MO Judge Uses Defense Witness Info on High Somatic Cell Counts to "Infer" Cow Illness, Uphold the State, and Condemn Morningland Dairy's Cheese; FTCLDF Promises Appeal

Cheddar cheese being produced at Morningland Dairy during happier times. A few weeks ago I asked in a post whether a Missouri judge might be willing to explore new directions suggested by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund before condemning $250,000 worth of Morningland Dairy raw cow's and goat's milk cheeses.

The county judge, David Dunlap, has just issued his decision, and the answer is an emphatic "No." Indeed, the judge came at the entire matter differently than had been presented by either the state or the FTCLDF, in upholding the state's push to destroy Morningland's cheese.

The state had argued that because some samples of Morningland's cheese contained listeria monocytogenes and staph aureus, the cheese should be considered "adulterated" and the entire inventory should be condemned. This despite the fact that there hadn't been any illnesses from cheese previously sold.

The FTCLDF had argued that the state should provide detailed information about the nature of the contamination (such as the amount of listeria monocytogenes, and whether it was from a pathogenic subtype), and it challenged the assumption that the presence of bacteria constituted adulteration.

Judge Dunlap rejected the notion that the state had to provide detailed information. "At the time of condemnation [last summer], the Milk Board knew only that two small samples of defendant's cow cheese in California were alleged to contain unspecified quantities of the potentially pathogenic bacteria listeria monocytogenes and staph aureus. No evidentiary warrant existed for a global conclusion that the entire inventory of over 20,000 pounds--comprising many varieties of both cow and goat cheese produced on various dates over a period of many months--was similarly tainted. In this uncontested case, however, substantial evidence is not required, and agency discretion is broad

"More particularly, the court finds it implausible that a condemnation order should require separate testing of each individual batch of suspect cheese. The statutory scheme can protect public health only if a finding of tainted samples effectively shifts the burden of establishing lawfulness to the manufacturer. Application of this rule in the present case required that all of defendant's cheese presently in commerce be recalled, and that no further product be released except upon a showing of product wholesomeness and compliance with statutory and regulatory mandates."

Beyond that sweeping declaration, though, Judge Dunlap seemed most interested in the health of Morningland Dairy's cows. He pointed out that Missouri dairy laws stipulate that diseased dairy animals, apart from the milk or cheese they produce, can be "deleterious to man or detrimental to milk quality." That means "the court must therefore disregard the absence of sickness among the consumers of defendant's cheeses."

Ironically, the evidence of sickness in some Morningland Dairy cows was said by the judge to have been provided by Tim Wightman of the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation, who testified as an expert witness on behalf of Morningland.

"Prior to the testimony of defense witness Tim Wightman, no particular evidence suggested that any cheese had been made from the milk of diseased animals," noted the judge. "Mr. Wightman, however, recounted...greatly elevated somatic cell counts for cow milk from the herd supplying the defendant's operation during the period February-August 2010. The witness added, and courts have noticed, that elevated somatic cell counts in raw milk signal a likelihood of disease in the contributing herd."

The judge added, further, "Mr. Wightman explained that mastitis is an infectious disease and that cows afflicted with S aureus must be culled. Denise Dixon, the dairy principal and co-owner of the subject herd, indeed culled several cows in September 2010--just after the persistently high somatic cell counts, the California findings, the condemnation order, and the St. Louis laboratory results.

"It is more than a fair inference that, during the period when the condemned cheese was produced, there existed within the source dairy herd 'animals afflicted with a contagious or infectious disease deleterious to man or detrimental to milk quality,' namely mastitis. For this reason, the court finds that the condemned cheese was ineligible for sale ...whether or not the Board could have known this fact at the time of condemnation."

"A fair inference"? I googled Judge David Dunlap, but could find no evidence of him being a veterinarian, epidemiologist, or food science expert of any sort. It seems strange that he would base his decision  on his own judgment that the Morningland Dairy cows were "afflicted with a contagious or infectious disease deleterious to man..."

The decision only becomes more improbable. The judge next goes through a tortured analysis to associate the goat cheese with "unsanitary" conditions, since there were no somatic cell counts for the goats. He argues, "Plant conditions are deemed 'unsanitary' to the extent they deviate from the regulatory prescriptions. Here the evidence shows that in several respects that plant conditions failed to satisfy the stated requirements. These deficiencies had not led [the dairy inspector] to initiate any enforcement action in 2008 or 2009, likely because at that time no evidence suggested that contaminated cheese was being produced. Rather, it was the coincidence of contamination with 'unsanitary' conditions that led the Board to act. This action was not arbitrary or capricious, but evidence-based and within the Board's broad discretion."

