Key Lesson in Judge’s Ruling Against Michael Hartmann: Don’t Go to Court with a Bunch of Illnesses on Your Watch

The Hartmann Farm. Michael Hartmann’s legal challenge to Minnesota authorities over confiscation of his dairy farm’s products last May was totally rejected by a state judge.

The case was tried over several weeks last August, but the judge only yesterday decided on behalf of the state–that the 120 cases of milk, 900 packages of raw cheddar, and 125 tubs of yogurt, among other items that were confiscated, must be destroyed.

Though Hartmann customers who attended the trial last August felt the judge was engaged and fair-minded, there’s not a single encouraging word in the entire 23-page decision for Michael Hartmann or the six consumers who were “intervenors” on his behalf. In fact, adding insult to injury, Hartmann and the consumers must pay the cost of the product destruction.

The judge, Rex D. Stacey, accepted completely the findings of the Minnesota Department of Public Health that the Hartmann Farm was almost certainly the source of eight illnesses attributed by authorities to the milk.

The only possible glimmer of light in the whole case is that the ruling applied only to the products seized last May. There was no finding about products produced since then, about the appropriateness of the continued quarantine of the farm’s products, or of whether the farm might have improved conditions in the interim. Thus, the products seized by the state a few weeks ago in the video confrontation weren’t covered in the ruling.

But in light of the illnesses in May, the judge seems very much inclined to listen to the state’s assessment of the situation much more seriously than it is to that of Hartmann.

He reasoned, “Hartmann argues that no test results showed the existence of any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render the food product injurious to health, which is required to prove the food is adulterated. Eight people became ill with the same rare strain of E.coli. The only commonality among these eight people was that they all consumed Hartmann products within days of becoming ill. This same rare strain of E.coli was present in samples taken from the Hartmann farm. This court has no doubt that these people became ill from consuming Hartmann products.”

The judge said he gave “little weight” to the testimony of Tim Wightman, head of the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation and a dairy expert, on Hartmann’s behalf. Judge Stacey recounted Wightman as testifying “that someone possibly ‘could’ produce ‘quality milk’ under” the conditions described by agriculture and public health inspectors of “substantial manure buildup in the milking area of the barn.” Part of the problem the judge had with Wightman was he “did not apply his own standards to the operation; and he did not satisfactorily reconcile farm conditions with his published statements that the ‘milking area should be kept clean’ and that milking and holding areas should be ‘scrupulously free of manure.'” The judge also noted that Wightman “conceded that MDA test results of Hartmann milk revealed standard plate counts which greatly exceed the PMO standards and Mr. Wightman’s recommendations for ‘raw’ milk producers.”

Given all this, there was no way the judge was going to interpret any of the contradictory state laws or the Minnesota Constitution on food and dairy sales in Hartmann’s favor, and he didn’t.

Indeed, he labeled the seized food “adulterated,” and concluded, “There is no question that adulterated food cannot legally be sold or that ensuring the safety of food from farmer to table is anything but a valid exercise of the State’s police power.”

All of which highlights a reality that first became apparent last year, when a Canadian judge ruled in favor of Michael Schmidt. One big reason the judge was swayed by Schmidt’s arguments was that there wasn’t even a hint of illness in more than sixteen years of operations. Had there been illnesses clearly attributable to his dairy, there’s a good chance he would have lost.

This brings me to an issue that’s been raised here any number of times over the last year or so: the need for raw-dairy standards, overseen by a self-governing raw dairy association. Wisconsin dairyman Scott Trautman made the argument most convincingly on this blog a few months back, and was heavily castigated. Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy Co. has made the argument again in recent days with respect to the Hartmann situation.

The time for rigorous standards is upon us. Essentially, the Hartmann situation places a number of people, certainly me, into an awkward position. I can’t condone a farmer producing product that makes people sick, yet I also can’t condone the state going on a vendetta that makes it next to impossible for him to clean up his act and that targets innocent businesses and consumers for punishment. More significantly, the situation places at risk other farmers who take sanitation more seriously than Hartmann seems to. Court decisions like this set precedents that give regulators carte blanche to run roughshod (even more) over both farmer and consumer rights.

One thing I’ve complained a lot about is judges who won’t give attention to food rights cases. Judge Stacey gave this case his attention, but unfortunately, as I suggested last June when this case emerged, it was the last case I would have wanted him to review. The only benefit I can see to possibly emerge would be if it helped push raw dairy producers and consumers toward developing and adopting a set of realistic standards, so as to hold producers accountable, and thus be able to make a more compelling legal case in favor of food rights in the future. ?

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87 Comments on "Key Lesson in Judge’s Ruling Against Michael Hartmann: Don’t Go to Court with a Bunch of Illnesses on Your Watch"


Guest
Max Kane
December 23, 2010

A person's privacy still pulls rank over the possible risks of illness and all of the other unfounded rhetoric used to justify standardized food. Standardized raw milk is great as long as it is not forced upon raw milk drinkers…..if it is, then the new raw milk standardization system will become as evil as the current pasteurization system. In addition, the idea of using toxic bleaches and detergents to reduce bacterium levels in food is insane. When a person goes to the E.R. claiming illness the doctors use fear to exploit, non-scientific, one sided view to declare bacterium guilty, all while ignoring substances like isolated (lead, mercury, arsonic, etc…), and other toxic substances which are release into our air, water, and soil as a result of industrial pollution. Most of us do not want to talk about this because we all destroy the Earth and play dumb about it. We all contribute to the cause by driving cars and using electricity produce by burning coal, and so forth. We continue to blame Mother Nature for why our bodies choose to detox themselves via vomit, fever, rash, diarhea,….ect. We declaring Nature's micro-organisms as evil villains and turn a blind eye to the pollution that we already have, and continue to, create. The current prejudice against micro-organisms and the people who speak affirmatively to this paradigm are not God, and if a person is not allowed to make their food choices based on their beliefs then they are a slave.

Guest
Barney Google
December 23, 2010

From previous post;

Excellent writings Hugh Betcha,you should make this a daily event !!
Keep up the good work !!

Guest
Anonymous
December 23, 2010

Max Kane and Barney and hugh betcha – do you run your farms like Hartmann's? I have livestock and watch their habits…they lay in their poop in the pasture. Moreover, it is raining like mother nature hasn't taken a piss in months. Mud everywhere. Is it possible to milk these animals safely (not to mention I have a headache today and not on top of my game)? It's not possible 24/7 year-round to produce raw milk safely, in my personal experience – testimonial. There is nothing wrong with heat treating the milk. Have you ever eaten a perfectly grilled steak – heat treated. That doesn't mean you have to buy from CAFOs – there are alternatives and ways to support homestead farmers, but not at the cost of putting neighbor children in the hospital. Over my dead body would I ever engage in such "food rights" as described by the Hartmann dairy.

Guest
faithwi
December 23, 2010

Barney –

I agree with you and hugh. How do we incite the masses to understand we need to revolt? Our money system is a sham and most institutions will tell you that there's nothing to worry about. Meanwhile, they're (tptb) all shaking in their pants with what's about to come down.

Lykke –

The desire to win, in my opinion, is, more a matter of knowing where my food comes from. Are we Luddites to want to go back to a "system" where we know our producers?

Guest
Aajonus Vonderplanitz
December 23, 2010

The conclusion by Judge Stacey that the 8 people got contaminated by products that did not have the specific bacteria that was accused of making 8 people sick is the most outrageous, far-fetched notion I have heard. His thinking is non-scientific metaphysical thinking.
I dislike using a gun as an analogy with bacteria but none other will work simplistically. Stacey's conclusion is like stating, the state found 8 people who were shot by rare bullets and found several guns that could use rare bullets but there were no bullets in the guns and none of them had been fired. However, since some of those rare bullets existed at another location where the guns had been made, those 8 people were shot with those guns that had no bullets and were not fired. Where is rationale, logic and common sense?
I have reported from my experiments thousands of times, bacteria are not the cause of food-borne illness. There are bacterial functions in our bodies that are cleansing just as there are digestive, growth and healing functions all performed by bacteria. We have 1 human gene for every 100 bacterial genes. The idea that a few rogue bacteria can overtake all our many beneficial bacteria and white blood cells is preposterous. Even phenomenal Ninja could not be that good, that 1 could overpower 100,000. Where is the logic, rationale and common sense?
If there is any food-borne disease, it could only be caused by pathogenic chemicals from cleansers, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, antiseptics, supplementary hormones and especially food-additives. Those soups of known toxins get concentrated in people everyday. Sometime those toxins get so concentrated in processed food in mechanical processes, creating epidemics. The toxins cause cellular destruction that cause janitorial bacteria to eat and remove the damaged cells. Because people are sensitive to those chemical soups, they experience stomach and bowel detoxification called vomit and diarrhea.
In order for a product to be toxic to one person, it must be toxic to many. Only 8 people experienced symptoms when at least 100 people consumed those products repeatedly for about 8 days. If the food had caused the illness, more than 8 people would have been affected.
No one has ever been able to scientifically link raw milk products to an epidemic. However, there have been numerous epidemics scientifically linked to processed foods, including pasteurized dairy, one involving 190,000+ people. Chemicals produced by cooking cause enough toxic byproducts and the introduction of additives add an immense burden on bodies.
From my experiments and experience with about 30,000 people eating food with extremely high levels of so-called "pathogenic bacteria" over the last 34 years, I have seen no direct correlation between those foods consumed and bouts of vomit and diarrhea, especially bloody diarrhea.
The idea that a few microscopic bacteria make people ill is absurd.
Most often various janitorial bacteria are seasonal and many people get "sick" simultaneously from all of the accumulated toxins.
I witnessed thousands of times that the so-called high-risk individuals – the sick, weak, elderly and infants – who repeatedly ate high bacterial raw food got healthier rather than sicker. That is exactly the opposite of what we are brainwashed to believe by health departments, medicine and pharmaceuticals. Is all of the bacterial phobia and bacterial terror-mongering an irrational, illogical and ignorant approach to disease? Is it all a myth that has been brain-washed into people and made them illogical, irrational and ignorant? Is it industrial chemicals that are pathogenic?

