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 June 5, 2010

A tale of two calves - one calf was fed on raw milk, the other on pasteurized

To understand the results of our raw milk experiment it is important to tolerate the so called scientific demands. That means in order to get accepted and being taken seriously by the scientific establishment you need to have 100 or 200 or 300 or may be even 1000 calves to make a scientific valid point .However the simple fact that the so called experts have not yet entered into a joint research project as proposed by me already in 1994 has given me even a greater confidence that the results we have seen with these two calves are credible and significant. They are in fact supporting the findings of Pottenger's cat study, which as well has been ignored and ridiculed.

The experiment was costing us over 5000 dollars just in milk. This is a significant amount for us, since we did not get any support from corporate sponsors.

READ MORE (The Bovine) ]

Congressional watchdog: Monitoring the government's food safety regulators

Lisa Shames is the ultimate consumer watchdog, a federal employee working every day to ensure that government agencies do their job protecting the safety of our nation's food supply.

As director of food safety and agricultural issues at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Shames has pushed and prodded the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies to strengthen their regulatory oversight, and has blown the whistle when they have fallen short.

READ MORE (Washington Post) ]

Inspectors Visit Farms, Reinforce Raw Milk Law

A couple surprise inspections at state dairy farms this week are raising questions about whether the Department of Agriculture is out looking for raw milk.

At least two farms were visited this week, outside of the one raided in Sauk County. The farms said they're following the letter of the law, and the state food safety administrator said they're just touching base with some farmers to make sure everyone knows the laws haven't changed.

READ MORE (Channel 3000) ]

Raw milk advocates worry about crackdown after E. coli outbreak

Consumers of raw dairy products are worried about a crackdown, after four people got sick from drinking unpasteurized milk tainted with E. coli.

Minnesota law allows farmers to sell their raw milk occasionally and directly at the farms where it's produced. But many people buy raw dairy products at underground drop sites.

READ MORE (Minnesota Public Radio) ]

Is Raw Milk Healthier? Is it Safe?

Raw -- or real -- milk, as the pasteurized-dairy-weary call it, has hit the mainstream. Despite well-documented dangers, raw milk consumption is on the rise. Sally Fallon Morell, president of The Weston A. Price Foundation, a raw milk advocacy group, says that while it's difficult to know exactly how many Americans are drinking raw milk, the number of fans continues to swell (from 500,000 a couple years ago to three million today by some estimates). Morell attributes the increase to information on her group's website, as well as growing mistrust of the government, and the FDA in particular.

Rules and regulations vary from state to state -- some states allow retail sales, others permit consumers to buy it only at licensed farms, and some ban it outright -- and it cannot be distributed across state lines. But even in states with stricter laws, a few clicks of the mouse and you can have it delivered right to your door.

READ MORE (AOL Health) ]

Berkeley Bites: Jessica Prentice

Jessica Prentice's claim to fame comes from coining the term locavore, chosen as the 2007 Word of the Year by the New Oxford American Dictionary.

The New York City-trained natural chef lives and breathes the locavore lifestyle. She is a co-founder of Three Stone Hearth, a community supported kitchen cooperative on University Avenue, which sells nutrient-dense, prepared foods (think soups and stews in bone broth made from scratch), and co-creator of the Local Foods Wheel, a whimsically illustrated guide to local, seasonal and ecologically-sound eating.

READ MORE (Berkeleyside) ]

Help Keswick Creamery

I've been enjoying Keswick Creamery's products during my time at Fair Food Farmstand and I'd like to continue enjoying their products. And that is why I'm reposting a plea from one of my co-workers, Paul Lawler, who worked out at Keswick last year. Keswick is currently in crisis mode. From Paul...

I'm writing you with a really special request: one of our suppliers (and my former employers) Keswick Creamery from Cumberland Co. is in crisis mode trying to raise money pronto to keep their cows and most of their farm from being sold off - like as in $200,000 by mid month. Crazy right? I hope not, because after mid-month, their cows and machinery will be sold followed by the farm being put for auction. Once it goes for auction it will most likely not be bought right away but the family that has been running it for nearly 40 years may or may not be able to buy it.

READ MORE (Messy and Picky) ]

Bechard Family Farm Under Attack

I feel compelled to share this story with you, and to do all I can to get the word out, probably because this family could easily be my own, they could be any of our friends or neighbors. This is my fight just as much as it is theirs. And if you love natural food, if you love gardening, farmers markets, CSA's, or raw milk, then this is your fight as well.

The Bechard's are a quiet, simple family, living on 115 acres of farm pasture and forest land in Missouri. Teddi and her husband Armand have been busy raising 7 beautiful children, who all work together to make the Bechard Family Farm. True to homesteading nature, they converted a pole barn into their home, and lived completely off-grid there for four years. Though they have since installed a water heater and electric well pump, they continue heating their humble home with nothing but a wood stove.

READ MORE (New Life on a Homestead) ]

Biofuels Star of National Rural Summit

Last week a national rural summit was held in St. Louis. This was the culmination of a series of rural listening sessions that USDA held in 20 states, including Indiana. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said one message that came out of the rural summit was the strong need for continued growth in the biofuels sector. He said USDA is busy developing a plan, "We need to figure out how many biorefineries we need, what feedstock we will need, and a distribution system." He also said that auto makers must be incentivized to produce more vehicles that run on renewable fuel. He told reporters, in a telephone briefing on Friday, that a strong renewable fuels industry will bring jobs and billions of dollars of investment to rural communities.

The Secretary said growing the renewable fuels industry will require increasing the amount of ethanol used in our gasoline supply, "I am very confident we are going to see an increase in the blend rate." EPA has indicated that announcement will likely come this summer. Vilsack was vague, however, when pressed by reporters on a timetable for rural revitalization and for a strategy from the administration on tax incentives for renewable fuels and funding for rural development projects.

READ MORE (Hoosier Ag Today) ]

Eat Organic Food. Or, as your grandparents called it, food

There was this great magnet that I saw in a store in Myrtle Beach. It read: "Eat Organic Food. Or, as your grandparents called it, food."

After reading the magnet, I couldn't help but think about it for several minutes afterward. When I got home, I called my grandparents and asked them where they usually got their beef, their milk and their vegetables "back in the day."

READ MORE (Go Upstate) ]

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