piece of paper that says a place conforms to a set of bureaucratic rules.
Of course, customers should have the right to choose a big business like OP. But it’s ridiculous and wrong to demand the same regulations of a… Read more »

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
May 19, 2012 12:16 am

“Did you see how Whole Foods and the other shills for the “co-existence” scam got hung out to dry on GE alfalfa? ”

I missed this information….

May 19, 2012 12:19 am

I always feel that even though my information is available to those who want it, let them work for it. A little peaceful rebellion never hurt.

May 19, 2012 7:31 am

You can start here. The basic sellout attempt:

And how even this was too subtle for Monsanto, and how Obama directly overrode the plan in favor of Full Speed Ahead:

But the basic plan to use the total contamination of alfalfa, which the USDA itself admits is inevitable, to render the existing organic meat/dairy model impossible (because it relies on non-GMO alfalfa), and to use that as the pretext to degrade the “organic” standard to allow GMOs, remains the same. Vilsack and Whole Foods merely wanted to be more gradual and subtle about it.

May 19, 2012 7:35 am

My plan is the same as the plan of millions around the world – Food Sovereignty as the basis of a general movement for true democracy and relocalization. Sorry you consider that a “rock” from which one crawls out. I gather that many here are of the hang-separately “freedom for me but not for you” persuasion, and would generally side with the police, but only become upset when their turn comes. Certainly Gordon below is clear on that point. Nevertheless, I came here because I’m trying to find people who actually want to fight the corporate system, and because… Read more »

Barney Google
May 19, 2012 1:49 pm


You sound like a conspiracy theorist, good for you!!!

You will find most everyone has their own gripe about government but most will not do any research to find out the rest of the story. Once you start finding information, it’s amazing how much it’s ALL interconnected: money, power, greed, agendas, and oh yes, conspiracies!!!

I have told people in the past to find something that really makes you p.o.ed and research it, whether it be taxes, fuel prices, whatever, and you will be surprised at what you will find. Believe me there is plenty of crap to… Read more »

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
May 19, 2012 3:23 pm

“because the persecution of milk is clearly a trial run for a far more thorough-going assault.”

I believe I’ve read similar words on this blog and others. There’s a lot to read on your blog.

Ora Moose
Ora Moose
May 19, 2012 4:25 pm

Russ: Great blog you’ve got there. Sorry if I came across as a curmudgeon, but in essence I am so please don’t take it personally. I too am relatively new around here, and still trying to figure out who’s what, but when someone new attacks old timers don’t be surprised at the reflex defensiveness. Anyhow, welcome aboard and please share, teach and learn etc.

May 19, 2012 9:40 pm

When 100% of the evidence indicates that there’s a tyrannical strategy being put into practice, any responsible citizen must become a sort of conspiracy theorist. Certainly the whole system has long been engaging in a loose conspiracy against the people (“loose” because everyone in government, media, academia, etc. basically knows what to do: whatever maximizes corporate enclosure, domination, and profit).

Just yesterday I was recommending to someone that she pick something to research, and that she’d quickly become an expert in all that matters about it.

May 19, 2012 9:41 pm

Thanks Ora Moose, no offense taken, and I hope likewise. I didn’t intend to come on here and launch into a severe criticism of one of the regulars, but the customer list thing (so redolent of the way the telecoms and most IT corporations happily collaborate with the police state, and all too consistent with McAfee’s general collaboration rhetoric) really burned me up.

Share, teach, and learn, sounds great!

May 19, 2012 9:43 pm

Lots of people recognize what they’re doing. Especially with the recent passage of the Food Control Act and similar measures relating to food.

May 19, 2012 9:44 pm

And a lot really helps!

May 19, 2012 9:46 pm

I think you sum up the situation well, both about the need for food relocalization and why all the arguments against true democracy are fraudulent.

Parents must do okay, otherwise how has humanity endured? (Of course elites would say it’s because of them, but the truth is the opposite.)

