Maybe Dan Allgyer’s Decision to Shut Down His PA Farm Will Help Us See More Clearly the Importance of Vernon Hershberger’s Struggle; Debate on Raw Milk

Pennsylvania Amish farmer Dan Allgyer has decided to shutter his farm, ending his ordeal with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Justice Department.

He made his decision after Judge Lawrence Stengler went along with the agencies, and imposed a permanent injunction on Allgyer last week for supplying the private Grassfed on the Hill food club with raw milk. I wasn’t able to reach Allgyer, but he told those who run the food club that the decision was a personal one, based in significant measure on the family stress created by the two years of federal government harassment, beginning in February 2010, when FDA agents sought to inspect his farm without a warrant.

Karine Bouis-Towe, who launched the club in 2006, said in a statement to members: “Dan and Rachel Allgyer have determined that they will discontinue service to our group and close down the farm. Dan has served many of us for more than six years and he is very saddened to have to make this decision but the stress and strain that his family has been under for the past few years due to the case and now the decision has given them no other choice.”

Club members reacted with understandable anguish in comments on the club’s listserve. It’s never easy being deprived of good healthy food, especially when you’ve become used to having it regularly, and the deprivation isn’t the result of war or pestilence, but rather the result of the devious intimidation tactics of your own supposedly representative government.

Exclaimed one: “NO! NO! NO! I am deeply anguished. I truly wish that those wicked people whose combined efforts led to this horrible outcome could have a share in our suffering.”

Said a second member: “This made me cry as I do drink the milk for medical reasons. If anyone finds another source please call me at the number below. Thank you.”

And a third: “I understand and am very sorry that this is happening. I have had such a great improvement in my delicate health from the nutritious products that Dan and his family have provided.”

Some members objected, wondered if Allgyer could be helped with a court appeal, or other approaches. No, said one, who understands the nature of the wickedness, of the heads-I-win-tails-you-lose logic of the law and judicial interpretations at work in this case. “Dan has to shut down the farm to stop the unrelenting war on his family, the very serious danger to his wife and children, from federal officers supported by your taxes…It is easy and safe to attack the Amish, since they are well known to be pacifists. The federal officials supported by your taxes are not brave.”

Smashing Allgyer’s life to smitherines is a huge victory to the demented minds at the FDA and Justice Department, because not only did they get rid of someone who wouldn’t just roll over, but they did it without significant courtroom opposition.

In the twisted minds of these enforcers, their court victory has just been doubled or tripled by Allgyer’s shutdown. It’s difficult to fathom, but to them, depriving people of healthy food is a sweet victory, much like an extra bonus on a Las Vegas slot machine.

The bigger victory is still to come, though. That will be if they can scare more farmers off the land, and out of the business of producing healthy food. One at a time, slow and steady, she goes. They have all the time in the world…

So now they can focus fully on to the next case. Vernon Hershberger.

The demise of Dan Allgyer’s farm now makes Vernon Hershberger’s resistance an even bigger deal. Michael Schmidt is correct in his comment following my previous post: the faceless bureaucrats will be watching closely what happens at the rallies for Hershberger.  

I know, many want to avert their eyes from Schmidt’s assessment of what the image of Jackie Owens really represents. “We are not facing marching leather boots stomping down the pavement, we are facing friendly individuals with an army of bureaucrats behind computers creating the reality of Kafka’s nightmarish vision.”

As Schmidt suggests, many of us would just as soon find reasons to stay above the fray…I’m just so turned off by the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI)…If those people at Rawesome hadn’t screwed up…Why doesn’t Hershberger just get a retail permit?…I don’t like the way Hershberger runs his dairy…If there were just more unity in Wisconsin…Allgyer was engaged in interstate commerce, after all…on and on it can easily go.

No, the rubber hits the road at 11 a.m. March 2 at the Sauk County Courthouse. Michael Schmidt will be speaking, along with members of Hershberger’s food club. The night before, there will be a workshop on promoting food rights, with lots of great farm food.

And there’s a debate on raw milk coming up this Thursday evening at 7:15 (Eastern) at Harvard Law School, I understand. Should be fun. Sally Fallon and I versus lawyer Fred Pritzker and MN regulator Heidi Kassenborg. Apparently it’s going to be live streamed.

Iif you are unable to catch the debate live, a video recording of the event will be posted in its entirety on the Harvard Food Law Society YouTube page:

For those who can make it in person, it’s at Harvard Law School, Langdell South Classroom. Street address is 1563 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138.

