Why Consumers Need to Take the Lead in Organizing Against the FDA and Its Lackeys; Farmageddon DC Showing; FDA Mustn’t “Waiver”; More Blog Musings

?As I was putting up the video of Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger being served with a court summons, I wondered to myself: What purpose does putting this little video, which just shows an officer handing a guy a sheaf of papers, quipping “just doing my job,” really serve?

The answer relates to a question lots of people were asking at the Raw Milk Freedom Riders rally in Chicago last Tuesday: How do we educate more people about the government outrages taking place to control our food?

The answer is that more and more people who value and care about their food need to see and read about what’s going on. That little video clip simply adds some more reality–a real farmer being served a real summons by a real officer of the law to come to a real court room in front of a real judge with the possibility of the farmer being sent to a real jail.

And that video helps educate us to other matters. For example, what kind of assistance can farmers expect and not expect from their local sheriffs? The local sheriff in most parts of the country is the chief law enforcement officer, has authority over state police, and can help determine which crimes prosecutors pursue. I wrote about the sheriff’s role back in 2007, when then-Michigan farmer Greg Niewendorp was fighting state efforts to test his cattle herd.

Sheriffs have lots of power, and farmers are wise to educate them and cultivate their respect, as Deborah Stockton described in her comment following my previous post. But it’s important to understand that there are limitations on their power. Brad Rogers, the sheriff in Elkhart County, IN, who wrote a letter to the U.S. Justice Department on behalf of farmer David Hochstetler, is outspoken that the federal government agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “are getting out of hand” in nosing around without search warrants, for example. But, he says, “If they come to the farm with a warrant in hand, there is nothing I can do.”

What’s important to appreciate here is that we can’t depend on any one group or organization to save our farmers and our food. We can’t depend on the farmers to do it alone. We can’t look to the sheriffs to be the saviors. We can’t expect food sovereignty ordinances to do the trick. I say this to emphasize the point that there is no magic bullet here.

Brave farmers and principled sheriffs can help enormously because they act as obstacles to the FDA and state agencies that click their heels to the FDA’s commands. Part of the reason they go after small farms is because they are easier to come down on than Big Ag. When FDA agents show up at a Big Ag corporation, they know they’ll face an array of high-priced corporate lawyers, who know what questions to ask and exactly what the company’s rights are. When they show up at an Amish farm, they have carte blanche…or at least, they have encountered no defense.  

But I sense those apparatchniks are so intent on exerting their will and subjugating us that these obstacles alone won’t be enough. It will depend on us, the people who value our food, to take action.  

We need to get the word out about how serious the situation is. In that vein, the cases of Dan Allgyer and Vernon Hershberger can be very helpful. To the extent food club members and other people in the community are willing to show up and publicly assert their backing for these brave men, and in opposition to the forces of subjugation, we may have a chance of winning.

It’s also important as well to appreciate that what is happening to our raw dairy farmers and food club operators isn’t happening in isolation. There’s an article in today’s Wall Street Journal about the federal government’s efforts to turn more people into criminals–it focuses on one poor government worker who must have irritated someone along the way, and now has a criminal record to make a tough life that much harder. Tyranny comes upon us gradually, and when we realize what’s happening, it is very tough to turn things around.

We are rapidly approaching crunch time in food rights. The next important date is 1 p.m. January 4 at the courthouse in the City of Baraboo, WI, located at 515 Oak Street. That is where Vernon Hershberger’s hearing will be held. Come one, come all.

***

I’ve meant to publish an alert that the movie, “Farmageddon”, will be screened tomorrow evening at 5:30 p.m. on Capitol Hill. The reason I’m mentioning is because of its important educational value–so our Washington politicians can see what is happening on America’s farms. Kristin Canty, the movie’s creator, urges people who care about food rights to alert their senators and representatives, and encourage them to attend the screening.

***

There is a lengthy article about raw milk just published by Bloomberg News Service. Overall, it’s not as negative as many of the national media articles, so in that sense, I guess it’s a positive.

There’s this revealing quote: “Illnesses linked to raw milk may hurt the dairy industry if consumers fail to realize lack of pasteurization causes the outbreaks, Chris Galen, spokesman for the National Milk Producers Federation, said in an interview.

