Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
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News for January 24, 2011

Morningland Dairy Trial Nearly Complete

On January 13th, the second grueling day of the Morningland Dairy LLC marathon trial ensued. For those who don’t know, court went on for 10 hours on Tuesday and ten full hours on Wednesday. Early in the Wednesday proceedings there were approximately 20 people in the audience, but as noon approached the attendance grew to nearly 45. Wednesday was almost entirely devoted to defense witnesses with the exception of Sarah Blamely, technician from Microbe Innotech on behalf of the Missouri Milk Board. Miss Blamely testified to the processes she followed after receipt of the samples by courier. She stated that she believed Don Falls of the Missouri Milk Board was a representative of Morningland Dairy and that was why she allowed him to change information regarding batch numbers on Morningland samples.

Following Ms. Blamely was Denise Dixon, General Manager of the farmstead cheese plant. Both General Mangers, Joseph and Denise Dixon, were in Washington State at the American Cheese Society Convention on August 26th, the day that the Missouri Milk Board embargoed, seized and condemned Morningland’s entire cheese stock. Mrs. Dixon testified about general processes and her training in the operation of the cheese plant, and about her concerns upon hearing of the notice from California Department of Food and Ag regarding their cheese. Mrs. Dixon also testified that there was an FDA recall notice sent out without their authorization and prior to their return to Missouri from the American Cheese Society convention Washington. The Missouri Attorney General counsel, Jennifer Bloome, objected nearly every time a defense witnesses mentioned the “FDA”, and made no exception to this mention by Denise Dixon. Defense Attorney, Gary Cox of FTCLDF (Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund) indicated that they did indeed have proof of this August 27th recall notice despite the objection of the Attorney General’s office at the admission of this testimony into the court record. Notably, the AG’s office did not object to the testimony of their witnesses, Missouri Milk Board employees Gene Wiseman and Don Falls, stating that they followed all FDA guidelines and procedures in their agency.

READ MORE (News With Views) ]

Got (raw) milk?

A small, underground movement in Nevada County came to the fore this weekend when advocates of drinking raw milk spoke at the first Sustainable Local Food and Farm Conference, held in Grass Valley.

Despite concern about potentially deadly pathogens that can grow in raw dairy products, people in Nevada County are creating a growing demand for unpasteurized milk, cheese and butter.

READ MORE (The Union) ]

Dairy farmer to challenge raw-milk rules

A frustrated B.C. dairy farmer is adding heat to the debate over raw milk.

Alice Jongerden is launching a constitutional challenge arguing that it is her right to consume and distribute the product she believes tastes better and is more nutritional than its pasteurized counterpart.

READ MORE (Globe and Mail) ]

Consumers have the right to choose their own milk

Will Verboven is right in saying that, "Where the raw milk issue invariably gets clouded is with the involvement of the powerful provincial milk marketing boards."

He is wrong in saying the benefits of raw milk are "some perceived benefit, real or imagined." The benefits are real. My little grandsons, ages three and one, suffered severe bowel disorders and diarrhea until their mother switched them from pasteurized milk to raw milk.

READ MORE (Calgary Herald) ]

Monsanto’s latest farmwashing ad campaign debuts

Now that the Supreme Court has declared that corporations are people, too (happy birthday, Citizens United!), Monsanto is apparently out to put a friendly, slightly weather-beaten, gently grizzled face on industrial agriculture. The above ad (the lefthand one) is part of a campaign currently appearing in bus shelters in D.C., including just outside USDA headquarters, among other places. The link,, forwards to a Monsanto page.

This guy looks an awful lot like Henry Fonda playing Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, which seems only fitting since Agribiz may be helping to create a 21st century Dust Bowl.

READ MORE (Grist) ]

NY dairy recalls improperly pasteurized milk

An upstate New York dairy is voluntarily recalling milk because it was improperly pasteurized, a process that heats milk to destroy bacteria that could cause illness.

The state agriculture department says the milk was distributed by FingerLakes Farms from Plant 36-1131 and has a sell-by code of 013111. It was sold under the names Ithaca Milk Company Lowfat Milk and Ithaca Milk Company Cream on Top Whole Milk in quart, half-gallon and gallon size plastic bottles in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and the Finger Lakes region.

READ MORE (Wall Street Journal) ]

How Can We Feed the World and Still Save the Planet?

Food has become subject to one of the sharpest global debates, with rising anxiety about how the world's growing population is going to feed itself. Increasingly, Olivier de Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, is establishing himself as one of its key protagonists with an unapologetically radical agenda.

In London this week to give evidence to a UK parliamentary working group on food and agriculture, he explained the challenge he is putting to the donors and the international community.

READ MORE (Common Dreams) ]




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