44 comments to Maybe Dan Allgyer’s Decision to Shut Down His PA Farm Will Help Us See More Clearly the Importance of Vernon Hershberger’s Struggle; Debate on Raw Milk

  • Tim wightman

    Its not an easy thing to shut down a farm. The trajectory in years of sweat and planning alone take some consideration to unravel, what tomorrow will be like without what has become habit, the end of the cow families you have built, the land you have bargained with and what will become of it.
    Add the additional weight of those who have supported you with their own equity, personal, financial and stories of what the bounty of the land has afforded them and their kin, weighs even heavier, but blood wins out even though it will bring tears of your kin and the lost possibilities that were just here yesterday.
    But it is important to understand even in the close relationship local food affords the partners and a on farm family, the partners do not have the ability to share meal conversations three times a day, the conversations that only happen in the barn, safe from the outside world and one can recognize fears effect on ones fabric, and where dreams are told that haunted you that you thought no one else had. Dreams of the reality of no control of your future days as someone or some panel of authority puts their opinion of your practices, relationships and future on paper that was not nor needs to be a part of your trajectory that was called a farm. Partners still dont know the ill feeling one gets of cars that slowly drive by the end of the lane, or is unknown to the neighborhood, or is even known but caught your eye in mid thought. You hate the mistrust within that greets every new face and you worry when you let it drop if it was the conversation that just did you in.
    These things cannot be balanced with the natural flow of the land or families, no matter how many families are involved in our current arrangements, it is still the on farm family that is asked to bear the brunt of the issue, deal with each choking aspect of worry, which makes the very food you produce stick in your throat. You fight the resentment of everything and everyone close because you cannot reach those who deserve it. So in order properly love those you care most about, the cows and the daily routine go first, you tell those who depend on you it is not personal second, and you try to begin to patch the divide that has arrived within your own family. You hope this will begin the process, the dreams of anguish will fade and the smiles will return to the table of your loved ones and that food can be enjoyed once again. You pray for the strength for the scars to be healed, that your efforts have brought clarity to our society and listen to the wind for an opportunity to be involved in the bigger issue that was presented, borne from the land, feathered to the concerned, and carried by the aware to make the change one family was not able to do.
    Tim Wightman

  • Doreen Hannes
    The very human side of this full scale assault on the most basic of human rights is too often cast aside. People, who have harmed no one, have their lives, dreams and hopes, dashed by bureaucrats using our money against them….and we sit and argue about the most effective method to deal with this in the "justice" system.

    I'm just sad about this. How many more lives are they going to harm before they are stopped? Can they be stopped?

  • Sylvia Gibson
    How sad for the Allgyer's and those who shared in the bounties of their labors. The behavior of the govt entities is appalling.

    "How many more lives are they going to harm before they are stopped? Can they be stopped? "

    I've no doubt that many more will be adversely affected. They will be stopped eventually.

  • Goatmaid
    Haven't seen anybody mention this yet:

    On Wednesday February 22, 2012 everyone is invited to help with The Raw Milk Lobby Day at the Capitol.


    The Wisconsin Raw Milk Association and their lobbyist will be coordinating the morning's efforts, and ask that you come out in full force to help educate your legislators that morning on the benefits of raw milk and how it can be produced safely for human consumption.

  • The Complete Patient
    Thank you for sharing the persecuted farmer's perspective. I've never felt as if I could fully appreciate what hard work it is to run a farm full time when things are "normal." I definitely can't begin to appreciate what it must be to do that, and have to deal with the stresses associated with the full force of the enforcement and legal apparatus bearing down on you.


  • Mom to Boys
    David, thank you for this wonderful blog. Being a part of the raw milk community in Wisconsin, I know Vernon. This is a real family and I cannot imagine the stress they are under. I can't imagine his sweet wife and what she must be thinking. I think to myself…what would my husband and I do in that situation? Even though we had not planned on going back to our Wisconsin home until summer, I will be talking to my husband tonight about us going back for the rally. I know of many people who obtain their milk and it seems that as long as they can get their milk, it's too hard to take off work to support the cause. I was astonished when I went to the hearing for the last raw milk bill in Wisconsin that the majority of the people that I thought would be there just weren't. That's part of DATCP's plan. They have a big list of farms they want to shut down, but are letting them run as they take them down one by one. The milk drinkers won't be too concerned until they can't get their milk anymore, and then it will be too late.

    Everyone does need to be at this rally for Vernon. Please, all of you moms and dads, please take your children and go to this rally and support this family and our right to obtain and consume the foods we choose!

    When I tell people in California what goes on in the Midwest with this, they are astonished. They have NO clue that our government would go to the great lengths it has to prevent free citizens from obtaining the food of their choice.

  • Ken Conrad
    Even a tyrant knows how to be polite in order to avoid disdain and gain support from TPTB. There is only one way to constructively deal with their Machiavellian tactics. Be firm in our resolve and do so with charity and compassion.

    Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.
    Napoleon Bonaparte


  • Bill Anderson
    Thanks for posting that link,Goatmaid.