” ‘What’s happening is bad for the image and reputation of overall. It’s damaging,’ said Galen. The Arlington, Va.- based federation — whose members include Land O’Lakes Inc. in Arden Hills, Minn., and Agri-Mark Inc. in Methuen, Mass., and produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply — is calling on the FDA not to waver in the face of “pressure tactics” from raw milk supporters, according to a Nov. 1 press release.

Yes, I can just imagine the conversations this trade group’s reps have with the FDA (brief one-way conversations). “Hey guys, I hate to have to remind you of this, but remember who calls the shots here. Now get your butts out there and kick some Amish ass.”

***

Finally, the topic of this blog’s tone has been coming up a lot of late. I’ve had any number of private messages that people are offended, feel drowned out, feel a loss of focus by some of the comments. As solutions, it’s been suggested that I kick some people off the blog, or not allow anonymous comments. One not atypical suggestion was to “put aside your ego – and get rid of the idiots…”

I have always been loathe to interfere with the flow of commentary, just because that has long been one of the blog’s attractions…though I have taken action against comment abusers on occasion. That includes a troll we had hanging around. And I am exploring a way to bring some order to the anonymous comments.

All this discussion has made me realize I’ve been doing this blog for going on six years. Seems like just yesterday…But I think it’s safe to assume that any Internet information-commentary vehicle must undergo lots of shifts over that time period, and this blog is no exception. Some great people have come and gone. My tone has shifted, probably less hysterical. (Not sure if that’s good or bad.) More to the point, the issue of food rights has emerged as not only a hot topic, but as something part of a real movement.

There is always going to be lots of tension during such tumultuous times, especially when real people are facing real judges and real jail sentences, and there are sincere disagreements among caring individuals. The disagreements can become especially frustrating when, more than anything else, there is a huge desire for unity and common purpose.

Despite the negativity that crops up from time to time, and sometimes is quite intense, I have long been grateful for the vast majority of people who grace its pages. I have had the opportunity to be involved with a wonderful community of individuals–sure, some are quirky or highly opinionated–but mostly have a serious desire to do good and right. I’m not sure exactly what all the ferment of recent weeks means exactly. But I do have a sense that this blog is in some ways a mirror of what’s happening…and sometimes we don’t like the reflection we see.

Leave a Reply

26 Comments on "Why Consumers Need to Take the Lead in Organizing Against the FDA and Its Lackeys; Farmageddon DC Showing; FDA Mustn’t “Waiver”; More Blog Musings"


Tim wightman
December 13, 2011

I think the biggest asset that the FDA and food corporations have in this advance of who controls food is that the majority of local food advocates still see themselves as consumers.
We are told consumers are king, and can get what we want, but I think we can all agree that is not the case but makes for a good policy if you are trying to control the masses. Just as right to assemble keeps us thinking we can say and do what we please.
For most, the responsibility ends when the check is signed or we leave site of the producer at the farmers market and farm gate.
We show up at rallies in good numbers, yet still go home and are the consumer we were when we left to go to the rally, and feel we have done our duty.
The last sixty years of this country has let our rights be co-opted and our minds filled with the fact that we dont have to be concerned about these things given we are reminded every day that food companies are just like family, and every 4 years politicians remind us they are on our side.
Given the fact that we consume information just as we are taught to be consumers of the stuff that is approved to be good for us, we buy into it on a regular basis and the invisible restrictions remains in place.

Those on this blog are early adaptors to change and the Occupy movement represents the other 80% waking up to a system that has been corrupted, and no longer serves the needs of the large majority on many fronts.
Consumerism is a learned behavior and can be changed. I feel the local food/raw milk movement needs to define who we are in the larger scheme of things and shed this notion that we consume in an alternative fashion, and it is enough to effect change.
The idea of consumption is changing in many aspects and in many disciplines around the world, and to really change an issue we first have to define what it means to the whole and put our best foot forward. Real change starts from within and not looking outwardly for that key legislation or group who will represent what we feel is best for our selves.
Slow Food coined the phrase co-producer, works to a point but what is our true relationship to each other and to those and that which feeds us.
We as humans must consume, yet at the same time be aware that it does have a ripple effect that is not limited to our tables or our close group of friends. How we view ourselves in the larger aspects of the workings of this world is a good start. What that is called I feel has yet to be defined.
This new label may not be a label at all, it may well be a understanding, a commitment to a better way of building a future, one resistant to being co-opted, and beyond brand and label that can be bought and sold, pitched in a condensed version of the idea we have control of our choices and control of our lives.
Words have power, lets choose them wisely.
Tim Wightman

Karen James
December 13, 2011

Thank you, David, for your six years of diligent hard work. I don't remember when I first started reading your blog on a regular basis, but I would guess that I have been lurking here in the background for nearly the entire six years. I deeply appreciate your efforts!

