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 for November 1, 2010

MA Resumes War Footing with Threats Against One-Cow Herdshare--How Much Does Raw-Milk-Drinking Guv Know?

When I try to make sense out of what is happening to Estrella Family Creamery and Morningland Dairy, about all I can conclude is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is on a vendetta to eliminate anyone involved in the raw dairy business. In the case of Estrella and Morningland, the FDA is seeking to drive out of business not just a couple of cheesemakers, but a couple of cheesemakers focused on producing the highest quality product possible.

Sometimes I think that everyone involved in raw dairy and selling to the general public should have a "go-private" option, as in a buying club, a CSA, a herd share, or some variation on the theme...with the understanding that even the seemingly fail-safe private option is under tremendous pressure.

READ MORE (Complete Patient) ]

The raw milk debate: worth the risk?

Barbara Schellenberg grew up on a farm in the B.C. Interior, and when she wanted milk she got it from a cow.

To her, the pasteurized white liquid inside the four-litre cartons at the supermarket isn't the milk she knows and loves - it tastes and feels different.

READ MORE (North Shore News) ]

FDA Shuts Down Artisanal Cheesemakers In Washington

Raw milk and cheese were attacked by the government again last week, when FDA officials arrived unannounced at the most well-known artisanal creamery in Washington and posted a seizure order that named all cheeses on the property.

The award-winning raw-milk cheeses, made by the Estrella Family Creamery in Montesano, Grays Harbor County, are sold at farmers markets, high-end restaurants and retail stores in several states.

READ MORE (Care2) ]

Missouri state board orders Morningland Dairy to destroy raw milk cheese

The owners of a dairy in Howell County are fighting an order that they destroy all of their raw milk cheese because it may be contaminated. The owners of Morningland Dairy say they aren't ready to dump their product and profit down the drain.

Morningland's cheese is sent all over the country, and some tests in August by the the State of California showed its cheese tested positive for the harmful bacteria staphylococcus aureus and listeria monocytogenes. Morningland's owners, however, want more assurance before they're forced to destroy $250,000 worth of cheese.


Judge Rules GMO Sugar Beets Illegal; Trouble is Non-GMO Seeds Have Vanished

Sugar beet farmers should have been more careful when they wished for a genetically modified future.

Two years ago, after the United States Department of Agriculture gave its blessing—pre-maturely it turns out—to the commercial planting of GMO beets that could resist Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, beet growers, along with the seed companies that supply them, the processors that buy from them, and the confectioners and soft drink manufactures that rely heavily on sugar for their candies and beverages, made a pact with the GMO devil to abandon conventional sugar beets en masse in favor of genetically modified ones.

READ MORE (Politics of the Plate) ]

More on that forcible seizure of raw milk near Edmonton by agriculture ministry inspector backed by police

Judith arrived at church around 6:30 p.m. to attend bible study. Carl, a potential cow share buyer, approached the van as Judith was going around taking her 4 year old daughter, out of the van. Carl had called earlier to purchase milk and was informed by Judith that she does not sell milk but people purchase cows or cow shares and that they milk the people’s cows for them. He was told that she would not do this without him signing a cow share contract so he was meeting her on the pretense that he was interested in a cow share. While Carl was there three people walked up to the passenger’s slider door of the van. Judith recognized Greg G. Smith, Investigator and Inspector, Agriculture and Rural Development and took action to close the van door. Greg G. Smith pushed against Judith and stepped in to block the door closing. The men addressed Judith by name. One person took Carl off to the side. Greg introduced everyone to Judith and she asked for all their business cards (see attached for the cards produced). Judith was given two of Glenn’s business cards so the third person was not identified.

Judith informed them that her van was a private vehicle, that they had no jurisdiction over her. She stood in front of the slider door so they could not get in. The men were stating that “we know what you are doing, you are transporting milk, we are seizing the milk, you cannot stop us, our boss is really mad at you.” Greg is detaining Judith and constantly moving right into her face and stepping into her, blocking, jostling her with his shoulders.

READ MORE (The Bovine) ]

Study: People will pay more for local food

A recent study indicated that restaurant patrons are willing to pay more for meals prepared with local vegetables and meats.

Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management conducted the research, which examined how customers perceive and value local food. The study showed that restaurant patrons prefer meals made with local ingredients when they are priced slightly higher than meals made with non-local ingredients, said Amit Sharma, assistant professor, School of Hospitality Management, Penn State. The research will appear in the fall/winter issue of the International Journal of Revenue Management.

READ MORE (Daily American) ]

The FDA-Inspired Shutdown of Two Small Cheesemakers Raises More Doubts About Food Safety Legislation

In all the acrimony that has settled over Washington, one major legislative matter has continued to receive bipartisan support: food safety legislation intended to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration vastly expanded powers to reduce the amount of contaminated food getting into distribution.

Highly publicized outbreaks over the last few years involving everything from spinach to peanut butter to ground beef to eggs have only seemed to heighten the support from consumer groups and the media alike. Proposed legislation, strongly encouraged by the Obama administration, sailed through the U.S. House last fall, and then through a Senate committee earlier this year.

READ MORE (Grist) ]




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