    As much as I hate to suggest this, I do not think the Wisconsin raw milk bill is going to get very far. The dairy processing industry in Wisconsin is VERY powerful and very well financed, and the farmers cannot even seem to agree on standards that would satisfy public health officials.

    It all comes down to a lack of democracy, and extreme concentration of corporate power in today's America. In a more democratic political system, the well-financed corporate lobbyists would not exert such undue influence over the legislative process.

    However, I think that if Vernon is able to get a jury nullification, it will send a powerful message. Vernon is in Sauk County, which also has many organic (and non-organic) family dairy farms. In fact, the cheese factory where I did my apprenticeship at, Vernon also used to ship his milk to. The strong tradition of family dairy farming in Sauk County (and in all of Wisconsin, for that matter) will hopefully sway the jurors to his side.

    The law is meaningless if they can't enforce it.

  • Gordon Watson
    "jury nullification" on a charge of contempt of court? Dream on

    you're 'unclear on the concept' …Mister Anderson…. the notion that more"democracy" will save the ruins of the Republic, is ridiculous. Communism, passed off as "democracy" is what got Ham-merica into the state it is now.

    Notice that Vernon Hershberger used Scripture to assert his position. He – and a few others – are awakening to what's really going on : this is a religious contest, between the God of the Bible, to which Americans pledge alleigance, versus the usurper

  • Gayle Loiselle
    Not all farmers are activists, and should not be judged. There is power in the story of their destruction. It is the responsibility of the people who consumer what they produce to stand up and tell this story, to share their knowledge with the whole of our society; and it is then the responsibility of society to fix what is broken.

    The dumbing down of our society has been going on a very long time. Public schools teach us not to question authority and to follow the rules, well -meaning consumer advocate groups, government regulations and agencies are set up for public safety, all trying to make life safe and fair for everyone. This has created a majority of people with no self-reliance, no ability or desire to think for themselves. They believe they deserve an easy life and that its up to the government to ensure their wellbeing and keep them safe. For those willing to peel back the layers of our society and see where its headedmany cant cope with the reality of what they see, they feel hopeless and just let the layers fall back down.

    Rallies and demonstrations, new legislation, defiance, compliance and fighting the judicial system with the legal system are all tools for social change. However, these tools will not be enough to fix what is wrong until the general public is fully aware of whats at stake. There simply are not enough people who know or even care where their food comes from, let alone that their constitutional rights and freedoms are endangered. We all need to stand up and tell this story, over and over and over.

    Support for Vernon Hershberger and his family has resulted in his story reaching a wider public audience. This is bringing mainstream media attention to the issue of food rights in Wisconsin. And the timing couldnt be better because on February 22 there is a raw milk day in Wisconsins state capitol giving citizens the opportunity to meet with legislators, educate them and politely remind them who they work for and of their duty to uphold the constitution. These are two ideologically different approaches to ensuring access to raw milk, but they complement and strengthen each other immensely. Vernons business is completely private and unregulated, and legislation makes raw milk legal within certain parameters. Diversity is a good thing.

  • Don Neeper
    Unfortunately the "private food club" argument does not seem to be gaining much traction in court – the Ohio judge in the Manna Storehouse case countered that argument by saying that Sam's Club, BJ's, etc. are private members-only clubs but must still be properly licensed and inspected retail establishments.

    Although I'm curious to know if there is any reason why Dan Allgyer can't simply obtain a retail raw milk license from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and legally sell raw milk from his farm? I don't know how involved he is with his out-of-state members, but if he completely dropped all contacts outside of his farm and simply ran a state-licensed retail establishment then I don't see how that would violate the judge's order against out-of-state milk sales. His former club members would need to privately organize themselves into moderately-sized driving groups, collect orders and money, schedule drivers to periodically travel to the farm, purchase food for the entire group and transport it back to a private residence with a garage refrigerator for temporary storage. There shouldn't be any communication between Dan and his former club members – as far as he knows, some random citizen has just arrived at his farm and is making a large purchase at his store. Where the food goes afterwards is not his concern.

    Obviously this isn't an optimal solution and is a step away from the know-your-farmer philosophy, but Pennsylvania is fortunate enough to permit licensed on-farm raw milk sales so I would think that a sub-optimal approach is better then shutting everything down completely.

  • The Complete Patient
    Your suggestion is an interesting one. I can't speak for Dan Allgyer, but I think he considered it, and realized he would remain under the thumb of the FDA no matter what he did. The FDA could check on him at any time, and potentially accuse him of violating the injunction if it discovered MD residents buying his milk, for "causing it to be introduced" into interstate commerce. The FDA has gone after a SC farmer for selling milk at the state border. My sense is he and his family had enough of being investigated and harassed. The Amish, after all, seek to live apart from modern society, and spending your life together with FDA agents works against that goal.

