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 September 20, 2010

Fans of raw milk not cowed by safety warnings

A small but growing number of Tennesseans are drinking raw milk, straight from the cow and unpasteurized.

Some say it's the elixir of good health. Health officials say it's hazardous.

READ MORE (Knoxnews) ]

Black-market milk

It used to be that if the feds showed up with weapons drawn and raided a storefront, you could assume it was for selling drugs or guns. Not so any more. With increasing regularity all across the country, the hottest illegal commodity is raw, as in unhomogenized and unpasteurized, milk. Here in the Hudson Valley, legal raw milk is readily available.

This summer alone, there have been over a dozen high-drama raids at farms, grocery stores and private homes. One of the most dramatic took place in June at Rawesome Foods, a private food club in Venice, California. Federal officers, with guns pointed at workers, disabled the club’s security cameras then headed straight to the refrigerated cases and confiscated containers of raw milk, yogurt and cheese in a manner reminiscent of cops shutting down a meth lab. “There’s a medical marijuana shop a couple miles away, and they’re raiding us because we’re selling dairy products?” Rawesome Foods volunteer Sea Jones told the Los Angeles Times.

READ MORE (Hudson Valley Times) ]

TIME Magazine Covers Raw Milk and Food Freedom

One of our Weston A. Price Foundation volunteer chapter leaders in New York, Angela Davis, and Stacey Ornstein of the Traditional Nutrition Guild referred Journalist Josh Ozersky to me a few weeks ago. Josh is the Taste of America columnist for TIME magazine, and he was working on a story on raw milk.

I helped him with securing interviews with experts and dairy farmers, and gave him background information about the issue.

READ MORE (Hartke) ]

Prominent Ontario raw milk advocate takes over Chilliwack dairy

Ontario dairy farmer Michel Schmidt has taken over Chilliwack's Home on the Range raw milk dairy so the flow of milk can continue to hundreds of members of the co-operative.

Fraser Health has been trying to shut down Home on the Range for more than two years and on Tuesday succeeded in forcing the cowshare operator Alice Jongerden to officially resign as part of a court-ordered condition.

READ MORE (Chilliwack Times) ]

Milk is a Toxic Sustance?

This is the second of three articles to demonstrate the effects that Senate Bill S510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, will have on all of us. The third article in this series will be devoted to Senate bill S 510. As you read this article, it’s important to keep in mind that while the US Congress was on August recess, Senate bill S510, that will completely control the production of food, was resubmitted as a bipartisan complete substitute for the original.

On June 30th of this year, a private food co-op named Rawesome, founded by a rather iconoclastic individual by the name of Aajonus (pronounced odd-genus) Vonderplanitz was raided in Venice, California. The co-op’s members prefer to eat all raw food and have many personal testimonies of the benefits they have received from following the paleo-diet and eating all things raw. The raid involved multiple agencies - the FBI, FDA, California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Health Department among them. The agents entered with drawn guns and seized all products from the private food club. Among the products seized was raw cheese from the licensed and inspected Morningland Dairy in Mountain View, Missouri.

READ MORE (News With Views) ]

Fundraiser for FTCLDF Held at Polyface Farm

Many folks have read about Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm in The Omnivores Dilemma, Acres USA, The Stockman Grass Farmer or seen him in the movie Food, Inc. Listening to a recording of a favorite musician does not compare with a live concert experience. Likewise, in the case of “rock stars” of sustainable grass based farming and traditional/local food systems, nothing recorded comes close to experiencing a live tour given by Joel Salatin at Polyface Farm.

On September 11th I had the pleasure of attending the annual Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense FundRAISER farm tour and lunch hosted at Polyface Farm.

READ MORE (Hartke) ]

Is Our Agricultural System About to Collapse?

I've written before about what exactly it means to have an unsustainable agricultural system: If our current system doesn't change, then one day it will collapse, and millions — if not billions — will starve. This collapse won't have been unprecedented; it may, in fact, be an almost inevitable part of a cycle of growth and devastation that humanity has been experiencing since the agricultural revolution, as described in a new book, Empires of Food, by the academic Evan D. G. Fraser and the journalist Andrew Rimas.

The book analyzes the agricultural system in places and time periods from Mesopotamia to Rome to the Middle Ages and beyond. It chronicles a disturbingly reliable pattern of agricultural innovation, expansion, and trade that accompanies periods of favorable weather (just as we've experienced for the past half-century) and then the horrific implosion of the food system (and the civilization that built it) that always follows because of soil erosion, overpopulation, and climate change. Economic troubles caused by unsound banking practices also usually figure prominently in the demise. Does any of this sound eerily familiar?


Monsanto Got in Bed With Blackwater

Two of the world's shadiest companies apparently had a beautiful friendship, according to an investigative report produced by The Nation. A company affiliated with Blackwater, the infamous private security firm, provided services for about two years to Monsanto, world's largest supplier of genetically modified (GM) seeds. Not that any scandalous dealings involving Monsanto really surprises anyone anymore, but according to internal documents, the two organizations cooked up quite a scheme together.

The Nation article analyzes the history of Blackwater, a security firm traditionally hired by international governments, the CIA, and other government agencies. The "mercenary army" shot into infamy (literally) back in 2007 during the Nisour Square massacre, when Blackwater operatives killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad. Since then, there's been one scathing report after another documenting Blackwater's unscrupulous dealings.





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