News for January 12, 2011
Raw milk farmer wins victory against county over 'illegal' sales
A small victory has been won on the raw milk battle front. Greene County, Mo., Circuit Judge Daniel Imhoff recently threw out a lawsuit against Armand Bechard, a farmer who sells raw milk to customers in the Springfield area. According to the judge, Bechard was not the proper subject of the lawsuit, and the statute of limitations prevents any further action in the case, so Bechard is free to resume business as usual.
It all started back in April 2009 when undercover agents tricked Bechard's daughters into selling them raw milk. Farmers can legally sell raw milk in the state of Missouri as long as they do so directly from the farm, but they cannot sell it from anywhere else. Customers can also legally pick up milk from "drop points", which Bechard had set up to deliver farm-purchased milk to customers. But agents pretending to be new customers were able to persuade Bechard's daughters to sell them extra milk right from the drop point, which landed the family in legal trouble.
[ READ MORE (Natural News) ]
Why Is Humboldt County Having More Difficulty Accepting Raw Milk Than Marijuana?
Northern California's Humboldt County seems to have adjusted well to being the marijuana capital of America, but raw milk is an entirely different story. While the rest of California allows raw milk and other raw dairy products to be sold at retail, making it the biggest raw dairy market in the country, Humboldt has long outlawed the sale.
The report issued last week by the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services in response to Mark McAfee's push to legalize raw milk is quite revealing on several levels. It's worth reading, just so long as you understand you'll probably be irritated no end.
[ READ MORE (Complete Patient) ]
In the Wake of Humboldt County's Rejection of Raw Milk, a Possible Local Workaround? Indeed, Local Workarounds Will Increasingly Become the New...Workaround
No big surprise, Humboldt County's Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously accepted the report of its Department of Public Health and Environment (described in my previous post) and refused to overturn the county's ban on raw milk sales.
Even though 2,600 county residents had signed petitions supporting the legal sale of raw milk when the issue originally came up last August, the board chose to listen to its Department of Public Health and Environment and to its substantial conventional dairy industry.
[ READ MORE (Complete Patient) ]
Walker Says He May Support Bill to Legalize Raw Milk Sales
Supporters of an effort to legalize the sales of unpasteurized milk to consumers in Wisconsin may have a little more luck under a new governor. Last week, Scott Walker said he would likely sign a bill that would allow farmers to sell their raw milk if there were certain safeguards in place to protect the public. He made the comments after being notified that some lawmakers are promising to reintroduce the measure into the State Legislature this year.
Last May, former Governor Jim Doyle vetoed the proposal, saying the health of Wisconsin citizens 'need to be protected' and that he had an 'obligation to protect the (dairy) industry' in the event of a disease outbreak.
[ READ MORE (Wisconsin Ag Connection) ]
Supes uphold raw milk status quo
The dozen or so raw milk advocates at the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday were disappointed when the board unanimously voted to maintain the status quo of Humboldt's ban on raw milk sales.
While supervisors vowed to keep their doors open to raw milk advocates, they decided that the risk to public safety outweighs any public demand. Humboldt County is one of three counties in California that bans the sale of raw milk -- or milk that has not gone through the pasteurization process.
[ READ MORE (Times-Standard) ]
Morningland Dairy In Court—Day 1
Today was Morningland Dairy’s first day in court. Getting into the court room was almost like trying to get on an airplane, except for no one ‘touched your junk’, and I didn’t see any naked scanners there. You simply couldn’t even bring in a purse, laptop, cell phone or bottle of water. The law enforcement monitoring entry seemed to ease up a bit as the day wore on, but at first it was pretty durn tense out in the entry area.
Roughly forty five people were in the audience, and it filled the little spectator’s vestibule in the Howell County Missouri Court House. The unusual number in the audience drew Judge Dunlap’s attention and he commented upon it during his opening instructions on proper court room decorum. The presence of so many people on a very cold day when all area schools were closed because of questionable roads illustrates the importance of this case to the residents of South Central Missouri.
[ READ MORE (Truth Farmer) ]
Good riddance to milk charge
When this one originally happened, we called it overkill. So we're pleased to see an end to at least part of this overreaching attempt to crack down on an area farm family.
A Greene County judge recently dismissed a criminal charge against Armand Bechard of Laclede County. It had been based on sales of raw milk by Bechards' daughters in a Springfield parking lot.
[ READ MORE (News-Leader) ]
Will new law cream dairies?
The new food-safety legislation signed last week by President Obama has renewed fears among some raw-milk producers that the Food and Drug Administration could move against them.
“Raw” milk has not been pasteurized, a heating process that kills illness-causing microbes. Raw-milk proponents say the process degrades the taste and destroys vitamins and healthful enzymes.
[ READ MORE (Durango Herald) ]
Schmidt expanding his fight to legalize raw milk
Michael Schmidt is claiming a partial victory in fighting an appeal by the provincial government to a court ruling that found the Durham raw milk crusader not guilty of violating the Healthy Protection and Promotion Act.
Schmidt is being allowed to introduce new evidence and the testimony of new witnesses during an upcoming appeal set for later this spring before a judge in the Ontario Court of Justice .
[ READ MORE (Sun Times) ]
Michael Schmidt reports from Alberta Health Board hearing today in Edmonton
I am sitting at the Edmonton airport waiting to fly home. We just finished our hearing in front of the Albert Health Appeal Board.
Once again the question was argued if the Government has the right to issue cease and decease orders prohibiting cow-share members to obtain their raw milk.
[ READ MORE (The Bovine) ]
Where Government Fails...
In this country we are regulated to death with a myriad of Simple serpents,spending our tax dollars justifying their existence.
Take for example the whole Raw Milk issue that Michael Schmidt is fighting. The fact of the matter is that people are drinking raw milk. The health authorities charge people for selling and in Alberta for producing the product. Of course Schmidt has wrestled with them for 15 to 20 years and beat them, and they in turn appeal the decision. There is value for you tax dollars!
[ READ MORE (Bruce on the Bruce) ]
The Beltway’s Biggest Scofflaw: The USDA Repeatedly Violates its Own Rules on GMO Crops
If you want to understand the Obama administration’s cynical, schizophrenic, attitude toward agricultural issues, consider Tom Stearns. He is the founder and president of High Mowing Seeds, a small Vermont company that sells 100 percent organic fruit and vegetable seeds, primarily to commercial growers. The seeds sown in the First Lady’s chemical-free White House garden are ordered from High Mowing each spring, and Stearns has been to Washington, D.C., to consult with Sam Kass, the chef who oversees the nation’s most high-profile organic plot.
At the same time, Stearns is suing the Obama administration’s United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). High Mowing, along with the Center for Food Safety, the Sierra Club, and the Organic Seed Alliance, took the agriculture department into court in 2008, charging that it had disobeyed its own rules—and the law—when it granted farmers permission to plant sugar beets that were genetically modified to survive applications of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide without first compiling the legally required Environment Impact Statement.
[ READ MORE (Politics of the Plate) ]