Guest
Aajonus Vonderplanitz
December 23, 2010

The conclusion by Judge Stacey that the 8 people got contaminated by products that did not have the specific bacteria that was accused of making 8 people sick is the most outrageous, far-fetched notion I have heard. His thinking is non-scientific metaphysical thinking.
I dislike using a gun as an analogy with bacteria but none other will work simplistically. Stacey's conclusion is like stating, the state found 8 people who were shot by rare bullets and found several guns that could use rare bullets but there were no bullets in the guns and none of them had been fired. However, since some of those rare bullets existed at another location where the guns had been made, those 8 people were shot with those guns that had no bullets and were not fired. Where is rationale, logic and common sense?
I have reported from my experiments thousands of times, bacteria are not the cause of food-borne illness. There are bacterial functions in our bodies that are cleansing just as there are digestive, growth and healing functions all performed by bacteria. We have 1 human gene for every 100 bacterial genes. The idea that a few rogue bacteria can overtake all our many beneficial bacteria and white blood cells is preposterous. Even phenomenal Ninja could not be that good, that 1 could overpower 100,000. Where is the logic, rationale and common sense?
If there is any food-borne disease, it could only be caused by pathogenic chemicals from cleansers, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, antiseptics, supplementary hormones and especially food-additives. Those soups of known toxins get concentrated in people everyday. Sometime those toxins get so concentrated in processed food in mechanical processes, creating epidemics. The toxins cause cellular destruction that cause janitorial bacteria to eat and remove the damaged cells. Because people are sensitive to those chemical soups, they experience stomach and bowel detoxification called vomit and diarrhea.
In order for a product to be toxic to one person, it must be toxic to many. Only 8 people experienced symptoms when at least 100 people consumed those products repeatedly for about 8 days. If the food had caused the illness, more than 8 people would have been affected.
No one has ever been able to scientifically link raw milk products to an epidemic. However, there have been numerous epidemics scientifically linked to processed foods, including pasteurized dairy, one involving 190,000+ people. Chemicals produced by cooking cause enough toxic byproducts and the introduction of additives add an immense burden on bodies.
From my experiments and experience with about 30,000 people eating food with extremely high levels of so-called "pathogenic bacteria" over the last 34 years, I have seen no direct correlation between those foods consumed and bouts of vomit and diarrhea, especially bloody diarrhea.
The idea that a few microscopic bacteria make people ill is absurd.
Most often various janitorial bacteria are seasonal and many people get "sick" simultaneously from all of the accumulated toxins.
I witnessed thousands of times that the so-called high-risk individuals – the sick, weak, elderly and infants – who repeatedly ate high bacterial raw food got healthier rather than sicker. That is exactly the opposite of what we are brainwashed to believe by health departments, medicine and pharmaceuticals. Is all of the bacterial phobia and bacterial terror-mongering an irrational, illogical and ignorant approach to disease? Is it all a myth that has been brain-washed into people and made them illogical, irrational and ignorant? Is it industrial chemicals that are pathogenic?

Guest
Michael Bortnick
December 23, 2010

God bless you, Aajonus Vonderplanitz.

I wish that everyone could understand what you are saying. I have to admit that, as smart as I am, it took me a while; but I think that I am starting to "get it". Thank you for being there for us.

Guest
Don Wittlinger
December 23, 2010

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20101222/us-cheese-recall/
No illness caused in 30 years but the doors of this cheesemaker are closing anyway. Weep for the small farmer and weep the small food producer and weep for ourselves for surely its going to get much worse very soon!

Guest
Nourish Yourself
December 23, 2010

thanks Max and Aajonus!
Bacteria-phobes: you get sick because your immune system is weak from the crap that you eat. The body is always striving for homeostasis and sickness results when toxins need to be released from the body. To wash hands continually and to use these ridiculous "anti-bacterial" soaps and wipes and hand sanitizers is riduculous to think that will help keep you from getting sick! They make it easier for you to get sick as you weaken your body by using them. Bring on the bacteria!

Lykke – you say "heat-treated" – we say "heat damaged"! I have eaten raw chicken and raw beef and I'm alive to tell about it – no illness resulted. Of course I made sure it was good organic meat. I would not do that with feedlot/CAFO/CFO meat. Please don't force your fears on us. If we want to drink raw milk and eat raw meat – that is our choice just as it's your choice to drink "heat treated" milk or meats and to use anti-bacterial soaps.
This is the bottom line – choice.

I know my meat and milk farmers, been to their farms.
I "know my farmers"!

Merry CHRISTmas to all! Jesus is the reason for the season! :-)))

"For God so loved the world (insert your name here) that he sent is only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
"For unto YOU is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11
"For the wages of sin is death, but the FREE GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23

Guest
Nourish Yourself
December 23, 2010

From some online research I have done:

Following is pertinent information you will not see much of in mainstream media. Hope all the links still work. It's been awhile since I got this info and links.

Pasteurized milk is not immune to bugs. Between 1980 and 2005, pasteurized milk products made 19,500 people ill in the U.S., according to CDC data. During the same period, 1,821 people reported illness from raw milk.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090804/ARTICLE/908041056?Title=Raw-milk-lovers-skirt-the-law

http://www.foodsafety.ksu.edu/articles/1138/Raw_Milk_Outbreak_Table.pdf

http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/articles/raw-milk/

The main thing that people seem to be worried about with raw milk is that they may get sick. The fact of the matter is you have a much better chance of getting sick with pasteurized milk (or with peanut butter, bagged spinach, etc) than with raw milk as long as your milk comes from a healthy cow. The big commercial dairies don't worry too much about their cows' health since they know the milk will be pasteurized and they can feed them antibiotics, etc. These are the types of cows you would not want to drink raw milk from.

http://www.purezing.com/living/food_articles/living_articles_pasteurized.html
We should be allowed to make the choice whether or not we want to purchase pasteurized milk or raw milk. I, for one, want the milk I consume to be full of the nutrition that comes in it naturally. Just as some choose to smoke cigarettes, with known health risks.

http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/history/biographies/louis_pasteur.htm
Heres something we found online that was drawn up for a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors concerning outbreaks from pasteurized milk:

1997, 28 persons ill from Salmonella in California, ALL FROM PASTEURIZED MILK.

1996, 46 persons ill from Campylobacter and Salmonella in California.

1994, 105 persons ill from E. coli and Listeria in California

March of 1985 19,660 confirmed cases of Salmonella typhimurium illness FROM CONSUMING PROPERLY PASTEURIZED MILK. Over 200,000 people ill from Salmonella typhimurium in PASTEURIZED MILK

1985, 142 cases and 47 deaths traced to PASTEURIZED Mexican-style cheese contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes SURVIVES PASTEURIZATION!

1985, 1500 persons ill from Salmonella infection

August of 1984 approximately 200 persons became ill with a Salmonella typhimurium from CONSUMING PASTEURIZED MILK

November of 1984, another outbreak of Salmonella typhimurium illness from CONSUMING PASTEURIZED MILK

1983, over 49 persons with Listeria illness have been associated with the consumption of PASTEURIZED MILK in Massachusetts.

1993, 28 persons ill from Salmonella infection

1982, 172 persons ill (100 hospitalized) from a three Southern state area from PASTEURIZED MILK.

1982, over 17,000 persons became ill with Yersinia enterocolitica from PASTEURIZED MILK bottled in Memphis, Tennessee.

BOTTOM LINE is that ALL AMERICANS should have the CHOICE whether they drink raw milk from healthy animals or dead pasteurized milk most likely from unhealthy animals.

Guest
Smy Opin
December 23, 2010

Scott was heavily castigated more for his poor communication skills than for his actual message. His ideas were interesting, however when folks raised their issues, his responses were belittling, and I believe that is the reason that the discussion crumbled.

If you go back and comb through the meat of what was said, there were a lot of good points raised by both sides, IMO.

Reading between the lines about the Hartmann case is equally enlightening.
For example, I was not happy to see what i regard as distinctly deceptive wording in this judge's arguments:
"The only commonality among these eight people was that they all consumed Hartmann products within days of becoming ill."
Weren't there actually 9 sick people, one who did not have ties to the Hartmann farm?

I don't want to defend a person who is guilty of negligence.
But jeez, do a better job of proving guilt. Start by cleaning up your own act, judge!

