Thursday, April 24, 2008

Raw Milk Update Excerpts

from the Weston A. Price Foundation:

Today is the eve of a most important event in A Campaign for Real Milk. Tomorrow, Friday, April 25, all eyes will be on California, at the preliminary injunction hearing against enforcement of AB1735, a "sneak attack" bill that mandates standards so stringent, it would be impossible for raw milk producers to stay in business.

Gary Cox, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund General Counsel, is on his way to California to argue for a Permanent Restraining Order against further coliform testing of raw milk products in California. What happens tomorrow will have far-reaching effects on the availability of raw milk everywhere. Other states are watching what happens in California to see whether they will attempt similar legislation.

The research has been completed; the experts interviewed and testimonials collected; the depositions are done. He is READY!...

...If you can attend the hearing, please do so. It will be held at 10:00 am at the Hollister Superior Court, Judge Tobias presiding. The address is:

Superior Court of California County of San Benito
440 Fifth Street
Hollister, California 95023

Your attendance sends a message that raw milk matters. Support Gary Cox by packing the courtroom with quiet but passionate onlookers.


The Senate hearing held April 15 in Sacramento was well attended and provided California lawmakers with the scientific information they need to craft a better bill regulating raw milk.

A big thank you to the many raw milk supporters who showed up-many drove long distances. Even though the hearing started two hours late and lasted until almost midnight, many stayed right until the end.

For a full report on the hearing, visit


Has your health improved from drinking raw milk? Are you an advocate for raw milk? Do you feel that your health has benefited from drinking raw milk?

The Food Network wants to hear your story!

The Food Network is casting individuals whose health has improved from drinking raw milk for a new series airing on the Food Network this fall. Casting is underway, so Email a brief description of your story with your contact information and picture of yourself ASAP to

1 comment:

Tom said...


On Wednesday, May 14, 2008, the legal firm of Lane Alton Horst LLC, located at Two Miranova Place in Columbus, Ohio 43216 (Telephone 614-338-6885) sent to Secretary Ed Schafer/U.S. Department of Agriculture and Director Don Koivisto/Michigan Department of Agriculture a twenty-five page Notice of Intent To Sue in re USDA/MDA implementation of the so-called "Voluntary at the Federal Level" National Animal Identification System (NAIS). This action is taken on behalf of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and Farm-to-Consumer Foundation ("FTCLDF"). In the state of Michigan, as in the states of Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, North Carolina, and Colorado, the "Voluntary" NAIS has been transformed into mandatory programs based on current state health programs, such as tuberculosis, pseudorabies, and brucellosis. The attempt to turn existing state vaccination programs, such as Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) or Coggins in horses is headed in the direction of mandatory participation based on intra-state sales by 2010, according to the Business Draft of December 12, 2007, published in the Federal Register.

The Notice of Intent To Sue is the first example of legal recourse against NAIS and asks USDA/MDA to stop implementation immediately and to correct violations or face litigation with unspecified financial claims for relief.

Submitted by Diane Jones,
Geauga County, Ohio, Farm Bureau Information Minister

Press release follows and is also attached as word file:

Legal Defense Fund Moves to Stop Animal ID Program;

Files Intent to Sue Letter with USDA and

Michigan Department of Agriculture

Falls Church, Virginia, (May 15, 2008) -- Attorneys for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund today sent a Notice of Intent to Sue letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) over implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a plan to electronically track every livestock animal in the country.

The Notice asks the USDA and MDA to “immediately suspend the funding and implementation of NAIS,” and “fully and fairly examine” whether there is even a need for such a program.

Taaron Meikle, Fund president, said that contrary to USDA’s claim, NAIS will do nothing to protect the health of livestock and poultry. “At a time when food safety and costs are a concern, the USDA has spent over $118 million to promote a program that will burden everyone from pleasure horse owners to ranchers and small farmers to individuals who raise a few chickens or steers on their own land for their own use.”

Once fully implemented, the NAIS program would require every person who owns even one livestock or poultry animal (a single chicken or a pet pony) to register their property with the state and federal government, to tag each animal, and to report “events” to a database within 24 hours. Reportable events would include such things as a private sale, a state fair, or a horse show.

The Notice charges that USDA has never published rules regarding NAIS, in violation of the Federal Administrative Procedures Act; has never performed an Environmental Impact Statement or an Environmental Assessment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act; is in violation of the Regulatory Flexibility Act that requires them to analyze proposed rules for their impact on small entities and local governments; and violates religious freedoms guaranteed by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“We also think there are constitutional issues at stake here,” Meikle noted. “The requirement to use electronic ear tags or RFID chips violates the religious beliefs of some farmers, such as the Amish, and provisions in a memorandum of understanding between the USDA and the MDA could violate the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution by requiring the state to stop and inspect vehicles carrying livestock without a warrant or probable cause.”

The MDA has implemented the first two stages of NAIS –property registration and animal identification – for all cattle and farmers across the state as part of its mandatory bovine tuberculosis disease control program, which is mandated by a grant from the USDA.

“While touted as a disease control program, the NAIS will drive many small farmers out of business” Meikle noted, “and burden every person who owns even one horse, chicken, cow, goat, sheep, pig, llama, alpaca, or other livestock animal with expensive and intrusive government regulations.”

Joe Golimbieski, a farmer from Standish, Michigan and Fund member, explains: “The cost of the tags is just the start. We’re at the mercy of whatever price the stockyards charge to do the tagging. And our farm doesn’t have extra employees to deal with paperwork. NAIS is likely to put us out of business.”

Gary Cox, General Counsel for the Fund, states that “USDA and MDA have exceeded their authority and they have completely failed to follow the proper procedures. We are calling on the agencies to immediately halt implementation of the program or face appropriate action.”

About The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund: The Fund’s mission is to defend the freedoms and to broaden the rights of sustainable farmers and their consumers to produce and consume local, nutrient-dense foods. Concerned citizens can support the Fund by joining at or by contacting the Fund at 703-208-FARM. The Fund’s sister organization, the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation (, works to support farmers engaged in sustainable farm stewardship and promote consumer access to local, nutrient-dense food..

Editor’s Note: The Notice of Intent to Sue the (USDA) and (MDA) is available at



Taaron G. Meikle

President, Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and Farm-to-Consumer Foundation


Brian Cummings

Cummings & Company LLC