    This was a high-priority case for the FDA, and would have remained so going forward.


  • Milky Way
    The Amish are thriving and expanding in fresh produce markets. Raw milk is the problem child.


  • Phil Adams
    MW Why do you think raw milk is the problem child?
  • Milky Way

    Well, that could take awhile to explain. But, in the context of the Amish and other small farmers, there is a long history of regulations related to raw milk in North America and other countries (see Scotland, Ireland, Australia/New Zealand, as examples). There's also a long history of infectious disease outbreaks and illnesses from raw milk (past and current). In contrast, fresh produce is a recently recognized vehicle of transmission (see 2006 E. coli O157:H7 raw spinach outbreak in US; various raw tomato, pepper and sprout outbreaks; Cyclospora in berries, etc.).

    The current paradigm with raw produce is to support science-based industry guidelines and government regulation in consult with industry (not bans). If you google it (hard to post links on this blog), you'll see the Amish have been especially astute in working toward workable guidelines and regulations related to fresh produce (and expanding their market in the context of food safety).

    IMHO, raw milk has failed to do this in the mainstream for two science-based reasons: 1) denial of outbreaks (past and present) and 2) exaggeration of benefits. Additionally, there is a pervasive cultural attitude in public health against applying a "produce-like" approach to raw milk, which (for right or wrong, scientifically) is perpetuated and fueled by aggressive attacks against regulators and public health workers as portrayed on this blog and others, in the media, and in front of lawmakers.

    Hate to say it, but we might be having this same conversation in 10, 20, or 100 years from now unless there is a major shift in the way raw milk proponents and opponents communicate about the issue.


  • Ken Conrad

    Yes there is a degree of verbal aggression directed towards the regulators, yet is it without cause or unjustified?

    It appears to me that the Amish are being passive and polite in their dealings with regulators. Who indeed are the aggressors in their case? Stealing their equipment, pointing guns at them is this not aggression?

    You state, The current paradigm with raw produce is to support science-based industry guidelines You failed to include biased and self-serving in your analogy???

    Regulators seem unable to relate to this human condition called freedom of choice and are repeating an age-old error, One should never forbid what one lacks the power to prevent. Napoleon Bonaparte


  • Ken Conrad
    Itll be interesting to see how far this Vermont bill (H.722) gets, and if passed, the federal government regulatory response.


    What Science based purpose do regulators have in not requiring genetically modified foods to be regulated?

    Endorsing widespread GMO use and purposefully apposing the labeling of its presence in food is a heinous and devious act of aggression on their part.


  • Sylvia Gibson
    What do the laws say about recording, in any manner for trails, etc?

    Thank you Ken, you are so very right.

  • Sylvia Gibson

    "His customers are wary of talking publicly, fearing the FDA will come after them."

    What are they afraid of? If they stand together it will open the road for others to see what is going on and the bullies will step back.

    "Neither the FDA nor the Justice Department, which pursued the legal case, provided numbers to The Washington Times on the cost of the investigation and court fight."

    Of course they didn't, they don't want the public to see how much time and money was wasted in this case alone. With the economy doing so poor, this would only show the wasteful spending of the govt.

    The comenters to this story make valid points.


    "New Bill to Mandate Flu Vaccine for New Jersey Health Care Workers"

    Again the govt is trying to force people into compliance…..Are we to start marching lock step shouting Sig Heil?

  • Don Neeper

    I can certainly understand and appreciate Dan Allgyer's reasons for pulling back and wanting to get out of the spotlight. I haven't spoken with Arie Stutzman for a few years, but I've heard through friends that his health has suffered and he hasn't been the same since his trial and run-in with the Ohio Department of Agriculture back in 2005. The Amish are very private people and being brought out into the public eye affects them more than people realize.

  • Jim Brewster
    Submitted for you consideration, my thoughts for the day:

    Good day!

  • Sylvia Gibson

    "A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because a state employee told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious. "

    Tell me this isn't a nanny state… Since when is chicken nuggets healthier than a turkey and cheese sandwich? I would pay for the crap either and my kid would be pulled from that school and home schooled.

  • Sylvia Gibson
    Meant:I would NOT pay for the crap either
  • Sylvia Gibson

    "Illnesses in the current outbreak were reported in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Wisconsin. The illnesses occurred between Dec. 25 and Jan. 15 and two of the victims were hospitalized."

    First I've heard of this out break. As far as I can tell Jimmy John's wasn't shut down. The govt just continued to allow them to poison people…imagine that!

  • Suzanna
    Sylvia, our children would be pulled out of that school as well if the school pulled a stunt like that as well. A cheese sandwich would have provided adequate protein by itself.