His conclusion: "Because all of defendant's August 26 inventory (except the 11 blocks imported from Wisconsin) was either derived from infected milk or made in 'unsanitary' conditions (and presumably contaminated by one or both bacteria), it could never be sold."

Once again, the judge seems intent on proving a matter no one had argued--that the Morningland facilities were "unsanitary."

It's been understood from the beginning that this case was really about providing a justification to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its armed raid on Rawesome Food Club last June 30, during which Morningland Cheese was seized (along with $11,000 of other food).

Judge Dunlap seemed intent on helping the FDA complete its mission.

Judge Dunlap's decision upholding the state's request for a permanent injunction seems to set the stage for the destruction of whatever of Morningland's inventory hasn't already spoiled. Gary Cox of the CDFA promises an appeal within thirty days, so presumably things will remain on hold until appeals are dealt with.?

The judge looked at evidence of pathogen contamination in finished product, and tests related to herd health problems, then decided to rule in favor of protecting the public health. Kudos.

Lykke.

Kudos for what. The judge is a nonthinking FDA puppet.

First of all, the Michigan fresh milk group found that SCC were actually beneficial to human health and immune development. How did that get lost in the testimony?

Second of all, SCC are not alive and do not create illness. How did that get lost?

Lastly, never ever trust the courts.

Mark

Mark,

The Michigan fresh raw milk group never completed their website, and I assume they disbanded. Most of their site is broken links. In short, a high SCC = pus in the milk. Clearly, you don't sell your consumers milk with high SCC because you care about quality (and Fresno County regularly keeps you in check).

Lykke-

Do you know the approximate population threshold at which Staph entero-toxins are produced?

for the record, the court in morningland looked at 16 monthly samples of milk. the regulatory limit in missouri for somatic cell count is 750,000. on only three instances out of 16 did the milk exceed 750k, and at no time did it exceed 750k two out of four consecutive times.

(In response to Violet's comment on the last article)

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, Violet. If you haven't yet seen this video, I highly recommend it.

"Young Madison Socialist Reveals Popular Noodles & Company Restaurant Is Actually Harsh Dictatorship"

"I work at Noodles, a restaurant, and basically it's a dictatorship there. We're told exactly what we're going to cook, how we're going to cook it, what time we're gonna get there, and basically if they don't like what they're doing they try to tell us what to do and if we don't listen they get rid of us."

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/young-madison-socialist-reveals-popular-noodles-company-restaurant-is-actually-harsh-dictatorship/

Lykke-

You might want to check with the Michegan Fresh Unprocessed Whole Milk Workgroup to see if they really disbanded. I was wondering about the broken links on their website myself, so I sent them an email. They replied right away and told me that they are still working on the website, and are adding the missing material after they finish their research on each subject. They have completed the "Histroy of FUW Milk" and "Benefits & Values", and are working on "Risks" right now.

Lykke.

What we have experienced is that literally just a few cows out of hundreds in a herd can boost SCC sky high. This is not a danger to anyone. No it is not puss. You sound like a raw milk hater.

We have also found that high SCC do not have the same effect in raw milk as they do in processed superheated milk. Nit appears that the heating of the milk breaks up the cell membranes of the Sommatic cells and causes all sorts of quality challenges. But when raw these challenges do not occur.

But this does not matter because the truth does not matter. This is a political issue. An issue driven by the will of the climate.

Teach and teach. The climate changes with education, time and experiencing the truth in your own life.

Mark

Here is something to brighten your lives!!!

OPDC is the corporate sponsor and main cheerleader for the "4 RAW MILK CATS" UltraCycling Team.

http://www.4rawmilkcats.com/

This team of four ( average age 50 years old ) female extreme cylcists drink OPDC raw milk and are challenging the world record for crossing the USA in the fastest time ever. Dr. Cat Berge DVM and PhD is the team captain and was supported by OPDC several years ago when she competed in the RAAM race ( Race Accross America from San Diego to the east coast at 21 hours per day on just three hours sleep ).

This is progress.

Dr. Berge is a UC Davis Veterinarian and PHD and a State of CA certified Epidemiologist and expert on immunity and colostrum.

This race event will start in mid June and OPDC will face book the progress of the race with aerial pictures and on team pictures as they race.

The message here is this. Drinking raw milk and Exercise....both things missing in the American culture.

4 RAW MILK CATs are our team!!! This is our message!!

Mark

Their team Jerseys are being ordered right now....

Their racing shorts say..."RAW MILK" right across the Butt area....that kicks BUTT.

