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 October 25, 2010

Another FDA Cheese Bust: Award-winning Artisan Raw Cheese Producer in Washington State

Last night at about 5:30 three cars pulled into the yard with FDA and Federal Marshals, alarming our kids. They posted a seizure order that named all cheeses on the property. This is serious, it could put us out of business.

I need to write something more lengthy than I have time for right now. But tomorrow we will be at the University District farmer’s market, sadly without cheese. But we’ve invited the media and would love to have our customer’s voices heard. Because we’ve been hearing you voice very strong opinions about wanting the right to choose your food. Please feel free to come and ask questions.

READ MORE (Journal of Living Food and Healing) ]

Broward schools remove milk from cafeterias after students get sick

The Broward School District ordered all milk removed from school cafeterias Friday after 12 students at Cooper City Elementary were sent to the school clinic with stomachaches and other children complained that it tasted funny.

The district sent an automated phone message to parents Friday. It also notified its supplier, McArthur Dairy, which sent workers to collect the milk from all Broward schools, according to Nadine Drew, a district spokeswoman.

READ MORE (Orlando Sentinal) ]

Klement beef sticks in national recall

Milwaukee-based Klement Sausage Co. is recalling about 2,740 pounds of beef stick products that may contain foreign materials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Friday.

The recall involves 8-ounce packages of "Market Pantry Beef Sticks, Original." Each package is vacuum-packed with a "Use By" date of March 1, 2012, and bears the number "2426B" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

READ MORE (Journal Sentinel) ]

Raw Milk Controversy

A group of milk-cow owners in Hixon is fighting Northern Health for the right to consume the milk they produce, despite it being unpasteurized.

Lesley McConnachie, owner of Hunny Do Ranch, where the milking cows are kept and cared for said, "Northern Health has ordered the members of the group to cease and desist the practice of packaging and distributing the raw milk to the members."

READ MORE (Carpe Diem Acreage) ]

FDA Ups Food Safety Efforts, Wants Safety Managers in Stores

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will encourage food retail establishments nationwide to have a certified food safety manager on staff to maintain adequate safety standards, and that it will encourage regulatory bodies to mandate such a manager.

The announcement comes in the wake of an FDA Trend Analysis Report that suggests that certified food safety managers at restaurants and other food retailers might significantly benefit food safety compliance levels.


Schmidt seeks to call more evidence in fight of Crown appeal

Michael Schmidt said Friday he expects to hear in two or three weeks if he will be able to introduce more evidence at the Crown appeal of his acquittal of charges linked to the distribution of raw milk.

Schmidt said the point was argued Thursday in a courtroom in Newmarket, Ont., where he was acquitted in January of 19 charges laid under the province's public health regulations, the Ontario Milk Act and the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

READ MORE (Sun Times) ]

Maleny Co-op fined over milk

Maleny’s Maple Street Co-op will be hit hard financially following the handing down of a $2500 fine in court yesterday.

The co-op was found guilty of misleading and deceiving the public through its sale of Cleopatra’s Bath Milk, a raw milk product which is labelled as a cosmetic.

READ MORE (Sunshine Coast Daily) ]

Wal-Mart Promises Local Food, While Big Ag Gears Up for a Fight

Last week, Wal-Mart–the largest grocer in the world with over 8,600 stores in 15 countries, two million employees and sales of $405 billion–made news when it launched sustainable agriculture goals for the U.S. and emerging markets focused on regional food systems. The move is part of decade-long trend of food businesses–from producers to purveyors–adapting, or at least claiming to adapt, to the consumer demand for sustainable food.

Wal-Mart’s decision–the details of which I will get to in a moment–comes on the heels of the success of chains like Whole Foods, which also touts local foods. But unlike Whole Foods, which is considered “niche”, Wal-Mart is mainstream. Some say that this announcement is going to shake the ground under agri-business, which has vehemently fought against anyone suggesting changes to the food system for years now. But agri-business companies are not going to take this shift in consumer demand lying down.

READ MORE (Civil Eats) ]

Eating This Just Twice a Week Can Make You Gain Ten Pounds…

Manhattan artist Sally Davies has photographed a McDonald's Happy Meal every day for six months. And it looks almost as fresh as the day it was bought, with no trace of decay.

However, it turns out that Davies has some catching up to do. A Hamburger Today reports that wellness educator and nutrition consultant Karen Hanrahan has kept a McDonald's hamburger since 1996, which is pictured on the left below. As you can see, it still looks the same as the fresh one on the right next to it!

READ MORE (Mercola) ]

Why Major Media Won’t Cover the Morningland Case, and Thereby Give FDA Free Reign Over Small Food Producers

Yes, I guess it was it was an oversight in my previous post, on the absence of popular opposition to raw milk, to neglect to mention the role of the dairy industry in pushing regulators to take such a hard line on raw dairy. But as long as I’m admitting to oversights, there is another one, as well, and that’s the role of the media.

Here’s the problem: The efforts to clamp down on raw dairy (including raw cheese, as Bill Anderson correctly points out), are being carried out supposedly in the interests of food safety. The regulators, in their quest to promote goodness and the American way, want to “protect” us, they frequently tell us.

READ MORE (Complete Patient) ]

When Farming Turns Toxic: Time to Call it Quits in California?

California is well touted as an agricultural capital of our country. The state's 81,000 farms and ranches pull in approximately $36 billion a year. But some of that farming comes at an environmental and economic cost — one that's getting dangerously high in some places.

While pictures may make farming in California seem idyllic — with warm, sunny days and fertile, green fields — the truth is that in some parts of the state, agriculture has only been accomplished by irrigating the heck out of desert. Literally. A new report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), "Throwing Good Money at Bad Land," shows that farming in areas like the Westlands water district in the California Central Valley is doing more harm than good.


India defies Monsanto, and says NO to GMO crops

We’ve followed the story of the slow but increasing and badly needed pushback against Monsanto’s predatory business practices, which force farmers to buy Monsanto seed annually, rather than re-use it. Worse, Monsanto seed has been genetically engineered so as to require the use of Monsanto herbicides and fertilizers.

And with (until recently) the seeds patent protected, farmers could be sued for having Monsanto genes in their crops. And with Monsanto having established a near monopoly in seeds, it has set prices so as to extract a higher percent of agricultural revenues than it could otherwise command. Needless to say, what is good for Monsanto is not at all good for farmers, as these excerpts from a Daily Kos post illustrates:

READ MORE (The Bovine) ]


Fox News Reporters (Reporters Steve Wilson & Jane Akre) uncover that most of the Milk in the USA and across some parts of the world is unfit to drink due to Monsanto Corporation's POSILAC®, which has been proven to be a cancer-causing growth hormone.(known in short as "BGH" "BST" or "rBGH" ), but they were fired for attempting to inform people of the truth.

READ MORE (You Tube) ]




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