    I wonder how the school would have assessed our usual tiffin carrier with rice, dal, veg and curd? We've been very healthy on our traditional lacto vegetarian diet for millennia. No school is going to force meat on our children. I don't care what the USDA says.

    That child's home packed lunch was far healthier than chicken nuggets. I hope her mother and grandmother contact their representatives and give them an earful!

  • Mark McAfee
    Don Neeper's advice is right on 100 %.

    Michael Schmidt rightfully characterized this struggle as a war two years ago. Those that fail to appreciate this battle as a WAR will not prevail.

    Each and every day I strategically collect my thoughts and rethink my battle strategies. Winning is my goal. It may not be obvious to all by the methods I employ….but we are winning in CA. How….building market share, Teaching, Teaching!Teaching! Mentoring every farmer that wants to produce raw milk as a friend and comrad and not as competition.

    The truth about raw milk is self evident only when it is consumed.

    Get the damn permit, comply and sell to who ever comes to your farm. Do not worry about the FDA. They will do nothing to the farmer if it is the consumer that breaks CFR 1240.61.

    Do not leave this battle. You need not become a victim. Winning is feeding people. Winning is not some victory over the asses at the FDA. Their day will come when we have built our markets and federal judges and their families and grand kids drink raw milk. The FDA are but the ghosts of the spirits of corporate greed gone wild. These ghosts will fade away….if we teach and feed earnestly.

  • Cali Farmer
    Campylobacter Recall at Claravale?

    A client of mine told me that her friend drinks Claravale and she has tested positive for campylobacter. She is now on antibiotics. Thus far Claravale has made a voluntary recall. I also heard that a half a dozen kids have been sick with bloody diarrhea and all of them were drinking Claravale. So far, the cultures have shown just campylobacter. All the kids are doing well. Some were not even treated with any medications.

    It is my understanding that Claravale of California was started in 1927 and has never had a problem with their raw milk.

    My prayers go out to Ron and his wife who own Claravale and all the people that have gotten sick.

  • Sylvia Gibson
    Cali farmer,

    As far as I know, Claravale has never had any issues with their milk. If what you posted is true, what changed? Why now?

    I didn't find anything when I googles claravale nor did I see anything on their web site. I find it strange that it is not in the media.

  • Don Neeper
    Thanks Mark! I laughed when I read your post because you always cut straight to the heart of the matter and I usually try to be more diplomatic, although I have to admit that I was thinking pretty much the same thing. 🙂

    I can certainly understand the appeal for the CARE alliance in PA and wanting to run your farm without any governmental oversight. The farmers in Ohio have exactly the same attitude and as much as they dislike the extra paperwork, headaches and over-head of selling herd-shares and dealing with boarding contracts they do like the fact that it's entirely outside of the regulatory framework. However, Pennsylvania does have a structure for legally selling raw milk on-site and there hasn't been any forced recalls for several years. Sometimes it's better to go with the flow, build up your customer base and work within the system.

  • Bill Anderson
    Thanks Don. Right on! That is exactly what I am trying to do with soft raw milk cheeses, since they are legal as long as I can reach the 60 day mark and keep them within the correct standard of identity regarding moisture content.

    Vernon is in a very different situation than me or Dan Allgyer, since fluid raw milk is completely illegal in Wisconsin. I applaud Vernon's courage. Sad as it is, the story of Dan Allgyer deciding to close his farm is a familiar one. Here in Wisconsin we've lost over 140,000 dairy farms over the last 50 years. My mom's family ran a dairy farm until the late 60s, when they decided to sell off the cows. The consolidation trend in the dairy industry is relentless. I wish there were some way to stem the bleeding, but I sense its going to take a radical social upheaval to reverse that trend.

    Perhaps the Bible was onto something with the "Jubilee Year"?

  • Suzanna
    Sylvia, CaliFarmer, when the dust settles I think you will find that whatever infections people may have did not come from Claravale.

    I don't find it at all strange that there is nothing in the media. They have not been ordered to cease shipping by any government entity. I understand that they stopped shipping voluntarily to run additional tests after receiving a call from a few customers who said they had an illness.

    We received a notice from our buying club that Claravale had voluntarily stopped shipping. We hope to have our milk back soon after they have a chance to check things out and ensure that nothing unusual has happened at their dairy.

    In the past few weeks, there have been a number of cases of Campylobacter in California among a population that does not drink Claravale (or any other rawmilk). There have also been a rather large number of patients presenting to local hospitals in the extended SF Bay Area counties with "gastrointestinal flu".

    We wish a speedy recovery to those who are ill.

    My family and friends stand firmly in support of Claravale.

    Our seniors, our children and everyone in between have been drinking Claravale daily for years. No illnesses here. My family has been buying their milk since the 1920's.
    Never had any illnesses from Claravale.