Guest
Smy Opin
December 23, 2010

Nancy,

Ok, it's early and you haven't had your coffee yet.
But "we should be allowed" needs to be taken out of our vocabulary.

Guest
Ken Conrad
December 23, 2010

Lykke, Milky Way and cp

Although the method used for establishing epidemiological evidence is complex, such evidence is none the less a statistical guess or a hypothesized relationship based on the ambiguous belief that organisms are primarily responsible for disease. "Correlation does not imply causation" and for a judge to use such evidence as the basis for his ruling is unwise.

It must be painfully obvious to individuals such as yourselves that people continue make choices that defy the status quo despite of any and all attempts to manipulate them through fear and the power of the law.

Ken Conrad

Guest
Nourish Yourself
December 23, 2010

Smy Opin
You are correct – all that was even before my veggie juice!
It is our right to choose the foods WE deem HEALTHY for ourselves!

Guest
lola granola
December 23, 2010

Lykke,

It's a very simple question, really.

What/who gives you the right to tell me what I can or can't do/wear/consume?

Has this designation been bestowed upon you by God? Did God tell you that it's your job to tell me what I can and can't consume, as a reasonable, educated adult?

That's the question. And if in all reality this power has not been bestowed upon you by some Almighty Being then, while you may give me your opinion regarding raw milk and the safety thereof, you may not decide for me that I cannot consume it.

Where does government derive their power? From Man, not from God.

Only Man (and woman) derives his power from God.

So while you don't believe that raw milk can be produced safety 24/365, there are others that do. Isn't it their responsibility to decide if that milk is to their standards or not?

Part of taking responsibility for yourself, and living as a free human being, is taking responsibility for the consequences of your actions, even the negative consequences, like getting sick.

But you're trying to protect me from myself, right? Then I am your slave. It is that simple.

I live in an area with many dairy farms. Do you know how many people drink raw milk from a neighbor's farm? Many, many… How many illnesses? None, none…

I guarantee they don't want "raw milk regulations" to sell their neighbor a couple of gallons of milk.

A question: What gives this group the right to decide if their should be "raw milk regulations"? Are you going to ask all of my dairying neighbors if they want this, too? Considering the secrecy with how the WI Raw Milk Bill is being originated, and who's behind it, I'm guessing that's a NO.

Weston Price Foundation is rumored to be in the running to be the third party raw milk certifier. Geoffrey Morrell, Sally Fallon's husband, has ties to Cullen Agritec, which is the major player in New Zealand raw milk. Ask yourselves whether WAPF's interest isn't something more than it seems.

Whether it's INTENTIONAL or not, raw milk standards play right into Codex Alimentarius. I know of several people in the raw milk movement who know this, but advocate the standards anyway. What the hell are you thinking? Being free and taking responsibility for ourselves is the ONLY way to do it; asking yet another regulatory body to do it for us is not. You're only putting the noose around your own neck, or as it's called, "Trading a form of tyranny that you don't like for a form of tyranny that you do".

And David:
"Wisconsin dairyman Scott Trautman made the argument most convincingly on this blog a few months back, and was heavily castigated."

Heavily castigated? Did you actually read his comments? A few of us disagreed with him from the very beginning (uh, Codex, duh!), and he started swinging insults. And when told he was being inappropriate, he swung some more. He didn't "argue" his side. I gave him a list, point blank, of points to answer if I were to consider his raw milk certifier proposal. He didn't answer any of them. "…most convincingly…" What a joke! He acted like a 4 year old throwing a temper tantrum. And quite frankly, you should have had him apologize, or you should have apologized for him. If I were his customer I wouldn't by from that a**hole again.

Guest
Nourish Yourself
December 23, 2010

Lola Granola

You said "Where does government derive their power? From Man, not from God."

However when Jesus was questioned by the authority he was turned over to, Jesus said to him "you would have no authority except as is given by my father".

Ultimately, God allows those people to be in positions they are. He cannot control what they do.

I don't have the exact address right now and don't have the time to look it up as I am leaving for Christmas and need to eat and pack.

Guest
faithwi
December 23, 2010

Thank you, lola. The most important point you made is being responsible for ourselves. So many people feel it's the government's job to be responsible for them. I suppose in a way, it's easier – one needn't think for oneself when someone else controls the choices and decisions.

Guest
hugh betcha
December 23, 2010

THE HANGMAN
By Maurice Ogden

Into our town the hangman came,
smelling of gold and blood and flame.
He paced our bricks with a different air,
and built his frame on the courthouse square.

The scaffold stood by the courthouse side,
only as wide as the door was wide
with a frame as tall, or a little more,
than the capping sill of the courthouse door.

And we wondered whenever we had the time,
Who the criminal? What the crime?
The hangman judged with the yellow twist
of knotted hemp in his busy fist.

And innocent though we were with dread,
we passed those eyes of buckshot lead.
Till one cried, Hangman, who is he,
for whom you raised the gallows-tree?

Then a twinkle grew in his buckshot eye
and he gave a riddle instead of reply.
He who serves me best, said he
Shall earn the rope on the gallows-tree.

And he stepped down and laid his hand
on a man who came from another land.
And we breathed again, for anothers grief
at the hangmans hand, was our relief.

And the gallows frame on the courthouse lawn
by tomorrows sun would be struck and gone.
So we gave him way and no one spoke
out of respect for his hangmans cloak.

The next days sun looked mildly down
on roof and street in our quiet town;
and stark and black in the morning air
the gallows-tree on the courthouse square.

And the hangman stood at his usual stand
with the yellow hemp in his busy hand.
With his buckshot eye and his jaw like a pike,
and his air so knowing and business-like.

And we cried, Hangman, have you not done,
yesterday with the alien one?
Then we fell silent and stood amazed.
Oh, not for him was the gallows raised.

He laughed a laugh as he looked at us,
Do you think Ive gone to all this fuss,
To hang one man? Thats the thing I do.
To stretch the rope when the rope is new.

Above our silence a voice cried Shame!
and into our midst the hangman came;
to that mans place, Do you hold, said he,
With him that was meat for the gallows-tree?

He laid his hand on that ones arm
and we shrank back in quick alarm.
We gave him way, and no one spoke,
out of fear of the hangmans cloak.

That night we saw with dread surprise
the hangmans scaffold had grown in size.
Fed by the blood beneath the chute,
the gallows-tree had taken root.

Now as wide, or a little more
than the steps that led to the courthouse door.
As tall as the writing, or nearly as tall,
half way up on the courthouse wall.

The third he took, we had all heard tell,
was a usurer, an infidel.
And What said the hangman, Have you to do
with the gallows-bound, and he a Jew?

And we cried out, Is this one he
who has served you well and faithfully?
The hangman smiled, Its a clever scheme
to try the strength of the gallows beam.

The fourth mans dark accusing song
had scratched our comfort hard and long.
And what concern, he gave us back,
Have you for the doomed and black?

The fifth, the sixth, and we cried again,
Hangman, hangman, is this the man?
Its a trick, said he, that we hangman know
for easing the trap when the trap springs slow.

And so we ceased and asked now more
as the hangman tallied his bloody score.
And sun by sun, and night by night
the gallows grew to monstrous height.

The wings of the scaffold opened wide
until they covered the square from side to side.
And the monster cross beam looking down,
cast its shadow across the town.

Then through the town the hangman came
and called through the empy streetsmy name.
I looked at the gallows soaring tall
and thought theres no one left at all

for hanging and so he called to me
to help take down the gallows-tree.
And I went out with right good hope
to the hangmans tree and the hangmans rope.

He smiled at me as I came down
to the courthouse squarethrough the silent town.
Supple and stretched in his busy hand,
was the yellow twist of hempen strand.

He whistled his tune as he tried the trap
and it sprang down with a ready snap.
Then with a smile of awful command,
He laid his hand upon my hand.

You tricked me Hangman. I shouted then,
That your scaffold was built for other men,
and Im no henchman of yours. I cried.
You lied to me Hangman, foully lied.

Then a twinkle grew in his buckshot eye,
Lied to youtricked you? He said Not I
for I answered straight and told you true.
The scaffold was raised for none but you.

For who has served more faithfully?
With your cowards hope. said He,
And where are the others that might have stood
side by your side, in the common good?

Dead! I answered, and amiably
Murdered, the Hangman corrected me.
First the alien then the Jew.
I did no more than you let me do.

Beneath the beam that blocked the sky
none before stood so alone as I.
The Hangman then strapped mewith no voice there
to cry Stay! for me in the empty square.

THE BOTTOM LINE: I did no more than you let me do.
end quote.

Guest
Mark McAfee
December 24, 2010

Nice post David….

Smashed a Raw Foodist Nerve that is for sure.

If we are going to survive and thrive under SB 510….or just in SAD food eating, chemical exposed America, we must establish high raw milk standards and show everyone that raw milk is high quality….

Bottom line.

Scream and yell all you want, but our freedom to eat foods of our choosing and that make people healthy,…. goes right along with our high moral and ethical responsibility to "not make people ( everyone not just the healthy ) sick".

Good bacteria are our friends…filth is not our friend.

Mark

Guest
lola granola
December 24, 2010

Nancy,

Our country was founded (by conventional wisdom) on the principle of the government deriving its authority by the consensus of the governed, not by God.