After reading comments over the past few days, I was also frustrated by those contributors who are using your blog to grandstand on pet issues. I like Young Bill's contributions regarding cheese, but he is so far off track at times that I now simply skip over everything he writes.

Is there any way that you can modify the blog format so that the contributor is identified at the top? We can easily skip over those comments not of interest to us, but it would be less difficult if we didn't need to scroll ahead and back.

Many thanks to David and the many others who contribute so much here!

Bill Anderson
December 13, 2011

David-

Just to clarify, my comments in the previous thread were NOT meant to be insults of people's religious practices. I am 100% in favor of religious freedom, and would completely support forming a secular or neo-pagan religion around the consumption of raw milk.

The purpose of my comments is that I am very very worried that certain elements of American Christianity are not in favor of religious freedom for other groups, namely Muslims. This is an ongoing problem in many Western nations, not just ours. I also worry about certain Christian elements (such as Gordon Watson) who justify other bigoted beliefs using the shield of religious ideology.

I respect Christianity. I think that the New Testament is a validation of socialist principles in its own historical context and the terminology that was used in that time and place.

In any case, I'm done commenting here for now. I just wanted to make a point that the narrow minded and selfish ideology of "freedom for me and mine" (what is often incorrectly called "libertarian" in the US… a more accurate term would be "proprietarian") is part of the problem, not part of the solution. If we really want freedom, then we must work for freedom from oppression for ALL people, including those who are very different from us.

This is the essence of socialist philosophy and action. It is a fundamental belief in the goodness of humankind, and in our ability to overcome oppression if we work together in an open-minded and democratic manner.

Have a great one folks. And thanks again to David for his great analysis on TCP.

Goatmaid
December 13, 2011

Personally, I think it's better to leave the name at the bottom… even if you don't like a person's writing, sometimes they do surprise you with something you might not have read if you'd known ahead of time who wrote.

Re Young Bill, I usually can spot his writing by the first sentence, confirmed when it rambles on and on, usually about something that has nothing to do with fresh milk and everything to do with how much he knows about everything. So I rapidly skim his stuff, just in case he does surprise me with relevance. Same with Milky Way, Gordon and certain rigid others.

As for myself, I suppose others might feel the same way about what I write, but to be honest, all the poor taste and language, extraneous politics, rabid religious and racist talk, and intolerance in general have turned me off so I hardly care to read anymore, let alone post.

Cheyenne Christianson
December 13, 2011

The food rights movement is finally gaining the momentum it needs to take over, but it may take bit yet. I'm as impatient as anybody in wanting to see it happen right now. I've been following (and producing quality food) for 30+ years, which is most of my life, and we are seeing a tidal wave compared to back then. Which is why TPTB are becoming so aggressive.All those years they have worked to manipulate, lie, distort, and sell their souls for naught. They see the writing on the wall and are making one last mad dash to stop it. Silly people!

Most of us take the home school movement for granted, but it was a big battle to get those rights back a few decades ago, and still crops up from time to time as our enemy is relentless.Some went to jail to gain us that right and/or had their families torn apart by CPS. There is a whole generation of young people being raised up "outside" the system, and there are a LOT more of them than anyone realizes! They think differently, act differently, and do not look to the government for, or as, the solution. I think a lot of them have already figured out the food picture, but it wouldn't hurt to reach out to every home school family or group we know to help build the numbers faster. They tend to be informed and active.

Imagine being a kid from an organic farm back in the 70's and 80's. It is exciting to see how far we have come. As people wake up and demand better, in all areas of our lives, the tidal wave will overwhelm those seeking to keep us in bondage. The other part on our side is that this whole system is going to implode from the waste, corruption, greed, laziness,and arrogance. It could mean some very hard times, but will place those few with real agricultural knowledge in high demand to help and teach others. Can we build a better future without falling into the same trap that got us into the current mess?