  • Sylvia Gibson
    OMG another raw dairy farmer showing s/he cares, has morality, ethics, decency, etc. Someone who really cares…

    Too bad our govt doesn't show the same…Jimmy John's has been again linked to contamination and the govt didn't notify the people.

    http://www(DOT)salmonellablog(DOT)com/ It's amazing when the govt doesn't tell you where the contamination is coming from…..

  • Lynn McGaha
    I tried to listen to the Harvard Law School raw milk debate, but the audio kept breaking up. Did anyone else have a problem?

    Sylvia posted a link to one site that had a story about a current e.coli and a prior salmonella outbreak at Jimmy Johns that were due to sprouts. Her other link was to Marler's salmonella blog, where further down in the page previous outbreaks of salmonella linked to sprouts from other vendors was discussed.

    Is there any reason to think that sprouts grown in one's home might be safer than the commercially grown sprouts?

  • Sylvia Gibson


    I think the sprout outbreak in Europe was from contaminated seeds. If I recall, the seeds may have come from the mid-east.

    I would think that growing your own would be safer. I'm not sure what the reasons for the contaminated sprouts in the US are.

  • Farmer John
    Sprouts were the subject of a recent MetroFarm show by Michael Olson, who interviews a long-time sprout grower and discusses the safety issue. A good introduction.
    The show is available for download at the link below.

    Show #740: REAL LIFE SUPERFOOD – 27-08-2011
    Guests: Ken Kimes, New Native Nursery
    Subject: Sprouted seeds, or sprouts as they are commonly called, are truly the freshest of foods because they are, well, still living. Sprouts are also the frequent subjects of food contaminations, and thus lead us to ask Is living food safe?
    Topics include why, ounce for ounce, sprouts provide more nutrients than any other natural food; why sprouts are frequently the subject of food contaminations, and whether living foods can be safe to eat.

    download mp3 link:

  • Farmer John
    Sprouts were the subject of a recent MetroFarm show by Michael Olson, who interviews a long-time sprout grower and discusses the safety issue. A good introduction.
    The show is available for download at the link below.

    Show #740: REAL LIFE SUPERFOOD – 27-08-2011
    Guests: Ken Kimes, New Native Nursery
    Subject: Sprouted seeds, or sprouts as they are commonly called, are truly the freshest of foods because they are, well, still living. Sprouts are also the frequent subjects of food contaminations, and thus lead us to ask Is living food safe?
    Topics include why, ounce for ounce, sprouts provide more nutrients than any other natural food; why sprouts are frequently the subject of food contaminations, and whether living foods can be safe to eat.

    download mp3 link:

  • Mary Martin
    Lynn, the seeds are contaminated. If you purchase seeds that happen to be contaminated and grow them in your home you will become ill. It is so sad becasue sprouts are such a healthy food. I will only eat sprouts if they are cooked.

    To see all the outbreaks that have been connected to sprouts, go to Bill Marler's outbreak database website.

  • Mark McAfee
    OPDC delivery drivers are reporting to me that CA store dairy case managers are saying the official word is…. "Claravale has a plant problem". There has been no Claravale products in the stores for several days. Their website has no information. They are not answering their phone. CDFA has been silent. Their has been no media coverage at all.

    I got a call from Cookson Beecher at Food Safety News today ( Bill Marlers online news letter ). They are tracking this story and told me that according to their sources, Campylobacter is involved somehow…..but not sure how. There appears to be an information void and rumors are rampant. I do know that OPDC raw milk orders are way up.

    I wish every one at Claravale a rapid recovery from this first ever in 85 years….pathogen challenge. We pray for the rapid return to health for anyone that has become ill. I do know that the flu is going around like crazy right now and campylobacter and the flu are very close in symptoms.

    California needs Claravale….we need Claravale, the consumers need Claravale.

    I wish Ron and Collette strength and peace as they do what they need to do to get back into the market.

  • Sylvia Gibson
    If Claravale has a "plant problem" How strange that it has happened after 85 years. I trust Claravale more than the govt……

    In the 50s the govt secretly dispersed Serratia marcescens in U.S. cities in germ warfare studies. "Operation Sea-Spray" "In the 70s, when the military disclosed the tests, a San Francisco family sued over a pneumonia death they blamed on Serratia. Courts ruled the government was immune from such lawsuits."

    "Zinc cadmium sulfide is one of four substances the army long ago admitted having sprayed over 239 sites to simulate covert biological attacks " July 25, 1994 Newsweek page 61

  • Sylvia Gibson

    "U.S. won't allow more fungicide in orange juice: FDA"

    A key word is "more" Why is any allowed? I would really like to know what is actually in the regular grocery store milk, chemicals, additives, natural occurring vitamins/minerals, etc

    What are people really consuming? There is no doubt that it is contributing to the nations poor health status.