Something to chew on:
"How well we know what a profitable superstition this fable of Christ has been for us."
Pope Leo X (1513-1521) aka Giovanni de' Medici

Guest
Don Wittlinger
December 24, 2010

http://www.naturalnews.com/030808_food_safety_bill_American_farmers.html#ixzz18rN4iJkk
If Mike Adams is correct our best hope for the future is for the US dollar aka the FRN to reach its real value of zero hence no agency pay checks issued? This picture is not good!

Member
Pete
December 24, 2010

David, the government doesn't need illnesses to go after farmers, they've shown time and again they are quite capable of manufacturing illnesses in various ways. This ruling is legal and scientific nonsense.

Many folks stand to profit by having national raw milk standards. Look at California, 30 million people and TWO legal raw milk producers. That is the future under standards. Don't tell me stories about increasing access to raw milk. This is about money and control.

We are FREE MEN! No man or government may come between me and my supply of raw milk. Anyone that attempts to is a tyrant, a criminal, and a would be slave owner.

Guest
Mark McAfee
December 24, 2010

Doom and Gloom has a conspiracy theory,back slapping good old boy, militia recruitment ring to it….I can appreciate your sentiments but reality is so different.

What the FDA under SB 510 is really going to do is respond to complaints and come visit your place and look things over…no complaints to response.

The FDA will also work hard to not be embarrassed by the public expectations of their huge budget and congressional oversight hearings.

There is a lot of talk at this blog about freedom…..

We must all remember this. Freedom comes with a pricetag of responsibility.

In this counrty right now….there are few that weigh responsibility against freedom. If Hartmann was truly wanting freedom…they would take much more seriously the burden of professional and societal responsibility and totally clean it up. They would also not make icecream and try to sell it. It is illegal i every state of the Union under the PMO. Ice cream can not be sold and if it is expect to be punished. This is based on real sick people and real rules that have been made. Make the ingredients and sell them…but not the ice cream. Trust me. The farmer has no idea where the other ingredients came from????

With freedom comes responsibility. Responsibility looks like RAMP programs and testing and clean and green operations. Sorry guys….responsibility looks like Mike's Cow Cops in Canada. A RAW MILK free-for-all is not free or responsible. It may hurt….but I would rather be frowned at or yelled at by Tim Wightman about any apparent cleaniless problems and then clean them up than to be drawn and quartered by the FDA or worse yet….eaten alive by Bill Marler and then have my insurance triple or be cancelled. This is the harsh reality.

It is a brave new world and we must all embrace it or be consumed by it. If off grid cave dwellling is what you want to do…go for it…that is not my idea of freedom or life.

There is a tipping point and if we work hard and mentor others we will get the respect we deserve in time. This is earned by safe, clean, whole food supplied to healthy happy connected people.

Mark

Guest
Bill Anderson
December 24, 2010

I agree with Mark here.

I would even go so far as to suggest that raw milk producers should be organizing for robust reguations (be it governmental or some sort of private organization) to assist us in ensuring food safety, and monitoring milk quality and bacterial makeup.

Did anyone listen to the link I posted earlier. This is a very good radio program about the politics of raw milk cheese:

http://www.heritageradionetwork.com/episodes/1229-Cutting-the-Curd-Episode-49-Tia-Keenan-Daphne-Zepos-Matteo-Kehler#

Guest
Violet Willis
December 24, 2010

Mark . . . . how can I or anybody else really now take you seriously. You are all over the place.

Two days ago you were agreeing and telling us we should fight and in the last day you are now saying that S-510 is okay.

Easy for you to say since you are one of two "ORGANIC" raw milk producers in California.

Since, I belive you are now over the $500,000 gross you now want to play ball with the Feds. This is only speculation on my part so perhaps you can give us more insight on why you have had such a drastic change of heart.

I have really looked up to you in the past for all the work you have done and I am finding myself totally at odds with you.

S-510 is perhaps one of the most horrible pieces of legislation that I have ever seen. Remember, I used to write this stuff almost 20 years ago for someone who is still in Congress.

I think that Amicus Briefs must be written by those who know how to do so in every state just like what has been done in Virginia against the recent Health Care legislation (legal pushback is winning there). This bill is so unconstitutional . . . . I don't know where to begin.

Kind regards,

Violet
http://www.kilbyridgefarmmaine.blogspot.com

Guest
Violet Willis
December 24, 2010

Bill,

Unless your Raw dairy product goes across State lines . . . . then it is not up to the Federal government but to each individual State to decide how to regulate food safety.

The Feds (unconstitutionally) just took that out of the equation with this horrible bill.

The "UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES" are not only going to put many small farmers out of business but it will box those of us in who really want to expand our operations (with very high quality products) into more niche markets like marketing to top chefs in New York City, Boston, San Francisco, etc.

Kind regards,

Violet
http://www.kilbyridgefarmmaine.blogspot.com

Guest
Violet Willis
December 24, 2010

Lykke,

As a farmer who is so careful about cleanliness and "picture perfect produce and poultry" and next year we will have enough Icelandic Lamb to go "National" in sales how is the government with S-510 going to make my farm business better?

Did you know that I used to sell my produce years ago to one of the top restaurants in the US. It is called "The Inn At Little Washington". If you can get your hands on a copy of the tape (I have never seen it myself but friends of mine have when it was aired) . . . .you can not only see my produce but my family as we were bringing in our produce to this very restaurant . . . . Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt (hope the spelling is right).

We have devoted so much time, money and effort starting our farm and producing products that are so wonderful . . . . and now the government wants to come in and tell me how it should be done . . . .

Go pound sand.

The dairy that I puchase my raw milk has the same high standards that I have. I think that people who know their farmer know this concept very well . . . .

Lykke, if your animals are seen laying in their manure frequently . . . then they are too confined and you need to apply new bedding daily. Perhaps you should explore alternative husbandry practices or clean your stalls better. You need to rotate pastures more if they are seen laying in manure on pasture. Animals will not normally do this if they have enough room to BE. They will not even eat grass contaminated with feces or urine (at least on our farm).

The government should not get involved with farming in any way. Perhaps you should learn from farmers that are successful in producing high quality products . . . . but no . . . you are out to shut us quality small local PRODUCERS down so that the CAFO's do not loose market share. That is what S-510 is all about.

Kind regards,

Violet
http://www.kilbyridgefarmmaine.blogspot.com

Guest
lola granola
December 24, 2010

Bill,

"I would even go so far as to suggest that raw milk producers should be organizing for robust reguations (be it governmental or some sort of private organization) to assist us in ensuring food safety, and monitoring milk quality and bacterial makeup."

You mean like the "National Standards for the Production of Raw Drinking Milk" that the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, Farm to Consumer Foundation, RMAC, and Cow Share Canada are drafting, and hope to use to set standards within the new WI Raw Milk Bill?

Is that what you mean, Bill?

Guest
Smy Opin
December 24, 2010

Nancy,

Yes!
You knew that – it was clear in the rest of your message.

Guest
Bill Anderson
December 24, 2010

What I am saying is that we need to have people whose job is to help farmers and processors (cheese makers) in making safe raw milk products.

There is a difference between the punitive prosecutorial authoritarian approach of FDA and DATCP, and a helpful informative approach of your local regulator.

Guest
Bill Anderson
December 24, 2010

Lola-

Coliform contamination will adversely affect the quality of any fermented dairy product you make with the raw milk. Coliform are generally an indicator of large amounts of (excuse my language) SHIT in the milk, and they are a risk factor for shiga-toxin E. Coli.

Do you know how to identify the presence of coliform contamination in your raw milk? I'll give you a hint: you don't need a lab to do it. It is possible to identify coliform through taste and smell.

Guest
Anonymous
December 24, 2010

Violet,

Bingo! My kinda rambling musings last night happened after thinking about the challenges to produce raw milk or other foods safely from the non-industrial perspective. The industrial issues are a whole different story, and not directly comparable IMHO. For the record, my animal density is fine and stalls are clean. But, not always, like days with weather extremes. If I did collect raw milk, was thinking there are days farmers should just divert it to pasteurization (or to the pigs, chickens, garden….). Do mistakes happen when things get sloppy? In a 24/7 operation, this could be key.

Unlike your farm, mine doesn't have the facilities for any kind of commercial food production. I don't believe in a constitutional "right" to sell food anyway despite substandard conditions. Don't get me wrong – its not filthy here and the laying in poop comment related to the inevitable times sh*t happens with ruminants, especially during rank weather. But, for those who want to sell products from their homestead-type farms, especially a ready-to-eat product that is very supportive of microbial growth (good and bad bacteria depending on what gets in there) – clearly there's a need for mentorship and good examples to reduce these food safety risks. It's about more than just a "right" to be a nice farmer – the farmer has to have the right facilities and practices. Sounds like you'd be a great mentor on the hygiene parts…maybe you can produce some educational materials in your spare time :-)

Regarding the federal food safety bill, it sounds like it will affect you since your distribution is national. However, it will be a long time before all the regulations are finalized. I doubt you'll have any problems if you are following the hygiene principles you describe, have no illnesses and do the basic paperwork for it. And, have good relationships with your state and local regulators who will be there long before FDA if you have a problem. On the paperwork, did you notice that the Sally Jackson cheesemaker did not keep records, and thus everything had to be recalled? Once you've upscaled to national distribution, it seems only logical to keep good records for your own protection, not just to get a gold star on a regulator checklist.