My dad said Grandfather used to say "everyone should be given 40 acres and a chance to farm". That would bring some much needed balance into this 'now' 'me' society and reliance on nanny state government. The cool thing is, that opportunity may be just around the corner. :)

Nourish Yourself
December 14, 2011

I agree, leave the name at the bottom. You may miss some pearls in one's comments.

One thought that came to mind when Chris Zunker Sauk Co. sheriff said "I'm just doing my job" – is that what the nazi soldiers said to themselves when rounding up the Jews to send them to concentration camps? Pretty sad statement for someone serving the public. Pretty sad statement for society. The Holocaust was real and if we don't stand up to these goons, it could soon happen here.

nancy

Jennifer Feeney
December 14, 2011

Even through all of the random and narrow-minded comments, I have really enjoyed this blog. Thank you David for your hard work.

As mentioned by Cheyenne, the homeschool movement is moving in right along side the food movement. You wouldn't believe the number of homeschool families that are raising their children outside of the traditional education and food systems. Food, wholesome nourishing food, provides our children with what they need to think and learn. Oh, the conversations we have about food rights along with curriculum choices! They go hand-in-hand.

In fact, think about the school lunch debate going on now. Feeing our children, nourishing their minds, this is a hot topic now. And one that the corporate food giants won't easily let go of. It was pointed out by a nutritionist that the USDA was put in charge of the school lunch program as a way to use up an excess of commodities…ever wonder why school lunches are processed foods? The USDA's marketing for commodity crops is why. Got milk? Pork, the other white meat. the food pyramids increase of meat searvings. The food pyramid's mention of milk and not calcium as a required nutrient (milk is a food, calcium is a nutrient). Thank you USDA.

The governement's control of our food is far-reaching. And difficult to take back. David is right, that it takes more than just one person, one farmer, one law inforcement official. It takes all of us to rise up and take a stand.

The Complete Patient
December 14, 2011

Tim,
What you are describing is a kind of partnership between farmers and the people who are fed by the farm (trying to avoid calling them "consumers.") There is a political component that is based on growing numbers of people so engaged. But there is a legal component that must be dealt with. So far, the judges have been inclined to accept the regulators' claim that our legal mechanisms (food clubs, leasing arrangements, herdshares) are designed to "circumvent" the law, rather than comprise legitimate legal contracts. While these mechanisms haven't received a full legal test, my sense is we may need to devise more secure arrangements, as in real ownership and equity arrangements. If you really are an owner of cows–to the extent you get tax reports of gains and losses to file with your income tax form–it will be difficult for any court to rule against you, for such arrangements are the bedrock of our private enterprise system. Yes, the first such arrangements would like require serious legal horsepower, but then they could be stamped out more en masse, the way real estate and business ownership arrangements are every day. And the partnerships would become more real.

Bill,
I didn't take your comments about Christianity to be derogatory. But I do find your faith in a socialistic system, based on "the goodness of humankind," to be naive. Such a system requires a very heavy government hand, to ensure enforcement…something that seems akin to what we already have. We don't have to look far to see how that is not working.

Cheyenne,
Thanks for explaining the home school movement some more. The food rights movement needs models, and the home school movement may be more comparable than the civil rights movement, which many of us tend to rely on. It home school movement has had to overcome tremendous resistance from an entrenched professional class (educators) that pronounced home schooling as "risky" and "dangerous." But as you suggest, growing legions of young people have been raised "outside" the system, and there are a growing number of impressive examples of their creativity and accomplishments.

David

Milky Way
December 14, 2011

"So far, the judges have been inclined to accept the regulators' claim that our legal mechanisms (food clubs, leasing arrangements, herdshares) are designed to "circumvent" the law, rather than comprise legitimate legal contracts."

These contracts seem clearly designed to avoid regulation of any kind. This seems reckless from a food safety perspective, but also opens the door to fraud as alleged in the Rawesome case (Sharon Palmer).

