News for February 18, 2011
Vermont Ag Agency halts raw milk workshops
A small-farm advocacy group is crying foul over a state agency’s order to halt workshops that teach people how to turn raw milk into butter and other dairy products.
The Vermont Agriculture Agency deems the workshops illegal.
[ READ MORE (Burlington Free Press) ]
In Clean, Green, Serene Vermont, Ag Agency Threatens Legal Action to Block Classes on Raw Butter, Yogurt, Cheese--Why Farmers and Consumers Must Challenge the Bullies
At the Senate confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, Sen. Tom Coburn posed this situation: supposing Congress passed a law requiring all Americans to eat three fruits and three vegetables every day, would that be legal under the U.S. Constitution's interstate commerce provisions?
"Sounds like a dumb law," commented the Supreme Court justice-to-be...but she refused to say whether she'd consider it unconstitutional.
[ READ MORE (Complete Patient) ]
Raw milk bill high on agenda at Family Farms and Local Foods Education Day at State Capitol
When consumers and farmers from across Texas converge on Austin Monday to educate legislators on family farms and local foods, the pending legislation making raw milk more accessible to consumers will be high on their list of issues.
Bills to allow licensed raw milk dairies to deliver their milk directly to their customers at home or at a mutually convenient location like a farmers market have been introduced in both the Texas House and Senate and have already gained bi-partisan support.
[ READ MORE (Pegasus News) ]
State wants dairy farmer Hartmann held in contempt
State officials say a southern Minnesota dairy farmer accused of selling E. coli contaminated unpasteurized milk is in contempt of court.
The Minnesota agriculture department says Michael Hartmann has ignored department and court orders banning the sale or use of hundreds of food items at his farm.
[ READ MORE (MPR) ]
Budding Calif. Cheese Industry Gets Grilled By FDA
Watch out Wisconsin: Northern California has become a hub — some say the hub — for cheese making, especially farm-based specialty cheeses.
But high-profile recalls of cheese made with unpasteurized milk have put an unwelcome spotlight on the industry. Now officials say they may tighten the rules on raw milk cheese — perhaps banning it altogether.
[ READ MORE (NPR) ]
Why Farmers Are Worried About GE Alfalfa Deregulation
I was in a Twitter conversation about food policy during Obama’s most recent State of the Union Address when the deregulation of genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa seeds came up. In a matter of seconds, the genetic modification (GM) defenders were on the attack. “Name ONE instance of cross-contamination of GMO seeds!” they said.
Only one? The GM Contamination Register lists 142 reported cases of GM contamination since the seeds' introduction in 1996. Suffice it to say there are enough cases of GE cross-contamination to make farmers plenty worried about the recent deregulation of alfalfa seeds.
[ READ MORE (Natural News) ]
Fluid Milk Sales in Crisis
It was a stunning admission: Generic fluid milk advertising doesn’t work, or at best doesn’t work very well.
That confession came at the Dairy Forum in Florida in January, when MilkPEP officials rolled out new research that examines who is drinking milk, when they’re drinking it and why they’re drinking less each year.
[ READ MORE (Dairy Today) ]