Mark McAfee knew the political vibes had turned bad four or five days ago. Thats when inspectors from the California Department of Food and Agriculture began coming down hard on his Organic Pastures Dairy Co.
They said a window in a bathroom of our mobile milk barn wasnt big enough. So they wanted an electrical exhaust fan. They wanted us to insulate the rafters. It has nothing to do with the milking. In addition, They said there were spider webs in our eves. We had done a complete cleaning two weeks before.
The Fresno County Health Department joined in as well. They want us to submit new plans for the authorization of our mobile milk barn, says Mark. It was officiallly authorized eight years ago.
This is a concerted effort. A little like what happens in a prison after the inmates rebel: the warden takes his revenge.
The regulators likely knew what was going to happen a few days before yesterday, when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger put his veto to SB 201, the legislation that passed both houses of the California legislature nearly unanimously. After all, the governors statement accompanying the veto was likely written by the CDFA when it argued that life under AB 1735 is just wonderful for the states two raw milk dairies:
Looking past the lobbying techniques, public relations campaign, and legal maneuvering in the courts, one conclusion is inescapably clear: the standard in place has kept harmful products off the shelves and Californias raw milk dairies have been operating successfully under it for the entirety of 2008.
Yes, the ten-coliform-per-milliliter standard has been operating so successfully that both Organic Pastures and Claravale Farm have been essentially balancing on the edge of a proverbial cliff to avoid being shut down. Each must pass a series of three of five tests on each of its dairy products. Failure to pass three of five means they are downgraded,” or prohibited from sellinguntil they pass. Each has been downgraded or nearly downgraded on various products since the new coliform standard took effect last January, only to pass a new test that allowed them to resume shipping within a few days.
But those tests were administered when the CDFA was presumably pulling its punchestrying to avoid highly public shutdowns. Now that SB 201 has been trashed, well, it is presumably free to assert its authority, with no oversight. One of these days, one or both dairies won’t pass, and the milk will cease flowing. The sponsor of SB 201. Sen. Dean Florez, nearly said as much today, arguing that the veto “can be taken as an attempt to regulate
dairies out of business.”
At the rally attended by actor Martin Sheen in early September, one of Claravales owners, Collette Cassidy, told attendees that failure to pass SB 201 could put her dairy, which accounts for 10-20% of California’s raw milk, out of business.
Mark McAfee says he is “saddened, but not surprised.” The sad part, he said, is that “CDFA knew they could by-pass the entire (legislative) process…and just pull the strings at the last minute to get it vetoed”–for example, ignore the requests of Sen. Dean Florez to testify at hearings last spring on SB 201. That despite thousands of emails and calls to the governor’s office in support of SB 201, and the efforts of some of his celebrity friends, like Charlie Sheen and long-time health enthusiast Jack Lalanne.
Raw milk supporters now have two options to pursue. One is a re-vote on SB 201. If it passed by the same lopsided majorities as before, the veto could be overturned. But on re-votes, Republicans often support the governor, so the dynamics could change. And Sen. Florez in his statement today referred only to “putting forther legislation next year to move the ball forward on this important issue.”
Also, the suit filed last spring by the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund is still pending, and will likely be pushed to the forefront. That suit, by OPDC and Claravale, had led to a state judge imposing a temporary restraining order on enforcement of the ten-coliform standard last spring, but the order was eventually lifted by the state judge.
The immediate question seems to be this: can California’s raw milk suppliers survive the wrath of the wardens?
Maybe Martin Sheen was not the way to go on this one.! 🙂
You are absolutely right, It is important for all to contact their representatives not matter what side of the fence you are on with this. Ive been working on that myself.
Until then, we survive and battle. The warden is being very harsh right now, we will "turn the other cheak in compliance" and let Gary Cox give them a piece of their own hate in December when Assembly woman Nicole Para ( D ) and Assemblyman Tom Berryhill ( R ) testify and defend their words spoken on the record in the State Assembly Hearings. Nicole stated that "if AB 1735 stands it would be over my dead body" and Tom Berryhil said that CDFA "heads should roll" for decieving the legislature. There will be a day when all is attoned.
Looks like sales will go up again. When ever we are crucified consumers love us even more. Raw milk is a truth that will take more than this to kill.
There will be no revote to overturn the CDFA motivated veto. The members of legislature would need to return for the extra special vote and they are now adjurned for this session.
It appears that Arnold did sign other legislation to correct other flaws in AB1735 ( Galgiani ). But his SB 201 veto statement written by his handlers at CDFA mocked the hearings and raw milk moms testimonies and efforts as " acts of loobying and public relations". Truly hateful words drafted by horrible people at CDFA. How could anyone look a raw milk mom in the eye and say that what they believe is a farce or worse. Please read the whole veto statement. It stinks of CDFA and FDA corruption. Arnold never heard a single thing we said.
I am going to take a chapter from the Amish and forgive Dr. Stephen Beam CDFA and John Sheehan of the FDA for their acts of treachery. They do not know what they have done and or who they have hurt by their cowardly secret corrupt acts.