The alternative is to change the law as they are proposing in NJ.

http://www.njherald.com/story/16310309/raw-milk-vote-expected-soon#.TueLWuXmX4s.twitter

http://blog.nj.com/njv_editorial_page/2011/12/nj_senate_should_not_support_b.html

MW

Sylvia Gibson
December 14, 2011

"This seems reckless from a food safety perspective, but also opens the door to fraud as "

And you think the current system is working, compliments of the govt? People are subjected to adulterated/contaminated foods, water, environments, and the govt encourages this. People are sickened in so many ways that helps to give more money to the industrial complex et al. As for fraud? LOL misleading and/or out right lies if no different than fraud. People buy foods thinking they are healthy and not contaminated in any way, and that is not so.

I would have home schooled my kids, had I known then what I know now. I used to piss off my kids teachers in grade school. We lived in Germany and I would take them to museums and such, they would miss a day of school here and there. They were straight A students. The education they received from the local economy could never be found in a class. (They were reading Steven King long before they were 10).

The Complete Patient
December 14, 2011

Milky Way,
It is real land/equity ownership that allows farmers to consume the milk of their cows, even in states that ban the sale of raw milk. The point of our system is to provide protection to private property ownership, outside the parameters of state control, including food safety regulation. Our private enterprise system allows ownership to be extended on a private basis fairly widely, sometimes under corporate rules and sometimes under state and federal securities laws. The challenge seems to be to establish true ownership, and this is where the legal eagles need to get involved. You may not like the fact that farm animal (private property) ownership is outside the parameters of regulators, but that's what the courts have sanctified pretty much from the beginning, and a big part of "what makes America great."

David

Sylvia Gibson
December 14, 2011

http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/are-antiobiotics-making-us-fat

In 1954: "reported that Navy recruits who were given daily doses of broad-spectrum antibiotics, such as chlortetracycline or penicillin, to prevent strep infections gained 4.8 pounds over 7 weeks, compared to a 2.7 pound gain in recruits given a placebo. "

I didn't know they gave antibiotics to "fatten" bovines….I thought it was because of bacteria.

The govt has known these studies for over 50 years and have not changed anything. All about $$$$

Wayne Craig
December 14, 2011

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11012915/1/cellulose-wood-pulp-never-tasted-so-good.html.
I saw this article in "The Milkweed". Thank goodness FDA has determined that adding wood products to our processed food is "safe". I suppose Milky Way sleeps better knowing the regulators are watching out for those ignorant, fraud susceptible consumers that eat wood in their McDonald's cheeseburger. And Cornucopia just came out with their Cereal Report. http://cornucopia.org/cereal-scorecard/ Apparently, Kashi Go Lean Natural cereal is made with 100% GMO soybeans. I think both USDA and FDA can take credit for protecting us with that one.

What would we do without the government protecting us from those unscrupulous farmers offering consumers real, whole foods. Shining a light on the practices of the food industry should help us get consumers to stand and with us farmers against TPTB. I hope!!!

Wayne Craig

Sylvia Gibson
December 14, 2011

"Shining a light on the practices of the food industry should help us get consumers to stand and with us farmers against TPTB. "

This is the key. This will allow people to actually "see" what is going on with the phoods tossed at them.

Ingvar Odegaard
December 14, 2011

Deborah Stockton:
In re. to your comments of 12/11 with the post date of 12/12-
Thank you for the analysis. It will take me a while to absorb it. At first glance it appears relevant, importantly so, for understanding the big picture: farm/economic/regulatory as it developed 1940 to the present. I wondered where the milkman had gone.
On the other hand, my figures were far simpler perhaps than you may have thought them to be. As the subject of cost for milk (whatever the arrangement (teat to table)) was cropping up, I wanted to lay out, for comparison purposes, what a dollar today was equivalent to in earlier dollars.
To do this, I took two figures in present dollars and ran each one of them back in time using ten year increments. I used the online calculator that I referenced. The larger figure ($16 or so) is the cost, today, (whatever the arrangement (teat to table)) for some folk, for a gallon of milk (the real stuff- unmolested cow plus unmolested grass, with or w/o some unmolested grain, in a know-your-cow manner. And no modern milk torturing. And the cow handlers are actually unbroke(n) and greatly appreciated for what they do. i.e. the very same thing that has been going on for thousands of years. Sans FDA, needless to say.). The smaller figure ($4 I think) is what most general public folk that walk into a supermarket are paying for a gallon of milk (FDA, PMO okd and government guaranteed safe and government guaranteed nutritious and government guaranteed wholesome.) (Ill stop there. If everybody will stop laughing.).
Again, thanks for your work.
Ingvar

Ingvar Odegaard
December 14, 2011

All comments reveal. Concealmance is futile, ye Borg and ye scalliwags.
Trite and true, regardless, I find the comments here at TCP a blast.

