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News for March 11, 2010

Kohl Holds Hearing on FDA Budget, Funding Priorities

U.S. Senator Herb Kohl held a hearing on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) budget and heard testimony from FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg about the agency’s priorities for the next fiscal year. Kohl is the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee which has jurisdiction over funding for the FDA, and has worked to increase the FDA’s budget to bolster their efforts to keep the food supply safe. Kohl pushed the FDA to increase the number of food safety inspectors domestically and abroad, and to develop new, regional rapid response teams across the country to identify and isolate contaminated produce at its source. Dr. Hamburg is a principal member of the President’s Food Safety Working Group, the interagency group tasked with overhauling the food safety system.


Oklahoma Raw Milk Community Loss

Members of our closely knit raw milk community have suffered a loss.  Robert (Bobby) & Chelsea Kessler who head up the Oklahoma Raw Milk Alliance suffered a terrible tragedy last week. Their son and daughter, who were with their biological father for visitation, were hit by a drunk driver.

Their son, Adam Stutts, 5 years old, was killed. His sister Avery, 2, is in critical condition at Oklahoma Children's Hospital. Chelsea is expecting their fourth child and is due around June. This is very devastating on many levels, not the least of which is financial. There has been a fund set up at MidFirst Banks in Oklahoma City. The account is under the name of Avery Stutts. 

They have no insurance and need serious help financially. 
PLEASE pass this on and ask folks to help if they feel so led.
Contact for more information: Catherine Rott - 580.234.5821

Here's the video from a local news station reporting the accident.  

WFU backs raw milk sales bills

EAU CLAIRE – Speaking at a joint Senate-Assembly Agriculture Committee meeting Wednesday, the president of Wisconsin Farmers Union says that consumers and dairy farmers should be allowed to make on-farm direct sales transactions for unpasteurized milk.

Darin Von Ruden said that on-farm raw-milk sales should be allowed under well-managed handling and labeling programs such as those outlined in proposed Senate and Assembly legislation about the transactions.

“There’s an inherent issue of personal rights in this matter,” he said. “If someone wants to consume raw milk, that person should be allowed to do so at their own risk – or, if you listen to another side of research, to their own benefit.


Dairy leaves city for country expansion

March 4, 2010 - While many in the dairy cattle industry are struggling, Todd Moore and his family have been fortunate. They are just days away from completing a new facility in Emory. Once completed, they will relocate their Plano dairy to the property.

Though Moores are financially investing a large amount into moving the Guernsey- and Jersey-based dairy to what will be known as Springville Farm, the general consensus in East Texas has been that dairies in the region are going extinct.

"They are going fast," Moore said. "But, part of the reason is there aren't any large land masses. These guys, and I have a lot of friends that are Dutch that have big, 1,000-cow dairies, and the problem is they are only on 300 acres. They are used to leasing 800 acres. Well now, that is chopped up into ranchettes -- you know, everybody has to have a house and a horse. That makes a 300-acre place into 30 places that are 10-acres a piece, and you cant' use it anymore for agriculture.


Listen to Mark McAfee's Raw Milk Debate on Wisconsin Public Radio

Raw Milk Consumers Speak Up for Their Rights


Raw milk consumers seek law in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis., March 11 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin legislative hearing was packed with raw milk advocates who said they seek the right to sell and purchase unpasteurized dairy products.

The hearing in Madison Wednesday included a debate on the alleged health benefits and dangers of raw milk products, but lawmakers said the legislation in dispute is more about consumer choice and helping farmers economically than the merits of raw milk products, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.


Raw milk hearing

Eau Claire, WI (WXOW) - It's controversial,  but the topic of conversation Wednesday in Eau Claire.

Close to 500 people attended a hearing at the Chippewa River Technical College, about raw milk.

In Wisconsin it is illegal to sell unprocessed milk. However it is not illegal to have raw milk or consume it.

This bill which is working its way through the State Legislature would allow some farmers to sell raw milk.

Farmers from as far as Arkansas shared their stories about the role of a dairy farmer and the nutritional value their product provides, which they say is lost during the pasteurization process.


Consumer groups hit organic product labels

Consumer groups want action on what they consider “rampant labeling fraud” on organic personal care products and cosmetics.

A complaint to be filed today with the Federal Trade Commission calls for companies that label products “organic” to follow the same strict U.S. Department of Agriculture standards set for food products. This means soaps, cosmetics and other items with organic claims must be made of natural, plant-based ingredients grown without the use of chemicals or preservatives.


Raw milk hearing turnout huge

Hundreds of people packed an auditorium at Chippewa Valley Technical College Wednesday morning for the first public hearing on the selling of raw milk.

The hearing was all about the public being able to come forward and share their thoughts, both for and against a legislative bill, which would make selling raw milk legal.

Petra Brokken gave birth to her daughter Saskia nearly four months early. She weighed a little more than a pound.

Her mom calls her a miracle, and she attributes her daughter’s growth and health, now six years later, to raw milk, “I have absolutely no hesitation in giving this to my micro preemie daughter, she has absolutely thrived on this,” Petra says.


Raw milk hearing draws hundreds

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) - Hundreds of people packed a legislative hearing in Eau Claire Wednesday on legalizing the sale of unpasteurized milk.

The proposed legislation would allow consumers to buy raw milk directly from a farm and give dairy farmers immunity from liability if someone got sick drinking the unpasteurized product.

Advocates say raw milk has powerful health benefits and that consumers should be able to decide for themselves whether the risk is worth it.


Large crowd for raw milk public hearing

EAU CLAIRE, Wis (WSAU) Wisconsin legislators heard over 10 hours of testimony in Eau Claire yesterday on bills to allow the sale of raw milk. About 450 people attended, including busloads of supporters. Scientists, government officials, consumers, and farmers were among those testifying.

Raw milk advocates said they should have the freedom to drink a product which boosts the body’s immune system and prevents allergies and diseases. But health officials say raw milk carries dangerous micro-organisms that can only be eliminated by pasteurizing – something Wisconsin has required for over a half-century. Twenty-five states allow sales of raw milk in some form. And one supporter, Kimberly Hartke of the Weston Price Foundation, says what happens in Wisconsin will send a message to the rest of the nation.


Hundreds show up to support raw milk sales

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Several hundred people packed a hearing Wednesday on a state bill that would allow Wisconsin farms to sell raw milk products to consumers.

The majority of the audience wore white paper hats that had “Milk” printed on one side and “Freedom” on the other.

La Crosse County dairy farmer Vince Hundt made the hats, which he and an employee handed out as people filed into the Chippewa Valley Technical College auditorium for the joint hearing by the Assembly Rural Economic Affairs Committee and the Senate Agriculture and Education Committee.


Hundreds attend raw milk hearing

f the turnout at Wednesday's raw milk public hearing in Eau Claire is an indication of public interest, the state Senate and Assembly are in for a turbulent ride as they try to untangle the debate.

The hearing was part of a joint meeting of the Assembly Committee on Rural Economic Development and the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Higher Education, which gathered testimony on Assembly Bill 628 and Senate Bill 434, legislation that would legalize the sale of raw milk in Wisconsin.


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