Just some thoughts….probably rambling again.

Guest
Mark McAfee
December 24, 2010

Violet,

I can certainly appreciate how you could see me as all over the place. Let me reassure you that I have not changed one little bit.

I dislike SB 510 tremendously and do not think that spending billions on thousands of new inspectors will do very much good. It will not change the PMO, change CAFO's or unsterilize UHT milk. In fact it will encourage even higher pasteurization temperatures as more and more bacteria become resistant to heat.

The reason that I appear to be moving as things change is because I adapt and I adapt quickly to change. When I am confronted by an immovable object I first fight against its very poor placement in the road as I see it first being placed in the road of life….then when I realize that it is not going to move….I move arround it instead of crashing into it repeatedly. I learned this in Karate years ago. It makes for progress and fewer injuries.

SB 510 is here to stay. It may even have a very hard time being funded. But the bottom line is this, I am preparing for a visit with the FDA and I am going to be showing off clean and green and a history of zero pathogens for ten years and a beautiful RAMP program that looks much like their HACCP programs they talk about all the time. By the time they are done….some will be drinking raw milk. I refuse to be a target. I will not let my consumers be cheated.

If however, I am treated unfairly or they try and do something stupid that is a different story…and that is when they will again screw up and all the consumers in CA will brutally and relentlessly defend their farmer and their food.

But….first I will give them no target and I will try to be extra perfect clean and green and my RAMP program will be fully and volentarily compliant.

I have fought the government before. In fact my dad ( Rodger McAfee ) fought the Farmers Home Admistration for 28 years from 1978 to 2006 and almost went Ruby Ridge on FSA and US Marshals in the mid-1980s. I was the one that helped calm the matter. When my father was killed in 2006 in a car accident, that was when the government finally was able to win their battle with him. I know about fighting with the government. I know all about it.

You do not fight conventionally with the government and have a life. You fight strategically and unconventionally and you try and not fight in court if you can. Then have the treasury and they have all the lawyers that our tax dollars can buy and more. I have the seen the FDA really make asses of themselves in front of Federal judges…so they are not that powerful anyway.

Adapt and overcome….just like bacteria….that is the way you win with the government.

Be smart as hell….dumb asses lose all the time. Do not ever bring a gun to a fight with the government. Good way to get killed….The trick is to never be in direct conflict with the government. They are clumbsy, makes lots of mistakes, are generally fairly lazy, like their coffee breaks, like their retirements and vacations and can be really very stupid. Use this to your advantage.

Out smart and out-maneuver the bastards!!! That is what you are seeing when you see me moving and changing. Do not play into their hand….

Rise above them. Go beyond them. Serve the consumer and build the markets. That is the ultimate win and a win that they can do little if anything about.

One last thing….I do not want anyone to think that I do not feel for the Hartmanns. I feel their pain deeply. I just do not agree with their lack of smart strategy when dealing with chnage or conflict. They have created a target and placed it on themselves. This is wasteful, dangerous and serves no one except the CAFO's and the FDA that use them as examples against us all.

Remember "Rogers Rangers"…they changed tactics and were adapting constantly. When conventional tactics had men lining up "face to face" to shoot each other dead…Rogers Rangers hid and ran, sniped and maneuvered and survived.

Mark

Guest
Don Wittlinger
December 24, 2010

http://www.naturalnews.com/030828_GMOs_Wikileaks.html
And is there also " targeted retaliation" against the raw dairy producers ala Mike Hartman and others??? HMMM an evil conspiracy LOL or Weep Out Loud ??? As faux news says you decide.

Guest
Goatmaid
December 24, 2010

"I have livestock and watch their habits…they lay in their poop in the pasture….It's not possible 24/7 year-round to produce raw milk safely, in my personal experience – testimonial."

How many months and months has Lykke been commenting here? Maybe I missed it before, but this is the first time I've heard her mention that not only does she have livestock (goats, cows, sheep?? Which breeds? How many do you milk? I'm curious!) but ALSO MILKS, per her "personal experience – testimonial."

Why is Lykke now suddenly talking about her own personal experience and testimonial with milking her own livestock, 24/7, year-round?

Seems fishy to me to suddenly exclaim after all these months: "Hey, I'm one of you! I have livestock! I milk them everyday! I also know what I'm talking about! And I KNOW it's impossible to produce raw milk safely year-round in my personal experience."

Well, all of us know that it IS possible to do so, because most of us have been doing it for decades with no problems, or even digestive upsets, even from babies.

And if your "livestock" is lying in poop, Lykke, your pastures are too small and/or are not rotated. By the way, goats absolutely refuse to lay on dirty ground unless forced to or are ill, so maybe you should get goats instead of "livestock."

Just because Lykke can't produce safe raw milk, doesn't mean the rest of us can't.

Guest
Truly Concerned
December 24, 2010

Looks like Lykke is incompetent or is a lying about personal experience.

Lykke, which is it?

Perhaps a lying incompetent?

Guest
Dave Milano
December 24, 2010

Regarding this:

I don't believe in a constitutional 'right' to sell food anyway despite substandard conditions.

Do you believe in a constitutional right to BUY any legal product you want? And what exactly are these standards, and who draws them up and enforces them, and what exactly ought to constitute enforcement? These are not rhetorical questions! They deserve careful thought and honest answers!

The practical expression of today's regulatory state is authoritarianism—emphatically NOT helpfulness, or kindness, or education, or concern, or compassion. Authoritarianism is a sin, and there's a crime associated with it, namely the forcing (please give due thought to what force actually means, and if you cannot fathom it, read or re-read Gumpert's book) of every consumer and worker into centralized production and service systems. That happens because regulations, especially of the punitive, authoritarian sort (which is all our central planners seem able to imagine) are made for SYSTEMS—for rule-based organizations—NOT for human beings! Yet our regulators apply them, glibly, intemperately, to natural human beings. I'm with Violet on this. They can all go pound sand.

I watched a Frontline documentary recently called The Meth Epidemic. In it, Gene Haislip, for a while the number three man at the DEA, is interviewed extensively about his efforts to control the epidemic by controlling legal amphetamine production. He points out that in the mid-80s drug companies denied the plain realities concerning their role (tacit or otherwise) in fomenting the epidemic, and instead used corporate weight to assure that the DEA could not act against them. It is a classic story of what goes wrong when power is absolute, and not unexpectedly, Frontline focused entirely on the awful power of giant corporations. But the thing is, there was as much evidence that Haislip and the DEA were doing the very same thing as the drug companies, i.e. exerting power without accountability! At one point in the documentary Haislip tells how Congress overturned a DEA regulation, and he is very nearly apoplectic at the thought, saying something to the effect (and I'm paraphrasing here) Can you believe CONGRESS would overturn a DEA rule? Can you BELIEVE it? The NERVE! Haislip apparently forgot that our laws are entrusted ONLY to Congress, and that bureaucrats are supposed to have no rights at all to make them. Now he would undoubtedly justify himself as one of the GOOD guys, doing the RIGHT thing. Well, he's not. He's just forcing an idea like so many other small minded, self-satisfied power brokers, and in so doing glibly dismantling the foundations of our freedoms. The big boys fight it out, and always, always, always, the little guys get caught in the crossfire.

The answer is not to meet power with power, for power will always be misused, but to LIMIT power. America's founders, and Violet, could tell us a few things about that. Perhaps one of Violet's customers could as well, who will be forced to pay more for food as Violet turns her attention to filling out forms and hicupping through government-induced delays and inspections, and continually, impossibly, attempting to prove negatives to people who aren't her customers but rather are paid to hammer round Violets into government square holes. And worse, who will be accountable if the quality of Violet's product suffers because she is forced to follow a paradigmatic pattern of behavior and abandon intuition, knowledge, and belief (all of which are foundations of a successful farm)?

Guest
Maurice Kaehler
December 24, 2010

Excellent post, Mark. Martial arts analogies well taken.

Guest
Barney Google
December 24, 2010

People are getting more aware of what's going on, and are becoming more direct in their statements. It's part of the awakening process. That's a start. Way to go everybody!!

Ever notice how when you read one of the Fall through the Cracks Legal Defense Fund's action alerts that there's a formula to it? Here's the issue, call your legislature, and give us money. 35 alone for 2010. 35 chances to give them more money. They're your only hope you know.

I suspect that they are taking our money and using it against us. Look at the number of victories they have. Playing ball with the government instead of fighting it, just like Mark McAfee's doing. Suck up long and hard enough and maybe they won't take you down when it all gets ugly.

Wisconsin is the template for what they want to do in the dairy industry (i.e. Premises Registration and Codex). I find it really interesting that both Bill Anderson and Tim Wightman move to Ohio and are still trying to dictate what happens in Wisconsin. Where do you derive your authority to dictate what Wisconsin farmers and consumers do? I smell a rat. And my guess is there's more than one.

Guest
lola granola
December 25, 2010

Bill,

I asked you about the National Standards for the Production of Raw Drinking Milk that Farm to Consumer, among others, is drafting, and you answer me by giving me a lesson in coliforms?????