I am disheartened to read of weariness setting in and to see a jejune atmosphere at times. Enough ill comments can take the wind out of anyones sails and that is for sure. The weather will turn for the better dont you think? It is my hope so.

The gummint can purely butt out of our private contracts.

Who is threatened by these private contracts?

What is threatened by these private contracts?

This government, are they power mad?

This government, are they holy angels without flaw?

This government, do they want to exercise control over everything?

This government, do they not trust..us?

Every single seat in the House of Representatives is filled by an election every two years.

This first session of the 112th Congressional session will end soon and the second session will begin next January. Are they worth keeping? Who will take their oath of office and then stand up for freedom and liberty? Perhaps we have become a nation of untrustworthy scoundrels. And we dare not turn our backs. Ah, we can do much, much better as a country. Of this I am sure.

I dont see a problem in farm-direct-to-table (product) and table-to-farm ($ to cover costs). For the most part the product will end up in Qt., gal., or gal. containers sooner or later. And it will be transported, one way or another. And it will be refrigerated, one way or another. So what if it happens closer to the teat? Big deal.

I know of some very young, totally urban urchins, grandfather raised, of African ancestry who simply disappeared (and fast!!) every week, real milk products. There were days when grandpa didnt find much left for himself to enjoy. Those kids were thriving on the real food.

This need for that food is not going to go away.

As a member of Rawesome, may I say:

Can I be trusted to accept or not accept eggs from Sharon Palmer, as I see fit?
My opinion of Sharon Palmer and the eggs she supplies under private contract for private use in no way gives entre to the government to butt in as though Sharon Palmer was a Supermarket with a busted refrigerated egg case and I sashayed in off the street to purchase a government-approved and government-guaranteed-safe egg. The governments standing in this matter is.zero.

What does the government plead?

Ingvar

Sylvia Gibson
December 14, 2011

http://southpasadena.patch.com/articles/update-healthy-family-farms-preliminary-hearing-postponed-sharon-palmer-james-stewart-rawesome

To be continued to 8:30 a.m. Jan. 27 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. …..

Gwen elderberry
December 15, 2011

I've subscribed to Google Scholar alerts on E. coli and HUS, and just received an article published by Mae-Wan Ho, a geneticist. The article relates the possibility of GMO influenced bacteria causing the E. coli outbreak in Germany, and why she thinks so. in The Wikipedia page on her is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mae-Wan_Ho

The article:

http://www.ask-force.org/web/Escherichia/Ho-ISIS-Report-27-20110611.pdf

She has maintained that the use of GMO in crops can cause antibiotic resistance in bacteria, contributing to disease in humans, and she has been criticized thoroughly for this postulation by the scientific community. It has a good bit of scientific jargon, but if someone on here understands this, feel free to say what you think, pro or against. Given that much of the scientific community is funded by large corporations, I am interested in what she has to say.

Sylvia Gibson
December 15, 2011

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/13/x-ray-irradiated-asparagus_n_1147080.html?ref=food

Coming to a store near you.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/13/food-company-lobbying_n_1146425.html#s540358&title=5_tie_McDonalds

Follow the money….

It makes sense, regarding what Dr. Ho has said. The comments after the article are interesting too.

Dave Milano
December 15, 2011

This comment got to me:

[Private food] contracts seem clearly designed to avoid regulation of any kind. This seems reckless from a food safety perspective

There is so much wrong with the never-trust-people-to-make-good-decisions mindset that one doesnt know where to begin in discussing it, but basic human health concerns makes a good starting point:

There is mounting evidence that GMO foods may be creating seriousreally very serioushealth problems, yet they are being given a relative free pass by our regulatory community. We are to believe that this is not reckless at all, but sensible, while on the other hand when reasonable, sane adults attempt to obtain an age-old nutrient-dense, natural food, it is deemed not only careless, but negligent, and their behavior must be prohibited and punished!

http://www.biotech-info.net/infectious_diseases.pdf (Read the abstract at least.)

Apparently our regulatory apparatus has discovered that significant economic potential confers immunity from the law of unintended consequences. Now THAT is reckless.

