News for October 1, 2010
North Carolina Raw Milk Proponents Fight Laws Forcing Them Underground
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and several state governments are clashing with consumers seeking to purchase an illicit substance they say they just can’t live without: Raw milk.
Unpasteurized, nonhomogenized, raw milk is illegal to sell for human consumption in North Carolina and 24 other states. The FDA says drinking it is like “playing Russian roulette,” and the state epidemiologist compares it to “heroin” and “mercury.” But proponents say pasteurization kills good bacteria, destroys enzymes necessary for absorbing vitamins and minerals, and denatures fragile proteins. And some are prepared to go to court to protect what they claim is a right to consume raw milk.
[ READ MORE (Heartland Institute) ]
Raw milk advocates gulp in Fraser Health's face
Raw milk advocates and drinkers gulped down their unpasteurized goodness in front of Fraser Health's offices in Chilliwack Tuesday morning.
Ontario dairy farmer Michael Schmidt stood side-by-side with former Home on the Range raw milk dairy operator Alice Jongerden and cowshare member Rick Adam to make a point by drinking unpasteurized milk, which was taken from cows today.
[ READ MORE (Chilliwack Times) ]
Organic farms debate letting chickens outdoors
The choir of clucking from thousands of Rhode Island red chickens inside a Stiebrs Farms hen house creates such a din that it's hard to hear anything else. The chickens follow visitors around, tilting their heads to have a better look.
A few dozen of them amble down ramps onto a grassy lawn, where they peck at the ground and roll in the dirt, an instinctive activity farmers call "dusting."
[ READ MORE (Seattle Times) ]
The Unpasteurized Truth About Raw Milk
In 1954-1957, there were 3.5 million dairy farmers. Today, there are only 47,000 dairy farmers in America. With the pressure increasing on dairy farmers as well as the heat from the big chemical companies like Monsanto closing in, they seem to be dropping like flies.
The latest slam to the American Dairy farmers has to do with the ability to sell raw milk. In this segment of The Organic View, Joel Greeno, the President of the American Raw Milk Producers Pricing Association and the Vice-President of Family Farm Defenders will be my guest to talk about these pressures.
[ READ MORE (Organic View) ]
A federal judge in California has once again ruled that a USDA agency violated a federal environmental law by allowing companies to plant Roundup Ready sugar beet seedlings.
The ruling reflects the hard line federal judge Jeffrey White has taken in demanding USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service follow the environmental impact statement requirements in attempting to deregulate Roundup Ready sugar beets.
[ READ MORE (KFGO) ]
Reid Files Cloture on Food Safety Bill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) signaled his intent late Wednesday night to move the Food Safety Modernization Act forward when Congress returns to session in mid-November. The bill, which has strong bi-partisan support, has been held up for weeks by the objection of one lone Senator, Tom Coburn (R-OK).
Reid filed for “cloture,” a motion that requires three days to ripen and then 60 votes to cut off debate and bring the measure to a floor vote. The last-minute cloture filing means that the bill could be considered as early as November 17, two days after the start of the “lame duck” post-election session.
[ READ MORE (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition) ]
Food Safety Auditors Are Just Foxes Guarding the Hen House
Wanna know who is ensuring that food suppliers are meeting safety standards? It's basically suppliers themselves. USA Today recently examined the role of third-party, food safety auditors. The publication found that their role is mostly to give food suppliers a big thumbs up — whether they deserve it or not.
In order to make sure all ingredients are up to snuff, food producers often require a third-party auditor to check out food suppliers before they purchase products. For example, as USA Today notes, a frozen pizza provider might require an auditor to check out a sauce producer before buying the spread for its pies. Sounds pretty safe so far, but here's the problem: Almost all producers require suppliers to pay for their own audits and then provide the results to producers. It's a scenario that's all too similar to the fox guarding the hen house.
[ READ MORE (Change.org) ]