For now we will turn the other cheak and keep our chins up….
….I promise that raw milk will flow…what ever it takes.
Senator Dean Florez has promised a new bill in 2009 and it will be a great one….we have learned much from this tragic political episode. We will carry these lessons forward.
You may need to turn the other cheek, I and others don’t have to. After reading David’s post, I sent letters to many here in Sacto. Phone calls will be coming. Indeed a sad day. Dictatorship over the American public. What will they outlaw next?
Steroids can affect the brain. But then, he who gives the most may win….
….CDFA PhDs are more interested in their own salaries, FDA pats on the back, career enhancement, awaiting their own pathetic retirements and making their Winnebago payments. Show me one CDFA PhD that is loved by a consumer….they do not exist.
We are interested in human health, freedom and greater things. Our goals will far outlive theirs.
Ours are eternal and true….no veto will deny us this.
Wall Street makes bets on worthless flawed investments and looses, no problem Main Street the tax payer FORCED to the rescue $700 billion plus. But the bailout could make money for the tax payer if that is true why would Wall Street give up the worth less paper? Main Street isnt buying cars so the auto industry is in trouble no problem TPTB forces Main Street to pony up $25 billion for the auto industry without producing even one car. Buffet just bought billions of dollars worth of GE and GS stock reaping a minium 10% plus return. These are what you call SWEET deals. As for MAIN STREET the tax payer? The key word is payer we pay and pay and pay but soon the piggy bank will be empty. If this mind numbing greed, lies and unimaginable theft doesnt wake up our fellow Americans perhaps empty wallets will. Save Wall Street to save Main Street, Sounds a bit like destroy raw dairy to save the little children and the eldery does it not?
Industry News – PM
FSIS targets kids with food safety camp
By Ann Bagel Storck on 10/2/2008
Attending summer camp has long been a tradition for many kids, but USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service put a new spin on that time-honored practice.
This week nearly 60 students participated in hands-on demonstrations to learn food safety lessons through science at a "food safety camp" hosted by FSIS for fourth-graders from Prince Georges County, Md.
Each student had the opportunity to view common types of foodborne bacteria through high-powered microscopes, participate in hand-washing experiments using glow-in-the-dark materials, prepare safe snacks in the microwave and calibrate different types of food thermometers. Throughout the day, students met with USDA scientists to learn about how bacteria in food may cause illness and how to avoid it.
"It is important that children be taught about food safety so they can understand what behaviors to embrace and which ones to avoid," said Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety Beth Johnson. "We teach safety when kids learn to swim and ride bikes, and we need to teach safety when it comes to handling and preparing food."
USDA awarded the grants in 19 states through the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (NIFSI). For a full list of institutions receiving the grants, click here.
Here’s another bunch of taxpayer money for ‘food safely’…
They are running scared!
Industry News – AM
USDA awards more than $13 million in food safety grants
By Ann Bagel Storck on 10/2/2008
Each year, USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service allocates NIFSI grant funds so that sound, practical, science-based knowledge can be shared among teachers, scientists, health professionals, researchers, farmers, food processors, foodservice workers and all who impact the safety of the U.S. food supply.
NIFSI grant funds often are used to develop education and outreach programs for consumers.
This could be very good or bad….I hope the grant does not come with an agenda other than pure science!! The more good information that can be confirmed and provided to government the better.
I am attending the conference… if they will have me. This could truly break new ground with the FDA and other hard headed government types.
Given the Complete Censorship by people in the raw milk against anyone with a different opinion, I predict no common ground. Have a good time at the conference.
As you probably know, the FDA gets at least half of it’s money from drug companies. This has even been reported and criticized by mainstream media sources like Reader’s Digest.
If drug companies aren’t making any dough, that is less money for the FDA. It’s no wonder that Vioxx stayed on the shelves longer than it should have.
If you want to claim that raw milk improves people’s immune system and overall health, the FDA will have something to say about that.
I’m not sure about the USDA though. How it gets its money and where it comes from I’m not so certain about. Hopefully, the testing it does is fair.
You are far far too optimistic.
"Positivity can be a force multplier!"
It is sad that others feel the need to dictate what some consume. What will be next? Fast foods and/or processed foods don’t appear on the deleted radar. Will various religion be ousted? If you control the food and water, you can control everything.
The govt entities have failed with "safe" foods and other products. Where does it say that they have the power to dictate what people consume? Home schooling is becoming harder to achieve for many, nonprocessed foods are becoming harder to find. Can you find or buy untreated, uncontaminated water anywhere? People are being told how to raise thier kids, how they should be living thier lives. Doesn’t anyone see anything wrong with htis picture?
I was reading a food blog last night and they were talking about granola, Bear Naked brand. I was curious as to who owns the company and stumbled upon this web site. I’ve questioned the govts definition of "organic" for a long time. Now I’ll toss it out the window. Plan B will most likely be owning my own cow and at least 40 acres.