Milky Way
December 15, 2011

What is going on at OPDC Facebook and RAWMI (they relocated from this blog over to a Fan page)? Any questions about the outbreak/recall are deleted and the poster gets blocked. The lack of transparency is expected from the government, but why isn't the dairy reporting all the findings from duplicate private lab and government samples (product, cow feces, swabs, etc.)?

MW

Sylvia Gibson
December 15, 2011

"What is going on at OPDC Facebook and RAWMI (they relocated from this blog over to a Fan page)? "

OP has had a web page for years, it isn't new.

"Any questions about the outbreak/recall are deleted and the poster gets blocked. "

It is a PRIVATE web page, and they can allow whatever they want.

"The lack of transparency is expected from the government, but why isn't the dairy reporting all the findings from duplicate private lab and government samples (product, cow feces, swabs, etc.)?"

Why don't you ask Mark about his lab results? Since the govt lies/misleads/ ignores– what's good for the goose……

So far all the lab tests have been negative as of this am, still waiting on, I think 2 more….. Sounds like Op has been singled out……udder BS.

Milky Way
December 15, 2011

Sylvia,

The OPDC and RAWMI facebook pages are relatively new (not been around for years). But, I agree, they absolutely can block comments in that social media venue as they choose.

I appreciate David's blog that rarely censors comments, and look forward to his findings and report on the situation in California.

MW

Sylvia Gibson
December 15, 2011

The facebook page has been there at least since Dec 2010. does it make any difference? You post as if you are trying to incite people…Really pathetic, I would expect more out of a supposed educated person. .

Gwen elderberry
December 16, 2011

Thanks, Sylvia. I intend to read one of Ho's books, but I'd like to take genetics and statistics first so that I understand it more thoroughly.

Stacy Pearson
December 24, 2011

On behalf of the many children in states across America, whose families find it tough to get their hands on raw milk, I feel it is time for the Raw Milk Institute to square up some miscommunications about RAWMI's mission, agenda and recent activities. At the core of our mission is the desire to work with local activists who agree with our mission to expand raw milk access. To do that we need to build a positive working relationship with farmers, consumers, regulators and legislators. Working together with others helps us to connect with those who are outside of our own circle of influence.

I feel it is important to share that RAWMI has not contacted anyone at Wisconsin's DATCP. I have spoken a couple of times with members of the Wisconsin Raw Milk Association and they made it clear they did not require our assistance. That was months ago. Even though RAWMI staff have some publicized connections that may help WRMA with their mission to expand raw milk, we have not acted upon these connections.

In regards to my former home state, Minnesota, the FIRST organization I reached out to, when I learned there was still interest in furthering raw milk access, was the Food Freedom Project. Two weeks before Sally's announcement, I had a 2-hour Skype call with a couple of board members and we were all working together as we had during the last legislative session. After Sally's announcement went public, she received an email from someone POSING TO BE A BOARD MEMBER, BUT WHO WAS NOT and the email stated that RAWMI was not working with the Food Freedom Project group, when in fact, we had been working with them and communicating all along and have had multiple follow up conversations with them and have minutes documenting those conversations.

So, now, RAWMI's reputation has been dragged through the mud, to the point of being compared to a bull in a china closet, when in fact, we have proceeded very conscientiously and with inclusion, respecting the grass roots groups and not acting outside of their wishes.

In the state of California, RAWMI has worked with the herd-share owners and the state of California to define a legal herd-share program that is exempt from regulation. We continue to work with and support their goals even though some have criticized that the work we are doing to define an exempt operation encroaches on their "rights and freedoms" and who would prefer that herd-share farmers run the risk of being raided rather than to be defined for the purpose of being legal and exempt.

RAWMIs mission is clearly defined, as are the groups we feel we must involve in order to accomplish expanded access. Some criticize us for working with farmers, others criticize us for working with regulators. We see it as a necessary step towards success that is measured in how many states it is easier to get raw milk in. We want to work with anyone who wants to help us do just that. When a mom with a sick kid wants raw milk, the philosophical debates don't seem to matter much. What matters is that we were all there, minus our labels and desire for credit, to help her accomplish what was most important. For the sake of the kids – lets move forward together, because together we win! -Stacy Pearson, Vice President; RAWMI