Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
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Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms and protecting
consumer access to raw milk and nutrient dense foods.
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News Archive

News Archive 2007

Dec 27, 2007 --The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund today filed suit on behalf of Claravale Farm, Inc. and Organic Pastures Dairy Company, LLC against the State of California and the California Department of Food and Agriculture challenging the constitutionality of recently enacted legislation, AB 1735.  The suit, brought in the form of a declaratory judgment, makes three claims:  the statute is a violation of...

Dec 21, 2007--The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund today filed a motion for a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order on behalf of Meadowsweet Dairy LLC and Steve and Barbara Smith against the State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets.  The TRO and preliminary injunction requested that the State of New York be prohibited from conducting inspections, executing search warrants, taking other..

Dec 13, 2007--The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has filed a complaint against the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets on behalf of its members Steve and Barbara Smith and Meadowsweet Dairy LLC. The complaint alleges that the Department of Ag. and Mkts. does not have the legal authority to regulate in the area of private affairs, and that all harassment, intimidation and interference with the raw milk operations at the Smiths' farm should cease.

The complaint stems from a long history with Ag. and Mkts. Since March 2007...

Dec 11, 2007--AB 1735 ACTION ALERT THE FINAL PUSH - As a direct result of your actions last week, we now have the support of all key assembly representatives to overturn AB 1735.

However, your assemblymen have expressed concern that we do not have the support of the California Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. A.G. Kawamura.

He appears to be the last raw milk challenge standing.

Dec 07, 2007--California Raw Milk
Action Alert: Immediate Action Needed to Stop AB1735.
We have been given very specific "political marching orders" to win reversal of AB 1735 without a lawsuit and hearings!

Dec 4, 2007--The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has been retained by Organic Pastures Dairy Company LLC of California (OPDC) to represent it in its challenge to AB 1735, a new law passed by the California Assembly and signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. Although AB 1735 does not expressly outlaw, prohibit or ban the sale of raw milk in California, it’s limitation of 10 coliform in the bottle is so stringent that compliance with the new limit may well be impossible. If that is the case, then the effect of AB 1735 would be to ban the sale of raw milk. The new legislation is expected to go into effect on January 1, 2008.

Nov 29, 2007--Pennsylvania Dairy Label Ruling Shelved. A controversial decision by the state Department of Agriculture concerning dairy labeling is under review after facing strong public backlash.

Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff announced last month that the department would crack down on what it viewed as misleading labels on dairy products, including claims that milk was made from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones.

Oct 24, 2007--Urgent Alert: Call the Senate Agriculture Committee IMMEDIATELY. The Senate Agriculture Committee has just released the draft language of the Farm Bill, which will be discussed by the Committee tomorrow. The bad news is that the Livestock Title includes the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)! Senator Harkin has included a provision that defines NAIS and addresses confidentiality of the information collected under it. This section implies approval of the USDA's program, without addressing the many problems with NAIS, including the USDA's misleading and coercive tactics.

Sep 8, 2007-- beautiful fall day in the thumb area of Michigan was the site of the official Michigan Launch of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF). An initiative of the Weston A. Price Foundation, the FTCLDF will help to revolutionize farming and the availability of nutrient-dense food in the United States. Memberships are available for both Farmers and Consumers. A FTCLDF membership puts the power of a 24-hour legal hotline, sample contracts and forms, and the wealth of knowledge of the Weston A. Price Foundation and members around the country in the hands of each of you!! An affordable annual price of $125 for farmers and $50 for consumers makes this a bargain that should not be passed up.

September 1, 2007--The Live Oak, FL launch was held in the hay barn on Dennis Stoltzfoos' farm in Live Oak. The launch was hosted by Dennis and Florida A & M University. Pete Kennedy spoke during the lunch break of a full day seminar featuring Joel Salatin for 300-400 people . Dennis Stoltzfoos provided raw milk in Dixie cups for all to toast Farm Freedom.