Mark

Since Violet has requested it, I am posting information rebutting Lola's Koch-Brothers/Fox-News talking points, supporting the government's attack on the basic rights of working class people in Wisconsin.

http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2011/2/28/milwaukee-city-attorney-claims-walkers-bill-is-unconstitutional
"Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walkers state budget repair bill would be unconstitutional because it would violate the constitutional home rule that protects cities and villages from interference in local pensions by the state, according to a legal opinion issued today by Milwaukee City Attorney Grant Langley."

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph#
It's the Inequality, Stupid
Analysis of how wealth in American is distributed. Why more Reagaonomics (tax breaks for the rich and corporations) is NOT the solution to improving the economic lot of common people.

http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2011/02/19/bringing-home-150-troops-from-afghanistan-would-fix-wisconsins-budget-crisis/
Bringing home 150 troops from Afghanistan would fix Wisconsin's budget crises. Why not bring them all home? Wisconsin's national guard has been deployed in two seperate illegal imperialist wars in the past decade.

http://www.prwatch.org/spin/2011/02/10086/bargaining-rights-and-state-deficit-size-are-unrelated
Data gathered by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows no direct correlation between the size of a state's budget deficit and whether a state has collective bargaining or not. Wisconsin is projected to have a 2012 fiscal year budget deficit of 12.8 percent, but North Carolina, which is non-unionized and prohibits government employees from bargaining, has a significantly higher deficit of 20 percent. The state of Ohio, whose Republican governor, like Scott Walker of Wisconsin, is also pushing to curtail collective bargaining rights, faces a deficit half the size of North Carolina's. This shows that collective bargaining is unrelated to the size of a state's budget deficit. Rather, the size of a state's deficit is the result of the relative impact of the recession within that given state. What these Republican governors have failed to explain is how curtailing collective bargaining rights will create good jobs in the private sector or improve the lot of the struggling middle class -- the main concerns of citizens at the moment.

http://www.prwatch.org/news/2011/02/10079/walkers-mo-and-past-privatization-disaster-revealed
In early 2010, when [current Wisconsin Governor Scott] Walker was Milwaukee County Executive, he fired 26 union security guards who worked at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. They were public employees and were represented by a union, but he fired them anyway, in favor of hiring private security guards. The county board opposed Walker's security-outsourcing move, but he pressed ahead with it anyway, claiming the action was needed due to a budget crisis, to help ameliorate a potential 2010 year-end deficit of around $7 million. After firing the guards, Walker hired private security contractor Wackenhut G4S to provide security services at the Courthouse, as well as two other venues in the county, under a $1.1 million contract. [This move ended up costing Milwaukee County far more money than it saved, while Wakenhut hired convicted felons to manage courthouse security.]

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/editorial/article_61064e9a-27b0-5f28-b6d1-a57c8b2aaaf6.html
Walker gins up crisis to reward cronies
In its Jan. 31 memo to legislators on the condition of the state's budget, the Fiscal Bureau determined that the state will end the year with a balance of $121.4 million.

To the extent that there is an imbalance -- Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit -- it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January. If the Legislature were simply to rescind Walker's new spending schemes -- or delay their implementation until they are offset by fresh revenues -- the "crisis" would not exist.

The Fiscal Bureau memo -- which readers can access at http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/2011_01_31Vos&Darling.pdf here] (pdf) -- makes it clear that Walker did not inherit a budget that required a repair bill.

(MORE INFO COMING... TO BE CONTINUED...)

"the judge looked at evidence of pathogen contamination in finished product ... " , you say?
Well do I remember Judge Edmund Cronin prounouncing from the Bench"the nature of evidence is that it can be tested" as he politely told the Crown Counsel to get stuffed, when the Crown wanted to put in material anonymously.
Show us the facts which Morningland was given the opportunity to test?!.
Of course they weren't allowed to make full answer and defence ... that'd open up the whole thing to a fair hearing, and we sure can't have THAT!! when it comes to the fables to do with raw milk

What comes through in the tenor of your posts, Lykke, is that you have some simple-minded faith in governmental authority ... as though it is impossible for bureaucrats ever to make a mistake, let alone would the nanny state ever act with malice. You are wilfully blind to the overwhelming pattern that the dairy cartel is moving the FDA to destroy its competition

Usually I don't curse my adversaries... but in your case, I'll make an exception : I hope you get entangled in a lawsuit in which you're prevented from testing the allegations against you. Only then will you grasp what's really going on in this raw milk thing

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_90196216-3b66-11e0-a327-001cc4c03286.html

Are [Wisconsin's] finances really in crisis? Budget figures can be moving targets, of course, depending on who is spinning the numbers, but a closer look at the states finances suggests that while there are major problems to be addressed, the situation is arguably not much worse than two years ago, and in some ways better.