  • Suzanna
    "a plant problem" can mean any number of things. It does not by default mean a faulty product, nor does it mean a recall.

    We received word this morning that all the tests on their (Claravale) milk came back negative for all pathogens. The CFDA came out to do its regular tests on the milk yesterday, and the results will come back on Sunday. There is no reason to believe that their results will be any different. "

    Hopefully Claravale will be shipping again next week. It looks like their 85 year record still stands.

  • Steve Bemis
    The madness abroad in the land is manifest. In response to a current crisis in injectable meds, generic drug manufacturers yesterday were under the spotlight, where the incentives favor off-shore manufacture in large part because of the lack of FDA inspection of off-shore facilities (years go by between inspections). In this context, it was reported that it would take FDA 1900 YEARS to inspect all the off-shore sources of food coming into this country. Two conclusions: who sets priorities at FDA, so that they devote so much time and money to shutting down small farmers when the rest of the FDA mandate goes unfulfilled? Second, a schedule of inspecting an off-shore facility once every 1900 years means there is not enough money in the world, never mind in the frozen US Congress, to fully staff FDA to do all these inspections. Which means, the trend to local food sources is simply the cure, not the problem. So, in typical government fashion, let's take the solution to a problem and make a problem out of the solution. In other words, bass-ackwards.
  • Chef Jem
    Raw Milk Debate – February 16, 2012

    Harvard Food Law Society hosted a debate on the legal, nutritional, and safety aspects of raw milk.

    First there was a most excellent presentation by Sally Fallon Morell! I'm looking forward to the possibility of getting the power point presentation that she had for this event! I think it was the best I've ever seen!

    One commenter at YouTube said: "The Detractors FAILED at responding to the evidence and points of the Proponents."

    Sally presented some very good evidence and made excellent points and none of that was refuted!

    David Gumpert's presentation was entitled: "Raw Milk Safety Versus Rights – Striking a Balance". One of his three closing questions (that he directed to the opposing camp) included "the Right of private contract". IMO, this single question deserves to have at least the number one lead (if not sole) position in any "raw milk" or other debates (involving any kind of food Rights) and that this justly deserves an additional "debate".

    I'm actually disappointed that the "legal aspect" of raw milk wasn't given more attention and especially in light of the fact that it was hosted by a "Food Law" group at Harvard! Hopefully this is not the last debate and subjects like the true Lawful context for raw milk can be presented in full glory. Maybe I need to arrange that!

    The Right of private contract (and especially for all raw milk lovers and their local raw milk farmers) is the main "high-way" that I am "traveling" on now whenever I give my attention to this issue. I believe that understanding the Right of private contract is not only absolutely critical in regards to raw milk (as well as all the other food freedom issues) I believe it is of foundational importance for virtually all Americans regarding the issues of freedom that are confronting us now. If you look into it you will find that everything comes down to the issue of contract or agreement. It's the basis for government, business and for virtually all our relationships and yet the public education system (at least the one I grew up being conditioned under) does not address the need for our full complete conscious awareness of the nature of contracts and the need to know virtually everything about them, i.e types of contracts, how they are formed, what they can consist, etc.

    "Raw Milk Safety Versus Rights – Striking a Balance". The first at of this title is certainly straight on target as it is virtually the bulls-eye of the current contest between government agencies vs. small raw milk farmers along with the raw milk public. These governmental agencies are proceeding against the farmers and private contractual relationships under the banner of milk safety but as Sally pointed out it is (what I call) a false flag operation. If there really isn't a safety issue (notwithstanding everything that the ant-raw milk camp says to deny that) then why would we want to attempt any kind of balancing act with that position? It is a false position and not really worth giving any more attention to.

    Come back to Rights of Contract – and in Article 1 Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution we see that "No State shall … make any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts". That is the Law! All that is needed is a full complete understanding of the nature and law of contracts. I believe that every one from the age of 18 on up needs to know as much as any lawyer knows about contracts (and possibly more). "The English common law age of majority remains twenty-one years, the age one may enter into contracts." I imagine that about three years should be devoted to the study of contract law. How much contract law have you had so far?

    And when a small raw milk farmer is confronted by a government agent the first thing that he could say is "show me the contract that obligates me to your agency". Contracts are the basis for the individual's relationship with government as well! Otherwise we are operating under a false presumption which sets us back before the Declaration of Independence! That's not the direction I'm headed!

    See the replay of the debate here:

    At 1:22:25 into the replay a member of the audience asks about the safety of Kefir. Two of the panel members said they don't think there are any reports of any incidents with Kefir.

    Question/request to the panelists regarding freedom.

    From this point on (through the end of the event) the debate got all the more interesting. Unfortunately I just lost a couple hours of work (that I had just put into this blog here) writing about that and I'm not willing to put in all the hours to attempt to duplicate that now. So here's every thing in "nut shell" and you'll just have to trust me that I can elaborate on this many time over.

