Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
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News for January 3, 2011

NY Ag Officials Dance and Shuffle--Anything to Avoid Having Their Lab Workers Publicly Quizzed About Listeria Findings

It's often said the wheels of justice turn slowly. In the case of Chuck Phippen, a New York producer of raw milk, they turn not only slowly, but in convoluted fashion as well.

I first wrote about Chuck Phippen's strange encounters with the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets nearly four years ago, when his 60-cow Breese Hollow Dairy was shut down because listeria was detected in his dairy's milk. He paid the $300 fine.

READ MORE (Complete Patient) ]

The Witch-Hunt that's Taking it To One of America's Healthiest Food Choices...

Domino's Pizza's domestic sales were falling last year. Then an organization called Dairy Management offered to help. They developed pizzas for Domino's that contained 40 percent more cheese, and then devised and paid for a $12-million marketing campaign.

But Dairy Management is not a private business -- it is a creation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA helps helm a government anti-obesity program that discourages some of the very foods that Dairy Management is vigorously promoting.

READ MORE (Mercola) ]

Raw milk dairy tries to sidestep injunction by labeling products cosmetics

A Chilliwack raw-milk dairy ordered to stop distributing unpasteurized milk is now calling its products cosmetics.

Tearing a page from the history books, Our Cows cow-share cooperative now labels raw milk and raw-milk dairy products as Cleopatra's bathing milk, raw milk skin care lotion and face cream, according to farmer Michael Schmidt.

READ MORE (Vancouver Sun) ]

Raw milk proposal could return in February

Another attempt to change the state law that would allow the sale of unpasteurized milk on dairy farms could be before state officials by February.

That's one possible outcome of the Raw Milk Policy Working Group, which recently met for the last time at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in Madison.

READ MORE (LaCrosse Tribune) ]

New food safety rules exempt small farms

Peanuts, eggs, tomatoes, spinach. These foods are just a few nourishing items among many culprits that have made almost seventy-six million Americans sick each year. In the attempt to make food safer, Congress has authorized food safety regulation that will work to control foodborne illness outbreaks. But these new rules will apply to large-scale producers. Harvest Public Media's Jessica Naudziunas reports how small farmers were almost regulated along with the big guys in close call for the small food producing community.


Food Safety Bill Funding in Jeopardy

A bill passed last week designed to strengthen the nation’s outdated food safety system may be in danger of not being funded once Republicans take control of the House next year, according to The Des Moines Register.

Just 10 House Republicans voted for the final measure, and some have questioned whether or not the government can afford to fund the $1.4 billion bill over the next five years.

READ MORE (Economy in Crisis) ]

Funding fight looms over newly passed food-safety legislation

Food-safety advocates barely done celebrating the passage of new legislation in Congress are now gearing up for the fight to implement and fund the landmark bill.

After a lengthy and tortuous journey through the Senate, bipartisan food safety legislation finally cleared the House just one day before the 111th Congress adjourned.

READ MORE (The Hill) ]

Sustainable Farming Advocate Fired by USDA National Organic Program

Mark Keating is highly thought of by the sustainable agriculture community, so much so, that he gave the closing address to over 1200 farmers and consumers assembled at the international Wise Traditions Conference, sponsored by the Weston A. Price Foundation this past November. After experiencing the high of hearty approbation, Mark returned home to a strong rebuke by the USDA National Organic Program and an end to his position as an advisor to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). It seems his efforts to encourage true organic practices in agriculture have met with disapproval, again.

This is not the first time Mark has been unceremoniously dismissed from public service. The last time, he was given the heave because he dared to advocate that organic standards should specify pasture for chickens. This time, he ran afoul of the bureaucracy by speaking up on animal welfare standards for livestock. His politically incorrect views being sanctioned during an administration that promises open and frank scientific dialog is troubling to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

READ MORE (Hartke) ]




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