I’m glad to see Mark McAfee so upbeat. “The power resides with the people,” he says in his comment on my previous post. “By April new legislation will be introduced and the Blue Ribbon Commission will have made its recommendations. We will have earned far more than AB 1604 would have ever given us.
No one can accuse the fine public servants of California’s Department of Food and Agriculture of sitting on their hands, and letting raw milk coliforms threaten the health and safety of California consumers.
I keep thinking about Barb and Steve Smith, and how they took six of their children to the court hearing last week seeking a temporary injunction in their suit against New York’s Department of Food and Agriculture.
They school their children at home. (Six live at home, and three others are grown and on their own. The photo at left shows the Smiths with three of their children, Alan, Paddy, and Jacob.)
Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we back to where we were on the first of this month?
Six days ago, Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures proclaimed after the well-attended Sacramento hearing on AB 1604, “We all won!… Thanks to last minute 'hallway negotiations,' Assembly Bill AB 1604 passed with unanimous consent during Ag Assembly hearings held on Wednesday. This will ensure, for now, the continued flow of raw milk in California."
The vagaries of our legal system were on full display for Barbara and Steve Smith and members of Meadowsweet Dairy LLC yesterday afternoon at the Seneca County courthouse in tiny Waterloo, NY.
For author Ron Schmid, the recent problems in California regarding raw milk have a familiar ring to them. The consumer outrage. The hearings. The hope that public officials will relent and begin to listen to reason.
The New York hearing over the legality of the Meadowsweet Dairy and its distribution of raw milk products to owners of its limited liability company seems to have been a knock-down affair, with no punches pulled.
We won’t know for at least a month the outcome of the hearing held by the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, but the situation could begin to clarify itself on Tuesday, when the case goes before a state court in Waterloo, NY, on a request by Meadowsweet to halt the state’s harassment of the dairy. There, a decision could come the same day.
Here are the facts in the California raw milk situation:
--Prior to January 1, 2008, consumers could buy all the raw milk they wanted, so long as the milk passed two categories of long-established tests for total bacteria and pathogens.
It was "a very exciting day" in Sacramento today, reports Mark McAfee, owner of California's largest raw milk dairy.