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Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms and protecting
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News for May 7, 2010

Lettuce Recalled in 23 States After E. Coli Outbreak

Romaine lettuce being sold in 23 states and the District of Columbia is being recalled after at least 20 people have fallen ill with dangerous E. coli bacteria -- including three life-threatening cases.

People have been hospitalized in Michigan, Ohio and New York after eating shredded romaine lettuce sold by Ohio-based Freshway Foods. It announced a recall Thursday of lettuce with a use-by date of May 12 or earlier, sold under the Freshway and Imperial Sysco brands.

It also applies to lettuce sold to food service companies, wholesalers and in-store salad bars and delis, including "grab-and-go" salads at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets and Marsh grocery stores. No other products are affected, it said.

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Doyle Signs 29 Bills into Law on Wednesday

Now that the legislative session is over, it's up to Governor Jim Doyle to decide which approved policies will become law. During a ceremony at the State Capitol on Wednesday, the governor signed 29 bills into law.

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The raw story

A small, feisty band of well-connected health nuts are battling the state for the right to buy raw milk from local farms, and for the moment they are losing. It’s just the kind of flap I like: a vast, bovine state and federal bureaucracy in unequal combat with a ragtag militia of udderly committed back-to-nature types.

Civil liberties lawyer Harvey Schwartz, who lives in Ipswich and has defended white supremacists and beleaguered Bay State tattoo artists, has been drinking raw milk for two years, and plans to defend his right to quaff the non-homogenized, unpasteurized white stuff. “It tastes so good, it’s like having ice cream for breakfast,’’ Schwartz says, adding that freedom to buy raw milk is “a great issue — it unites the Green Party and the Tea Party.’’

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'Raw milk' clubs fight back against ban by Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources

BOSTON - When Blanche Lennington last year started a small club to purchase raw milk directly from farmers, she figured it would be a good way to share her passion for the product and support local dairy farmers.

The club thrived – until it was suddenly shut down this year by the state.

The state Department of Agricultural Resources is banning Lennington, a Becket grandmother, and other consumers from purchasing nonpasteurized milk from a farm and then distributing the milk to fellow club members.

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Wis. legalization of raw milk seen as benchmark

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Proponents of unpasteurized milk hope a victory in "America's Dairyland" will encourage other states to legalize sales and make it more available nationwide.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has indicated he will sign a bill the Legislature passed late last month allowing farms to sell raw milk directly to consumers through 2011. Although the bill is limited in scope, advocates who've worked for years promoting raw milk say legalization in Wisconsin could lead to broader acceptance nationwide.

"It's the best state this could have happened in for us," said Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Washington-based Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit group that advocates drinking raw milk.

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Eat organic, cancer panel urges

A government report claims that the way Americans farm could be putting the public at risk for cancer and recommends people eat more organic products.

The study was issued today by the President’s Cancer Panel and is a look at the potential risks from the environment. The cancer panel has two members – the third seat is vacant – and both were appointees of President George W. Bush.

The study includes a chapter on agriculture and goes into a number of potential health hazards, including from pesticides such as the herbicide atrazine that’s used on corn fields but also from nitrogen fertilizers and veterinary pharmaceuticals. Fertilizer may increase cancer risk through the breakdown of the nitrogen during digestion, the study said. Nitrogen from fields seeps below ground and into drinking water supplies.

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