No More Mr. Nice Guy: Food Club Members Seek to Uphold Food Rights

rfcc-logoFor years now, farmers have borne the brunt of government efforts to interfere with food rights and consumer access to the foods of their choice.

That may be about to change, as consumers launch actions to take the burden of government harassment off farmers’ backs.

A case in point, and apparently the first consumer to launch a food rights legal action, is Michigan businessman and herdshare member Mike Lobsinger, who a few months ago sued the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) over its seizure of his cream in a June raid of the farm that fulfills his herdshare agreement.  As reported by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, he argues in his suit that the cream is his private property and that the seizure violates the due process clause of both the Michigan and United States constitutions. A hearing on his case is scheduled next month in state court.

In a second food rights case growing out of the federal assault on Miller’s Organic Farm, members of Amos Miller’s food clubs are preparing legal action to prevent the U.S. Department of Agriculture from gaining access to their individual purchase records; I recently described the organizing of their coalition.  The owners of food clubs in Maryland and Florida, Liz Reitzig and Niki Adamkova, have launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance legal expenses.

They state in part: “We as consumers of real food, healthy nutrient-dense food from producers we know and trust, have come to realize that the only way to save our hard-working farmers and OUR HEALTHY FOODS is to legally challenge the government.

“Any interference with production of our nutrient-dense food, especially gathering private information about our food purchases will not be met without challenge. We can not expect Amish farmers who are forbidden by their religious teachings from hiring lawyers or taking the legal offensive to effectively protect themselves or our private information.”

Their action is expected in advance of farmer Amos Miller’s next court appearance Oct. 11, to answer a contempt-of-court proceeding launched by the USDA when Miller refused to turn over the individual food purchase records of his members to government agents. The USDA wants to use those records to make a case that Miller is illegally selling meat products across state lines.

The USDA has proposed that the records be turned over in “redacted” form, without member names visible to agents, but food club members fear the precedent that will be set via the confiscation of private food purchase information, and that USDA demands for information on member food purchases could well expand.

The members have organized the Real Food Consumer Coalition (RFCC) and are asking consumers to support the new group’s crowdfunding campaign.

13 comments to No More Mr. Nice Guy: Food Club Members Seek to Uphold Food Rights

  • Sue

    Just a word: BRAVO!!!!!!!

  • Margaret Auld-Louie

    It’s difficult to view your blog on a mobile device (either my iPad Mini or Android phone) because the bar on the left that shows the Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. icons covers up the text on a mobile device. Perhaps you could check with your webmaster and correct this?

  • brad

    This gets tricky. Statutory law is muddled with common and constitutional law. In statutory law – if you hire a lawyer you are determined by the courts to be incompetent and become a ward of the court.

    In the “legal” system – you are tricked into giving your name as _____ _ ____ ALL CAPS. This “legally” makes you a corporation (all caps = corporation) When you admit to being the name they call out (“is ????? ? ???? here”?) and “are you ????? ? ????”? If you admit that is you, then you turn your cestui que vie trust over to their control, the judge becomes the beneficiary and you become the trustee – you know like in jail if they so choose, because the trustee MUST do (legally) what the beneficiary tells them.

    To state that you REPRESENT (hold up birth certificate) _____ _ _____ as the beneficiary AFTER asking (make sure you’re on record) if they are referring to (full name) ALL CAPS – then you become the beneficiary and executor of the will. The Judge becomes the trustee who must administer it according to your desires, the clerk or sheriff become the administrator of the CQV trust. They are after access to your CQV Account.

    Prosecutor is from latin witchcraft (like the Saturnalian black priest robes of the judge?) Prose – walk/stand in, and cutor – skin. They want to walk in your skin by tricking YOU into becoming trustee and they as beneficiaries. At birth most people are valued in their CQV account at about 650,000 to 750,000 dollars… It’s worth more now as you’ve been loading it for years from work, etc.

    • Gordon Watson

      Brad … I know first hand that ‘birth certificate stuff’, at Easter 1998, when the DeTax circus rode in to town in New Westminster. If you can find a scintilla of hard evidence in the entire archive of the Republic of the united states of America, to support it, you’d do us a big favour. But 18 years’ investigation of that theme, convinces me it’s poppycock ; worse! … it’s a menace to an authentic political movement. The minute you start chatting that shit, the Powers-that-Be draw a target on you ; bag you as a “domestic terrorist’. Here in smug Canada, in 2001, the RCMP put out a press release associating us with all the usual epithets of bad company. On July 21 2016, the leading proponent of that school of prophetic statute interpretation, namely Russel A Porisky, appeared in the Supreme Court of BC, via telecast = from prison. Where he’s doing his 4 1/2 year sentence. Big Daddy Russ had handled a few million $$, and got away with spouting that crapola until the income tax racketeers had what they wanted. His hide now one more trophy on the RevScam wall of shame. His accomplice, Keith Lawson, the same, just last week. >>>> Could be that you’re a simpleton, mouthing this stuff sincerely. Or = it could be that you’re the kind of operative we encountered … a heat-bag sent in to pollute the discourse of legitimate criticism of tax law. Regardless ; sending the Campaign for REAL MILK that direction, off into the thickets of the law, is entirely counter-productive. since you raised it, you’re obliged to study what’s on the Quatloos website to get up to speed on it. Bottom line : It’s fun as a diversion for armchair patriots, but it’s dangerous to rely on such nonsense, when reality sets in. the deputy sherifs in the courtroom have guns, and those guns are loaded.