    I was especially interested in hearing David speak right after Sally. He made a full presentation in favor of raw milk and I intend to review that at least once again. (The YouTube site (of this event's video recording) says the power point presentations can be available from the site of the host organization. I've inquired about that and look forward to the possibility of getting those!) David made a couple statements that I feel are very important for me respond to now. The most important is his statement that the "US Constitution doesn't refer to food because in those days there wasn't the slightest thought that food would be an issue so it has to be interpreted by the courts." There are three parts to this statement and I believe they all deserve to be responded to in full.

    First, it is true that the Constitution of September 17, 1787 does not refer to food, food issues or the like at all! Food, of course, was not the focus for that Constitution! Although what David says in the second part of his statement may be true as far as what the founding fathers didn't think, it should be noted that this absence of thought was not an oversight, failure or any other lack in that Constitutional drafting process. The real point to be made here is that the absence of "food" as a legal subject matter and/or a Rights issue was simply not within the jurisdiction of the federal government. In other words the federal government was not given the authority to concern itself with our food at all! That's because our food is essentially our own private matter. We need to remember that the federal government was essentially formed for the States confederated interests to address certain public functions and providing food safety to private individuals or to the public is not one of those federal functions. However, public food safety may be a State function. But this debate was not addressing state jurisdictions.

    If you agree that it's true that the federal government was never authorized by the Constitution to address "food safety" then it follows that the federal courts are not the venue to have "interpretations" made on food safety issues. That's my response to the last part of David's three part statement.

    So far, the issues that I have heard in the debate that were presented as a justification for federal involvement have been regarding incidences where a death or health injury was allegedly traced to contaminated raw milk. However, the ant-raw milk presentations made no mention of the deaths and illnesses that have been attributed to pasteurized milk and /or pasteurized milk products. That leas me to think that there is not a real level "playing field" present at this debate. In fact I doubt that the two sides are really on the same playing field at all! The reference to "the Constitution" alone is worth an whole blog devoted to that one subject. If we all agreed about the Constitution then that could be a reliable foundation but the fact is we don't all agree about that and that is to our severe disadvantage!

    Fortunately I have already blogged on "the Constitution" in one of my other CureZone Blogs: "Son of Truth of Self" and to quickly summarize that now I can say the
    the Constitution of September 17, 1787 is one of four Organic Laws that are likened unto four pillars in that they all stand together as a set in supporting the Republican form of government that is based on written laws! See "Four Pillars of Constitutionalism" by Richard H. Cox. Therefore we need to have a complete understanding of these four Organic Laws and the form of government that they all support and that is not possible by only referring to "the Constitution". The "Constitution" does not stand alone, it never did, it was formed from the same substance of the other "pillars" and especially including the "Articles of Confederation" and it directly pertains to the "Ordinance of 1787: The Northwest Territorial Government". The proof that these are the Organic Laws and that they are to be considered is the fact that they are found in the title page of the United States Code. There are additional proofs that Richard Cox has written on as well.

    David also made a statement about "driving and cars are a "privilege". Firstly – "driving" is a legal term that specifies commercial transportation of people or goods. The actual legal term that is used to designate the operator of those "for hire" situations is: "driver". Anyone can now verify the accuracy of this so no one has to "believe" what I am saying in this instance! "Driving" then falls into the arena of commerce. The activity is typically a contractual relationship. There is a license required for these drivers.

    However, on the other hand there is a "Right to Travel" and that Right is not a privilege! Rights can not be converted into privileges! The problem is that the government public school system doesn't distinguish the truth of this at all (even though it is distinguished in many court decisions as well as in legal codes pertaining to the subject)! For instance I went to a public high school in Chicago and they required "Driver's Education" in order to graduate. Right away the term "driver" is used (even though I can now prove that the term is a legal term with a specific legal meaning that is other than what conventional wisdom believes). Then the class instructor required everyone to get a Driver's Permit and from that moment on everyone that got their permits were in the system whether or not they ever actually became a "driver" or not! Yet most people who are able to operate a car think of themselves as drivers. And because we (essentially) volunteered into the system we think "driving is a privilege" and we do not realize that with "thinking" like that we have unknowingly abandoned our Right to travel! And just like the Japanese girls that had there feet bound to restrict foot growth, our rights become atrophied! Please think about that for one minute.

    And I'd like to know how David thinks that "cars are a privilege". I just can't imagine what that might be based on. But his statement that "food is not a privilege" is very well stated! I'd like to see a rock-solid example in making a most striking contrast between food Rights and other privileges. When it comes to Rights – and distinguishing them from mere privileges – I am going to be most interested in the soundness of those statements!

    At "Raw Milk: The Whole Truth:

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