August 30, 2007--The Tampa, Florida launch was held in an art gallery for 150 people; hosted by local Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter Leaders Sarah Pope and Cynthia Calisch. Pete Kennedy spoke prior to the evening lecture by Joel Salatin.

Aug 20, 2007--Pete Kennedy to speak at Florida Launch Parties August 30 and September 1. Pete Kennedy will speak prior to the evening lecture by Joel Salatin August 30 in Tampa, Florida. This is being held in an art gallery for 150 people; hosted by local Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter Leaders Sarah Pope and Cynthia Calisch.

Pete will also speak during the lunch break of a full day seminar featuring Joel Salatin for 300-400 people September 1. Dennis Stoltzfoos is providing raw milk in Dixie cups for us all to toast Farm Freedom. This is being held in the hay barn on Dennis' farm in Live Oak, FL. Hosted by Dennis Stoltzfoos and Florida A & M University.

Farmer, state government square off about 'raw' milk

By Alex Roarty, Sentinel Reporter, August 19, 2007

On most days, people passing by the family farm of Newville resident Mark Nolt would see cows grazing on grass and children playing in the field.

Two weeks ago, people would have also seen police raiding his barn.

About six police officers and a handful of trucks paid Nolt a visit to confiscate his hold of illegal unpasteurized milk and other dairy products. The raid came after Commonwealth Court injunction in July ordered him to stop selling the dairy products, and after a judge found Nolt in contempt of court on Aug. 2 for disobeying the order.

The dispute is simple: The government says so-called "raw" milk, yogurt and cheeses could make customers ill, but Nolt says pasteurizing milk does as much harm as good and the government is infringing on his civil rights.

"The Constitution clearly spells out we have the right do private business," Nolt said. "And the Constitution spells out life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Pennsylvania law forbids selling raw milk without a permit, according to Chris Ryder, a spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture. He also said farmers are not allowed to sell almost any raw dairy product, like soft cheeses or yogurt, even with a permit because their longer shelf life makes them too unsafe.

Although a debate about pasteurization sounds more appropriate for 1907 than 2007, Nolt is not alone. Raw milk proponents have sprung up across the country recently to argue against a process regarded as one of the biggest boons to public health of the last century.

On July 4, a Washington D.C.-based food advocacy group formed a legal defense fund to help give farmers the right to sell raw products.

Nolt said pasteurization kills as much good bacteria and vitamins as it kills harmful bacteria.

"It would destroy natural vitamins and goodness of milk and milk product," Nolt said.

And, he said, raw milk and its various products taste better.

But Ryder said drinking raw milk can be harmful.

He said Nolt might be endangering customers, especially the elderly and children, because without a permit the milk has greater potential to make somebody ill.

"We do not get any reports of people getting ill from pasteurized milk," he said. "We do get reports from people drinking raw milk."

He said the state has decreased the risk of drinking raw milk with the permit system because inspectors can make sure barns are clean and cows healthy. But he said even then, people still run a risk when drinking the milk.

Still, Nolt, who at one time did own a permit but dropped it because it did not apply to most non-milk dairy products, said he defied the court order because he thought his customers deserved unpasteurized milk.

"We would feel very bad not doing for our customers what we would want them to do for us," Nolt said.

But if Nolt continues to sell raw dairy products, he said the police told him he will go to jail.

The loss of business has been a hardship on his family, he said, but his religion helped him persevere.

He even took his police "visit" in good humor.

"The 'visit' was what really amused us," Nolt said. "It was a full-scale raid."

Jul 28, 2007--Annual Consumer membership fee reduced to $50. Good news for consumer members! "We have listened and responded to the many requests of consumers who want to join the Fund to support their farmers. Our reduced fee will make it possible for the Fund to attract a large, strong and active consumer membership, necessary to support the work ahead," says Taaron Meikle, Board President. All benefits apply. Any consumer who already applied for membership will receive the reduced fee.

Jul 04, 2007--Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund Launched. Press Release. Pictures.