May 19, 2012 10:16 pm

reading your stuff, I’m severely tempted to rebut at length, but then I realize it’d be a waste of breath … about 30 years from now, you’ll be ready to listen, rather than spew all that palaver. Suffice to say, Chairman Mao did one thing right, when he sent the effete intellectuals back to the country side. And when you get there, Russ, don’t rush into it, ’til you figure out which end of the manure fork to use… hint = it’s the clean end.

Lola Granola
May 19, 2012 10:39 pm

Gordon Watson = Yippy little attack dog for anyone who dares question the Cult of REAL MILK.

May 20, 2012 12:43 am

Your pal Russ showed his colors quickly : what we used to call back in the days of the Cold War = “a com-symp”. He’s not on this forum to help us restore one of the basic aspects of America = self-reliance. … He’s been sent-in to hijack the energies of the Campaign for REAL MILK, for an ulterior purpose. the commies are wicked, but they’re not stupid. He and his ilk make so much noise about ” future conditions”, yet they’re child-less. When their gypsy caravan moves on, so will he.… Read more »

Lola Granola
May 20, 2012 1:27 am

And Mr. Watson shows his colors quickly as he never comes here to have rational discourse, but only pops in to attack anyone who dares criticize his precious BELIEF SYSTEM. Yes, Mr. Watson, if you relate REAL MILK to some sort of Bible Prophecy you have gone beyond health and freedom issues into a BELIEF SYSTEM, and as with all BELIEF SYSTEMS, one you need to protect at all costs, lest admit you were wrong. Pray tell, dear Watson, as you ensure your children and grandchildren have REAL MILK to drink are you also aware of the… Read more »

May 20, 2012 1:46 am

Mr. Watson, I suspect Russ was speaking figuratively about “wringing their neck”. Haven’t we all used that phrase at some point, without actually intending violence?
Similarly, the axe he mentions is probably not a real axe but a metaphorical one.
Incidentally, I have not sold Real Milk but I do smuggle it to my family, which makes me a criminal in my state :)

May 20, 2012 1:53 am

How do you know so much about this guy Russ? Wow, I’m always amazed at how the Internet gives people a sort of telepathy about others! Like the time someone decided that I had no children because of a comment I made. Oops-I have 4 plus one on the way :(
Telepathy Fail…

May 20, 2012 10:56 pm

God! if there’s a “belief system” evident on this forum, it’s people who have a fanatical religious committment to Pasteur’s germ theory, versus those of us who are willing to re-examine our pre-suppositions in light of fresh evidence. Jimi hendrix sang “there are things to realize”

I most certainly AM aware of the evidence, compiled by people like Dr Samuel Epstein, very strongly indicating a connection between milk and cancer. The book “WhiteWash” is an excellent summary of that material. But when we called the publisher to ask why author John Keon didn’t distinguish “homo milk”… Read more »

Lola Granola
May 21, 2012 12:11 am

Mr. Watson has proven my point beautifully, which is that he does not come here to have rational discourse but only arrives to disprove any who dare question his Cult. How much energy have you wasted having this ridiculous boxing match with me, and for what conclusion if not derailment?

I applaud you for your awareness of Joseph Keon’s work, but with such provocative information at your fingertips the only follow-up research you did was to call the publisher? You did not talk to Keon yourself? Did you bother reference the other researchers who have found a… Read more »

May 21, 2012 2:44 am

quite the flying leap you’ve taken, Ma’am assuming an awful lot that has nothing to do with moi. … you remind me of old Wiley Coyote chasing the RoadRunner right off into space …

My excuse for not following up on “Whitewashed” is, a]- I don’t answer to mouthy broads with too much time on their hands, and b] – “I’m busy” … I have a full-time job preparing to defend myself in the trial which will be the watershed for the Campaign for REAL MILK in BC, thus, all of Canada.… Read more »

May 21, 2012 10:34 am

From what I’ve read here, it appears to me that Gordon Watson is not merely a “yippy little attack dog”, but a very angry man looking to have a fight. I also find his writing rather incoherent, but that could just be me.
I guess the best approach to Mr. Watson is to ignore him.