Come on, Bill. You and others were discussing how the term raw drinking milk fits into Codex regulations. You know what I'm talking about, right, Bill? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Everyone read that sentence again. Bill, et al, were discussing how their national standards fit into Codex.

Notice, everyone, how those who are advocating raw milk regulation Bill Anderson, Mark McAfee, David Gumpert, Scott Trautman, Dan Siegmann, etc., are in tight with the Weston Price Foundation and FTCLDF. WAPF is rumored to be planning on building their own raw dairy farm, and are the frontrunners to be the third party certifier for raw milk. Sally Fallons husband, Geoffrey Morrell, is tied in with Cullen Agritech, who owns the proprietary rights on the A1/A2 test and is the premiere raw milk processor in New Zealand.

Connect the dots, people.

Either those who are advocating raw milk standards are wholly ignorant of their role in the implementation of Codex and the invasion of Cullen Agritech and the raw milk corporations, or they have been bought out. Im curious to know, which it is, boys? Are you bought out or just ignorant?

Mark,
Mentorship is not a bad thing. Its the idea of MANDATED mentorship that leaves a bad taste in many a mouth.

And, as a sidenote: there is no new army of FDA regulators under S510. Current local and state officials will be empowered with federal regulatory power under S510. No new employees, just new duties for the ones who already exist.

Guest
Anonymous
December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to you all too. What a bunch of jerks on this blog.

Guest
Bill Anderson
December 25, 2010

Lola-

No, I don't really know or care what you are talking about — conspiracy theories.

I can assure you that Dan Siegman is not in league with the FTCLDF. In fact, Siegman was urging people NOT to participate in a legal cases, and that the battle was strictly legislative, not judicial.

I am concerned about the ensuring safety of the raw milk and raw milk products. If we don't have safe raw milk, we won't have legal raw milk. DATCP and FDA are not interested in raw milk safety. They are interested in eliminating it, which means they WANT people to get sick.

By downplaying the importance of safety, you are playing right into FDA and DATCP's hands.

btw, coliform can be identified in clabbered milk. They produce gas bubbles and acetic acid. The clabber will smell of vinegar, and have a putrid taste.

Guest
Goatmaid
December 25, 2010

Maybe I was flip/sarcastic in my comment, but I'll tell you one main reason why I don't believe Lykke has any livestock. A couple of weeks ago, she responded to Violet's very real worries about her farm's survival with: "Who cares, Violet? I don't."

It's difficult to believe that anyone with livestock could respond so heartlessly to another farmer's worries about survival, no matter her politics. I don't always agree 100% with Violet's statements either, but I definitely sympathize with her worries about being able to survive… anyone with livestock would.

Guest
miguel
December 25, 2010

http://www.grist.org/article/usda-downplays-own-scientists-research-on-danger-of-roundup/

"USDA scientist Dr. Robert Kremer. Kremer has spent the last fifteen years looking at Monsanto's blockbuster broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate (aka RoundUp), the most commonly used pesticide in the world and the companion to Monsantos possibly monopolistic RoundupReady lines of genetically engineered seeds.

While exact figures are a closely guarded secret thanks to the USDA's refusal to update its pesticide use database after 2007, estimates suggest upwards of 200 million pounds of glyphosate were dumped on fields and farms in the US in 2008 alone. That's almost double the amount used in 2005.(Now over 300 million lbs a year)

Glyphosate has a reputation as the safest of all the agricultural herbicides and has become the primary means of weed control in industrial agriculture. While being the best of an extremely nasty bunch may be the faintest of praise, the USDA relies on this perception, which has been fueled by industry and government research indicating that the chemical dissipates quickly and shows low toxicity (as poisons go, that is) to humans.

The claim of "millions of tons of soil saved" relates to the soil that would have otherwise been lost to erosion without glyphosates central role in chemical no-till farming techniques. Indeed, experts such as Dr. Michael Shannon, a program director at the USDAs Agricultural Research Service, as well as other USDA scientists, make this anti-erosion claim the core argument in favor of the widespread use of the chemical.

Even so, glyphosate has been under attack from several quarters of late. Research indicates that, while glyphosate on its own may be relatively "safe," it is actually quite toxic in combination with the other (supposedly inert) ingredients in commercial preparations of the herbicide, i.e. the stuff that farmers actually spray on their fields.

And of course, there is the frightening spread of superweeds that glyphosate can no longer kill. It's to the point that thousands of acres in the South have been abandoned to resistant strains of giant pigweed.

Enter Dr. Kremer. His work, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of European Agronomy, further tarnishes glyphosate's golden status. He has found that glyphosates side-effects in the ground are far more severe than previously thought. As he described it to me, the use of glyphosate causes:

* damage to beneficial microbes in the soil increasing the likelihood of infection of a crop by soil pathogens
* interference with nutrient uptake by the plant
* reduced efficiency of symbiotic nitrogen fixation
* overall lower-than-expected plant productivity

Dr. Kremer has even helpfully provided a set of recommendations for farmers who use glyphosate or who plant Monsantos RoundUpReady seeds. According to Dr. Kremer, the worst of the problems can be avoided if 1) farmers only plant RoundupReady crops every other year in the same field, 2) come up with alternate crop residue management techniques and 3) plant cover crops to revitalize soil biological and ecological processes as well as improve other aspects of soil quality.

A USDA scientist wouldnt recommend measures like this if he werent convinced his results merited it. From the Reuters article:

"This could be something quite big. We might be setting up a huge problem," said Kremer, who expressed alarm that regulators were not paying enough attention to the potential risks from biotechnology on the farm, including his own research

…"Science is not being considered in policy setting and deregulation," said Kremer. "This research is important. We need to be vigilant."

Meanwhile, the response from the USDA to Dr. Kremers work has been, shall we say, subdued. Dr. Shannon of the USDA/ARS admitted that Dr. Kremers results are valid, but said that the danger they represent pales in comparison to the superweed threat. In fact, Shannon specifically likened Dr. Kremers new findings to unfortunate but unavoidable side-effects like any drug might have.

Making matters worse, and much to Dr. Kremers chagrin, the ARS refused to publicize his work on glyphosate. While ARS spokesperson Sandy Miller Hays admitted that an announcement about his findings was written, she claimed it was withheld due to the quality of the writing. In other words, the ARS killed the story because they couldn't bother to do some light editing.

Nor was the USDAs National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) very interested in Kremer's findings. Run by Roger Beachy, a man with long-time links to the ag-biotech industry and an openly hostile attitude toward organic farming, NIFA is the bureaucratic nook within USDA responsible for informing farmers of new research.

When I asked if NIFA had a position on Dr. Kremers work or if his guidance was being used by USDA extension agents, a NIFA spokesperson replied via email that:

[T]he advice and counsel provided by extension agents in the field is not approved or sanctioned by NIFA; typically, these materials are developed through state and county extension offices, which receive some NIFA funding (how much varies from state to state) but are not managed by NIFA

NIFA does not take positions on research papers, and has not produced any guidance about Dr. Kremers work.

In short, nothing to see here. Move along!

This most chilling comment of all, however, was provided by Miller Hays who observed that a European journal was the ideal place for this work because Europeans are passionately interested in… the soil and pesticide use and that sort of thing.

As opposed to we Americans, who dont care about the soil and pesticide use and that sort of thing?

Following this particular USDA trail has reminded me of the age-old question, if a tree falls in a forest and people are standing around staring at it with their hands over their ears screaming Im not listening!! at the top of their lungs, does it make a sound?

What I find most concerning about this episode is the willful inability of most divisions at USDA to conceive of agriculture without pesticides in general and glyphosate in particular. Not that companies arent planning for a post-glyphosate world. A recent article in the Western Farm Press painted a bleak future wherein farmers overcome the failures of individual pesticides (failures caused by USDA and industry-encouraged overuse, by the way) by planting genetically modified seeds that provide resistance to five or even six different pesticides at once.

The simplicity of Monsantos GMO system of RoundupReady seeds plus glyphosate will be replaced by a dizzying and insanely toxic cocktail of pesticide treatments and hugely expensive seeds. Leaving aside cost, farmers will barely be able to manage the mixing and maintenance of their equipment in this scenario.

There are alternatives. I only wish that the USDA technical divisions would start taking the work of researchers like Dr. Kremer (not to mention sustainable ag advocate Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan) more seriously. Instead, they insist that farmers stay on the ever-accelerating and increasingly damaging chemical treadmill."

If you think you are avoiding these herbicide residues in your food by buying "Organic" food,think again.Organic food is grown without chemical fertilizer,which means lots of manure compost must be added to the soil to maintain fertility.Much of this manure comes from CAFOs.The herbicide residue does show up in Organic food too.The problem is that as the herbicide builds up in the soil,the ability of soil bacteria to break down the herbicide residue is impaired resulting in an escalating buildup and further impairment.

Top it all off with people in charge who think that our real problem is that we need use even more and stronger herbicides on the soil.We are living in an idiocracy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Vw2CrY9Igs&feature=related

Guest
Nourish Yourself
December 25, 2010

Lykke and all

Merry Christmas to you! You are loved!

John 3:16 For God so loved you….

Guest
lola granola
December 25, 2010

Bill,

Calling someone a conspiracy theorist is a convenient way to try to discredit them when they get too close to the truth.

