Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
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Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms and protecting
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News for October 25, 2010

Raw Milk Attracts Devoted Following in Wyoming

The goats produce more milk than Bob Evans can use, so he feeds the overflow to his chickens.

It's not that the milk is worthless. Goat's milk, in fact, can sell for more than $9 a gallon. And according to Evans, who cares for six goats on his Parkman property, it's a more nutritious, more flavorful alternative to store-bought milk.

READ MORE (Tribune) ]

Estrella Family Creamery shut down by FDA after bacteria found

In an unusual action, the Food and Drug Administration forced one of Washington's most well-known artisan cheesemakers to shut down, saying the product could be contaminated with bacteria that can cause serious illness.

The FDA took the action Friday, after asking Estrella Family Creamery to initiate a recall. Estrella declined.

READ MORE (Seattle Times) ]

Morningland Dairy Headed to Court

Those following the saga of Morningland Dairy should be aware that this past week has been a relentless roller coaster ride. On the upside of the roller coaster, many have donated to the Uncheese Party to help the family farmstead business in this battle, and Joe and Denise Dixon, owners of Morningland Dairy, are humbled and grateful for the generosity and dedication those committed to preserving access to real food have shown.

On the downside, the FDA sent a rather nasty toned letter asserting that they consider Morningland cheese “to pose an acute, life-threatening hazard to health.” While not a single report or complaint of illness has been reported in the 30 year history of Morningland, the FDA states in their letter that “because of the seriousness of this situation” Morningland “should conduct inspections for 100% effectiveness at their accounts”. You could accurately translate that to “more downtime, more money out of pocket, less likelihood of recovery,” and you’d be right.

READ MORE (Hartke) ]

FDA Fails to Crack Down on Salmonella-Tainted Egg Producers

This summer's massive salmonella outbreak should have left the responsible parties with egg all over their faces. Yet almost as soon as sickened consumers got back on their feet, one of the offending producers is already pumping out more eggs while another continues to flagrantly break the rules. So much for a crackdown on unscrupulous egg producers.

Just two short months after FDA inspectors found maggots, manure, and rodents at two major egg producers' operations, one of them, Hillendale Farms, is already getting the green light to start selling eggs again. According to Food Safety News, FDA officials sent Hillendale a letter last week informing the producer it could begin marketing its eggs again. Hillendale supposedly made some FDA-recommended modifications to its operations, and inspectors found no evidence of salmonella in its hen houses. Two months, a couple recommendations, and a pleasant letter for sickening thousands of consumers? Sounds more like a pat on the back than a slap on the wrist.


Are Your Groceries Genetically Modified? Ask the Non-GMO Project

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are increasingly invading the American food supply. As Fooducate reports, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), three out of four processed foods in a U.S. supermarket contain genetically modified (GM) ingredients. What's worse is that in many cases, diners don't even know they're chowing down on GM goods. It's a situation that quite literally makes consumers guinea pigs in a weird science experiment.

As GMO ingredients continue to crop up, so do the campaigns against these scientifically altered foods. The Non-GMO Project is one initiative that's at the forefront of the all-natural foods movement. This month — which the Project deemed "Non-GMO Month" — the organization launched its new food labels, which make it easier for consumers to seek out GMO-free products. So far, about 900 food items have been approved to carry a "Non-GMO Project" seal. Even mega-markets like Whole Foods are joining the Non-GMO Project. According to Food Navigator, the grocer recently submitted its entire "365 Every Day Value" line to the organization, which is currently reviewing the items and deciding whether or not they can carry a GMO-free seal of approval.


Backyard Gardens Are Controversial—Even in Berkeley, California

Berkeley, California resident Sophie Hahn takes urban farming to the extreme. According to The Bay Citizen, her backyard boasts a massive garden where she grows all kinds of vegetables, a bounty that's big enough to meet the produce needs of six families. All that planting, tilling, and harvesting doesn't just take a time investment — it takes a fair amount of money, too.

Last summer, Hahn hoped to make up some of that cash by registering her backyard as a vegetable collective. That way, she could sell some of the produce she grows and make enough dough to keep the garden growing strong. But while getting a permit for home businesses like giving piano lessons or tutoring is relatively easy in Berkeley, establishing a vegetable garden is as difficult as growing illegal substances. "“It’s actually easier in Berkeley to have a pot collective than to have a vegetable collective,” Hahn told The Bay Citizen.


Good News – Evil Monsanto Finally Reaping Its Just Desserts

Monsanto, the giant biotechnology agriculture company that created genetically modified corn, soybeans and herbicides, isn't riding so high this year in the stocks department, as news comes in that its products aren't working like they'd hoped.

According to the New York Times, weeds are becoming immune to Monsanto's herbicide Roundup, and its latest genetically modified, 8-gene corn is a flop, producing yields no higher than the company's less expensive corn, which contains only three foreign genes.

READ MORE (Mercola) ]




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