      • David Gumpert David Gumpert

        Brad, I have to agree with Gordon on this one. I’ve seen a few situations now, where going into court without legal representation and resorting to common law and/or completely Constitutional arguments, is counter-productive…the latest being Amos Miller’s case. The government prosecutors love it, because they know the judges hate it. This is part of the reason members of Miller’s food clubs are engaging lawyers and seeking to protect their rights. Most food club members understand this, which is why the crowd-funding campaign I describe in the blog post above is off to a great start. It still has a ways to go, though, so the food club leaders welcome any and all additional support.

  • Shana Milkie

    Michigan supporters of raw dairy: the court date for the MDARD case is Friday, October 14 at 2:30 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Courthouse in Lansing, on the third floor in the chambers of Judge James Jamo. Please attend if you can! We are fortunate that one of our herd share members is going to bat for all of us.

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee

    Hey everyone,

    Quite a week attending the 13th annual International Milk Genomics Consortium Conference. This time it was held at UC Davis in CA. Blaine and I have attended the last 4 conferences and have learned so much. I consider it my Raw Milk Continuing Education Class for each year. The biome of milk is discussed, research is shared and argued. Raw milk from cows, human breast milk that is deeply studied and research is introduced to the world. It is an international event with researchers from around the world. RAWMI’s own Dr. Ton Baars and his collegue Betty Esch shared a presentation about a Netherlands/ Swiss mice model study that 100% supported and confirmed the raw milk PARSIFAL, GABRIELA and other studies from the EU. Asthma, allergies, and skin Atopy were all dramatically reduced by the consumption of raw milk….!!!! This is now accepted by all milk researchers arround the world. Just a few years ago, scientists were skeptical.

    I was able to say a few words ( actually plenty ) on the record confirming the raw milk human experience in the huge OPDC raw milk market in CA that also confirmed the research results.

    Meanwhile, back at the farm, the FDA decided that this was the week to visit and do their once every 10 years facility inspection according to the new national Food Safety Modernization Act standard. I was not there until today and missed the first 2 days of their inspection. . Our team handled it well and took the opportunity to fully raw milk educate the two female FDA inspectors. In the end, they made lots of comments about how pleased they were that we had a fully audited RAMP plan with written SSOPs and even CCP’s along with ” Test & Hold ” program for pathogens. They had some good recommendations and we will be including these minor changes into our plant and RAMP. After I arrived back from UCDavis I was able to give them the full raw milk educational lecture fully hoping that these two FDA inspectors will become our newest raw milk consumers and carry good will back to the FDA with them!!!

    Everyone knows that my life goal is to have the young youthful minds of the FDA embrace raw milk. After all, just in the last month, the FDA finally noticed industry to stop making soaps with Triclosan bacteria inhibitors. It took them 10 years to make that move. All of us knew about Triclosan 10 years ago or more. It is never too late to teach and bring the FDA to the light. The advent of the human genome studies and the role of bacteria in our health is very much front stage on the national scene. So big it can not be denied. The NIH and FDA strongly encourage breast feeding….the next logical step is acknowledgement of raw milk as abviously good for health….trust me that is coming in 10 years. It was great to see old friends at the IMGC and make many more.

    Two of the PHDs have requested to study raw milk consumers here in CA and at all RAWMI dairies. Then publish the data!!!

    All great news…..but I will say, this good news is based on being open and being far ahead on the food safety progress scale.

  • Gordon Watson

    the situation in Ontario has taken a turn for comedy. Apparently, after 2 days of Court this week, Michael and Elisa Schmidt bailed-out of the proceedings, in disgust. But 150 members of their cowshare, were given status in the case, individually. If so, it will be a lot of fun … as the courtroom becomes the classroom = “information overload brings pattern recognition’ >>> now 22 years into the contest … try as they might … the over-educated idiots in high places have not stopped the REAL MILK from flowing at Glencolton Farm

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Here is some more detail on the situation in Ontario, including court documents. This situation requires some understanding of Canadian law, but it seems yet another example of members/shareholders seeking protection of their food that comes from farmers under legal pressure.

      • Michael Schmidt

        That’s exactly it.
        The members rising up. First they blocked the lane way at the last raid, then they take their case into the courtroom.
        I hear from other farm share farmers that the latest attack on raw milk increased once again the demand. The standing in court for those who need the food is utmost important.
        However if you look at the insanity of this procedure

  • john

    the USDA wants the shipping information to prove that miller is selling to consumers who live in states which proscribe raw milk consumption, such as maryland, rhode island, florida, etc. one of the roles of the federal government is to police interstate commerce. the case should turn on the legal validity of the private membership contract and the authority and jurisdiction of the federal government to regulate such a contract. the feds are trying to steer clear of the issue by not asking for the names of the members.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      John, just to be clear, the USDA’s case has nothing to do with raw milk. It is about meat. Dairy of all kinds is regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

      The case may turn on the legal validity of the private membership contract, since it applies to purchases of all kinds of food.

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