Are you denying that you had the following e-mail exchange with Tim Wightman? Please note people that they discuss how the term "raw drinking milk" fits into Codex, the "National Standards for the Production of Raw Drinking Milk" that FTCLDF and others are drafting, and the WI raw milk bill, even though they both live in Ohio.

(Please note that Mark McAfee and David Gumpert were cc'd on these e-mails, and that I have cut out some for length and relevance. I'll note when that happens.)

On Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 6:02 PM, Tim Wightman <clea…@cheqnet.net> wrote:
> Hi All..

> So far I have not found a definition of raw drinking milk, and the only
> reference is that the Codex standards do not cover raw drinking milk rather
> it covers raw milk destined for raw cheese and is covered in hygene and
> production standards but here is room for individual countries, labeld as
> "enforcing agencies" to set rules as to such not covered in codex.
> However..
> Codex is very clear on the hygene, production and testing practices that
> have found over many years of debate to be best practices, but I have yet to
> find the reference to raw drinking milk hygene and testing levels.
> We do have someone in Belgium who has worked on Codex for most of his
> professional career in the dairy area of Codex and I plan to ask him for any
> references on raw drinking milk that I cannot find.
> In my research and countless pages of Codex I have not seen any reference
> to screening milk skim or other wise but I have never looked in the
> pastuerization practice and standards sections of Codex.
> I can look and let you know, may take a bit of searching, it was not
> written in english so translation can be a bit sketchy for key words.

> One point on on farm sales, take it if it comes along….one can always
> revisit the bill and expand on current sales and availability in a few years
> as you get more consumers.
> Baby steps are better than shooting for the moon.
> I would also suggest start testing on all raw milk farms yesterday to
> create a trail of clean milk for future references, and if something happens
> on a non testing farm to create the difference between a farm that cares and
> one that may be in it only for the money.
> Tim

> —– Original Message —–
> *From:* Bill <certainkindoff…@gmail.com>
> *To:* Tim Wightman <clea…@cheqnet.net>
> *Cc:* wirawmilkactionnetwork@googlegroups.com ; wapfmadisonchapter<wapfmadisonchap…@yahoogroups.com>;
> 4rawm…@charter.net ; Kimberly Hartke <kimbe…@hartkeonline.com> ; Mark
> McAfee <m…@organicpastures.com> ; Michael Schmidt <glencol…@bmts.com>;
> safal…@aol.com ; p…@ftcldf.org ; Mary Falk<lovet…@grantsburgtelcom.net>;
> david <da…@davidgumpert.com> ; bleumont <bleum…@tds.net> ; mgingrich<mgingr…@mhtc.net>;
> off…@stbrigidsmeadows.com ; Joe Plasterer<joeplaste…@starkweatherassociates.com>
> *Sent:* Monday, November 22, 2010 5:30 PM
> *Subject:* Re: The new raw milk is coming!

> Tim (and others)-

(Here's where I cut text out – Lola)

> Tim, does the Codex definition of "raw drinking milk" include a definition
> of the term which excludes heat treatment and ultra-filtration? While the
> use of these technologies is inevitable, milk produced using those
> technologies is not the same thing as real raw milk, and should be labelled
> differently to inform consumers and ensure truth in labelling.

> -Bill

On Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 3:18 PM, Tim Wightman <clea…@cheqnet.net> wrote:

>> Hi All..

>> One should also think about the term "raw drinking milk".
>> This term is used in the Codex to define what we are talking about here.
>> There should be by the end of the year a solid draft for National
>> Standards for the production of Raw Drinking Milk which may be of help in
>> Wi. to set the standards within the new bill.
>> These standards are being created by a committee representing the Farm to
>> Consumer Legal Defense Fund, Farm to Consumer Foundation, RMAC, and Cow
>> Share Canada.
>> Also is there any assurance that we have the New Governors support this
>> time?
>> Last time I heard Doyle was in the pocket of this group which later turned
>> out to be false.
>> On another note there is a good possiblity that there will be a Raw Milk
>> symposium in St Paul at the end of January, I will keep you all posted.

>> Tim

If anyone doubts the authenticity of these e-mails I'd be happy to forward them to you. :-)

There are some dirty, dirty back-door dealings going on here people, where only a select few are "in the know" and are making decisions for the many (us!).

The "National Standards" that they're proposing not only fit right into Codex (and they know it), but they represent yet another form of regulation from an unelected bureaucracy. They're trying to sell it to you by conning you into believing you have a voice in it. You don't.

If you want raw milk freedom, destroy the FDA and DATCP. They are unconstitutional, private corporations working outside the law. Take back your 10th Amendment rights at the state level, and focus on cleaning up the corruption. If you want raw milk freedom, Bill, focus your energy on that, not these BS standards, not another layer of regulation. Others are doing this right now, but I'm sure they're just conspiracy theorist nutjobs, right?

"Trading a form a tyranny that you don't like for a form a tyranny that you do." Pathetic.

Guest
Concerned Person
December 25, 2010

Wow lola, do you really think you can overthrow the FDA and DATCP? It is so ridiculous. This is not a sell out, but rather an understanding that if the leaders in the raw milk movement dont set standards, the raw milk movement is going to be severely crippled. Pull you head out of the sand. Raw milk outbreaks and recalls are happening. Work with the system to get what you want. I admire the attempt of this group of people to develop raw milk safety standards. It looks like all the big players in the movement.

Also, I dont think you made any friends posting these emails.

cp

Guest
Bill Anderson
December 25, 2010

I am simply calling things as I see them. You are a conspiracy theorist, Lola. You only discredit yourself with your paranoid rants.

I would be more than happy to assist in dismantling FDA/DATCP and the corporate CAFO PMO agribusiness interests they represent. I am curious Lola, what are you doing towards that end?

I have nothing to hide about my email exchanges you post. I do believe that we need to protect the term "raw milk" from alternative forms of dairy processing which may not meet the legal definitions of pasteurization, but which have a similair effect on the milk.

Ultra-filtration is one such technology. It sterilies skim milk without the use of heat, which is then recombined with the pasteurized cream. While this technology should be encouraged as an alternative to conventional pasteurization, we must be clear that is is NOT the same thing as real raw milk.

Consumers deserve to be fully informed about how the food they are purchasing was produced. Unfortunately, dairy processors like Organic Valley are already making cheese they are calling "raw milk" that is made with milk that has undergone a sub-pasteurization heat treatment. This is deceptive labelling, and should be banned.

"Raw milk" means milk which has not been heated above the body temperature of the animal. In the case of a raw milk cheese, prior to setting the curd (once the curd has been set the milk can be heated up to 118F and still be "raw milk cheese".)

Guest
lola granola
December 25, 2010

Bill,

"I am simply calling things as I see them. You are a conspiracy theorist, Lola. You only discredit yourself with your paranoid rants."

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! I called you out – busted! – and that's the best you can do?

Why don't you address the fact that you are colluding with Farm to Consumer, Mark McAfee, Gumpert & Wightman to implement Codex through these National Standards instead of calling me stupid names?

You want to make real change? Here it is. Fill in your state's name where you see a blank.

____________ Resolution for Food Sovereignty WHEREAS All people are endowed by their Creator, at birth, with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and

WHEREAS Food is human sustenance and is a fundamental prerequisite to life; and

WHEREAS The basis of human sustenance rests on the ability of every natural person to save seed, grow, process, consume and exchange food and farm products; and

WHEREAS We the People of __________, have an obligation to protect these rights as is the Common and Natural Law; and in recognition of this states proud agricultural heritage; and in view of the necessity of agricultural, ecological and economic diversity and sustainability to a free and healthy Society; and

WHEREAS It is the burden of the state of __________ to protect and defend the lives, rights and property of its people pursuant to the law of the land;

THEREFORE, Be it resolved, that We The People, stand on our lawful rights, within their protection in the 10th Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America and reject such federal decrees, statutes, regulations or corporate practices that infringe our basic human rights to save seed, grow, process, consume and exchange food and farm products within the state of ________; also,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that We The People of the state of _________, see it as our duty to, and shall, resist any and all unlawful infringements upon these rights, from whatever source.

http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/defend-food-sovereignty-in-your-state/

But of course no one here will pay this any attention because it is not being advocated by any of the "big players" in the raw milk movement, as CP called them. No money to be made in FREEDOM, except by us little guys.

Guest
miguel
December 25, 2010

In the Hartmann case ,the judge said that the Hartmanns failed to offer an alternative explanation for the illnesses.It is too much to expect for a farmer to do an epidemiological investigation,especially since the Department of Health is not likely to co operate in it.I do think there is a plausable explanation for these illnesses that doesn't involve PFGE analysis.Rather than do tests that focus on bacteria,I would test the stool samples to see what toxic chemicals are being excreted. Then the question would be,where did these chemicals come from?Obviously the body is doing some house cleaning,so where did the stuff it is excreting come from?The phrases I see so often in epidemiological investigations is "there was no other factor the ill people had in common other than they drank raw milk" or "Raw milk was the only risky food that all of the ill people had consumed."Did they even consider agricultural pesticides?They are in everyone's food and at some point the body is going to have to get rid of them.When they are dumped into the intestines the will create symptoms of food poisoning.

All of the discussion about Raw Milk Standards is just a distraction from the real problem of food associated illness.These illnesses are not from a point source.They are systemic,just like the systemic herbicides that are being applied to the vast majority of our agricultural soil.If you could graph the number of millions of lbs of herbicides against time and compare it to the number of cases of food related illness over the same time,I will bet that they would show a very close correlation.

Guest
Truly Concerned
December 25, 2010

Violet,

I think you nailed it. Lykke is a fraud. (S)he is lying about her experience with animals or (s)he does not know what she is doing.

In any event (s)he has shown her true colors by name calling when when (s)he is caught in a lie.

I also believe that she has a superiority complex where she considers her opinions/etc the truth and when challenged goes into a snit. (S)he has done this several times in the past

She has this overwhelming desire to be the "expert" and everyone else must defer to her. She has in fact shown herself to be a lying incompetent.

Lykke you still haven't answered my question.

Guest
Barney Google
December 25, 2010

Those e-mails are pretty damning, Bill, and proof that there's dealings going on behind closed doors.

Answer this, Bill. Why, if you and Tim Wightman live in Ohio, do you have such an interest in Wisconsin? What do you stand to gain?

Cp,

The federal government only has jurisdiction in your state by the contracts it makes with the various agencies of your state. No contract, no jurisdiction. It's as simple as that.

All of the state and federal agencies are private corporations, listed on Dunn & Bradstreet. See for yourself: http://www.manta.com

Guest
Bill Anderson
December 25, 2010

I'm all about food soveriegnty, Lola. John Peck at Family Farm Defenders is a good friend of mine. That is their cornerstone issue. I've known John for years. I don't want to speak for him, but I suspect that John would agree with me that simply filling out a resolution is not going to solve the complex web of problems we face. More definitive action is needed.

Lola, and Barney, if you want to be included in future email exchanges about setting raw milk standards, I'd be happy to include you. Just give me your email address and I'll make sure it happens.

Guest
Bill Anderson
December 25, 2010

Barney, I am interested in this issue because I am a cheese maker interested in making artisan soft-ripened cheeses. I want to elevate the quality and flavor of cheese available to the typical midwesterner who is used to cheddar cheese curds, flavored colby, and other bland commodity cheeses, etc…

Its all a big socialist conspiracy to overthrow the agribusiness empires with my French influenced aromatic full flavored soft raw milk cheeses. I'm going to turn America communist with the romantic allure of my cheeses. Just watch.

Guest
Maurice Kaehler
December 25, 2010

If you torture logic clear to death, you wind up saying quite a lot less than nothing

Guest
lola granola
December 25, 2010

You are NOT about food sovereignty, Bill. A sovereign – a FREEMAN – does not live under the rules and regulations of another. If you don't believe this, you are suffering from cognitive dissonance, where two seemingly opposite ideas seem compatible. Well, they aren't.

And I'll tell you, sir, the fact that you're friends with the head of Family Farm Defenders does NOT excuse your collusion to implement Codex through these National Standards.

(I once called John Peck at Family Farm Defenders – probably 3 or so years ago – and said I wanted to get in on the lawsuit they were going to file regarding Premises Registration in WI. He never called me back. I don't think that there EVER was a lawsuit from them regarding Premises Registration. Sorry, I don't have a whole lot of respect for those guys.)

Read this again:

THEREFORE, Be it resolved, that We The People, stand on our lawful rights, within their protection in the 10th Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America and reject such federal decrees, statutes, regulations or corporate practices that infringe our basic human rights to save seed, grow, process, consume and exchange food and farm products within the state of ________; also,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that We The People of the state of _________, see it as our duty to, and shall, resist any and all unlawful infringements upon these rights, from whatever source.

This resolution won't do anything? You do realize that such a resolution would nullify Codex and S510 in your respective state, right? And, such a resolution would nullify the power of the FDA and USDA in your state, right?

So what will your National Standards do but require more money, more paperwork, and more regulation, at the expense of our sovereignty?

Guest
Bill Anderson
December 25, 2010

Lola-

Tell me about being a "little guy."

I make cheese in a 7.5 gallon stock pot on my kitchen stove.

In one medium sized cheddar factory I am familiar with, the smallest "research vat" is 350 gallons, and the largest vat is 2700 gallons. I've seen cheddar factories that have three vats that are 4700 gallons each.

Yes, I am a "little guy" too. And I'm all about freedom. But freedom comes with responsiblities. We will not have raw milk freedom if we are making people sick with it. This isn't about Codex or gloablist conspiracies. This is about self-government. We, as the raw milk movement, need to do a better job of governing ourselves. There are simple inexpensive tools we can use to improve and verify the safety of raw milk. Let's use them, and let's make sure everyone who is selling raw milk is educated about these tools and the importance of food safety.

Guest
Goatmaid
December 25, 2010

"We will not have raw milk freedom if we are making people sick with it."

But WE are not making people sick with raw milk… it's only a few who have a problem, not EVERY raw milk supplier. I've never had anyone have even a stomach ache with my raw milk, including my mother undergoing chemo, infants who couldn't tolerate anything else, children, adults… even my dog with lymphoma was actually cured, never mind sickened. (Gasp, FDA will have a FIT… they'll want to classify raw milk as a DRUG!).

I think most officials don't have a clue many people drink raw milk on a daily basis… the Amish alone number many many thousands all across the U.S., drinking raw milk all day long, and many selling it to favored, trusted customers under the counter, as do many small farmers, and even larger dairies.

Most raw milk drinkers do not talk about raw milk because they don't want to see their sources literally dry up, but if you consider all these people drinking it on a daily basis, several times a day, the illness numbers shrink even more.

Stop talking as though every raw milk dairy is making people sick… because "WE" aren't.

Guest
Bill Anderson
December 25, 2010

I agree goat maid. But I don't think it can hurt to promote education and voluntary standards in raw milk production.

Guest
Bill Anderson
December 25, 2010

Folks may be interested in this recent article from Kate Arding, founder of Culture Magazine, and a Brit whose background is at Neal's Yard Dairy in London. Neal's Yard Dairy is a cheese shop specializing in artisan and farmhouse cheeses. They were instrumental in saving some of the last remaining farmhouse producers of traditional British cheeses from extinction during the 1980s. Kate was one of the first people to train me as a rookie cheese monger in Madison, Wisconsin.

http://culturecheesemag.com/blog/kate_sally_jackson_closes

Guest
lola granola
December 25, 2010

"…voluntary standards…"

Bill, I'm still waiting for you to explain how your so-called "voluntary standards" fit into Codex. Do they or don't they? Reading your e-mails above you've obviously taken this into account in crafting the National Standards.

Back room dealings are never a good sign. The fact that this information has to come to light in this way is not a good sign, either.

Bill, you and your comrades are going about this in the wrong way.

You: desperately trying to use food safety as a way to freedom.
Me: desperately trying to use freedom as a way to food safety.

Let me explain how you need freedom first, and food safety will follow.

Freedom = no regulation = free market capitalism = competition = higher quality at lower prices, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises, Lou Rockwell and the Anarcho-Capitalists.

Your way = regulation = no or little competition = only large producers with $$ can enter the market = favors corporatism = favors consolidation = "freedom" further restricted

Your way is what we already have. Do you seriously believe that the FDA and USDA will give you more "freedom" to produce and sell raw milk if you can prove you can do it well? You don't gain freedom with more regulation.

Guest
Goatmaid
December 25, 2010

No, it doesn't hurt to promote education and ~voluntary~ standards in raw milk production, but what DOES hurt the raw milk movement is statements like yours:

"We will not have raw milk freedom if we are making people sick with it."

Because 99% of raw milk producers AREN'T making people sick.

Guest
Mark McAfee
December 25, 2010

Everyone….

I have no knowledge of any national standards that are being drafted. I have been asking for them but they have not been drafted ( that I know of ) or sent out for review by anyone that I know.

No conspiracies here…

The only standards I know of are http://www.rawusa.org, the basics that Peggy Beal wrote in here paperback book and the Miliking standards for rookies that Tim has published with the FTCLDF work he has done. This is not rocket science here.

Keep…Green Green, Clean Clean, Hot Hot and Cold Cold….test to make sure that mother nature is still on your side. Thats it.

I would go one step further and document your efforts so you "plan your success"..then "always work your plan" ie…RAMP.

Health, Personal Responsibility, Adapt, Overcome, Freedom, Peace and Love!!!

Mark

Guest
Bill Anderson
December 25, 2010

Lola, clearly your agenda isn't about raw milk. Its about foaming-at-the-mouth free-market capitalism. There is no way we are going to agree about this issue, because you are a fundamentalist. I am interested in promoting quality dairy production. You are interested in totally unchecked individual greed.

Consolidation, corporatism, and tyranny are caused by the lack of a robust democratic grassroots challenge to the powers that be. I am unaware of any time in human history where people have won their freedom from tyranny through the free market. I am aware of many times in history where organized collective struggle has led to liberation.

I suggest you read some Frederick Douglass. That may break you of your Ludwig von Mises illussions.

And then if you need some reading that actually pertains to raw dairy, "The Fabrication of Farmstead Goat cheese" by Jean-Claude Le Jaouen is a good book I just finished up. Highly recommended.