Much debate has sprung from a Jan. 31 memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, which says at one point that the state will finish the fiscal year on June 30 with a $112 million gross surplus.

AND LEST YOU THINK I'M A STOOGE FOR THE DEMOCRATS... Obama shall not be spared from criticism in creating this faux economic "crises" being used as a rationale for attacking the rights and livelihood of working class people:

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/2/15/obamas_37_trillion_budget_calls_for
Obamas $3.7 Trillion Budget Calls for Military Spending Increases and Deep Cuts to Social Service Programs

TO BE CONTINUED...

Seriously, Bill, is there anything you don't know?

Lykke,

I am presenting ( teaching again ) tomorrow evening at 1800 hours at the Carlsbad Library in Carlsbad CA. If you are in CA please come by and get a free quart of OPDC raw milk. You can use your real name and I would never know who you are....???

I do not even know in which state you live....it is quite sad actually that we can not ever speak. You throw your hollow stones from behind your false name. This is not a fair discussion. Instead, Lykke is a ghost of the FDA CAFO NCIMS and the PMO. Free speech is not free or fair when it is done from behind a cowardly wall. Free speech is fair when real people stand and speak face to face.

If anyone else is in Southern CA please come and spend 90 minutes with me....I will be bringing lots of fresh free raw milk as a gift to all that attend.

My presentation is called:

" The 15 things that pasteurization killed". This invitation goes to the FDA as well....please come.

Mark

Thanks for the link Lola . . LOL! I just loved the last 30 seconds or so of this video:)

Bill . . what about your cheesemaking job in Ohio . . . are you still working there? If you have all the answers . . . why not start your own cheesemaking venture. It is not that hard to do if you apply for Ag grants, small business loans, etc.

Until you own your own successful business (you are only 25 or 26 years old and you have a great deal to learn . . . I know I did when I was your age) . . . I don't really think you can sway me with all of your propaganda:)

Kind regards,

Violet
www.kilbyridgefarmmaine.blogspot.com

Mark,

I have a hunch that Lykke lives in upstate New York. I may be wrong but I do have "Sitemeter" on my blog and someone from here was looking at my blog for a great deal of time when I asked her to apologise to me privately a few months ago. She never did . . . so I feel that I can share this info to all of you now.

Kind regards,

Violet
www.kilbyridgefarmmaine.blogspot.com

Mark:

I would love to come talk with you in CA, but I'm stuck here in NC having my health protected by redneck control freaks.

Love the bike team sponsorship...maybe when FTCLDF brings down the FDA's interstate ban you can sponsor my team as well. Until then, we can just be 'Team Pet Milk' (pun intended...).

P.S. Help me understand why you all want to waste your fingertip callouses on that troll Lykke...it's probably just Bill Marler masquerading, anyway.

Kevin,

Don't want to waste my time on Lykke anymore either . . . . but I think I may know who she is:) Her somatic cell count posts gave her away. She is not Marler . . .

Think quality assurance:)

Kind regards,

Violet
www.kilbyridgefarmmaine.blogspot.com

Since you are asking Violet, I will share.

I moved back to Wisconsin just prior to the holidays, because the creamery I was working at in Ohio was not ready to make cheese. The bad economy combined with chain grocery store bias against medium-sized dairy processors and federal dairy policy geared towards Deans and DFA conspired to create a lot of financial headaches for the company. Upon further discussion we decided it would be several years before they were ready to make cheese on a commercial basis.

There's nothing more to it than that. I did get the unique opportunity to work with Water Buffalo milk (on the home scale) while I was there, and I operated a nano-filtration system for concentrating skim milk. I could probably run an ultra-filtration system for producing faux "raw milk" if I wanted to, but I'd prefer to leave that job to family farmers.

It is interested, Violet, that you would choose to believe the propoganda of corporate billionairres like Ruppert Murdoch, or David and Charles Koch, over the propoganda of a genuine grassroots movement. The simple fact of the matter is that our country can no longer afford to fund corporate welfare in its many forms, and continue paying a living wage and providing decent healthcare to all its citizens. A choice must be made, and the corporatists are using Wisconsin as a proving ground for their agenda, as they attempted to do with raw milk last year. And as last year, a strong grassroots resistance to their efforts has proven critical to curtailing the corporate agenda.

A few more facts about the situation in WI:

http://wtaq.com/news/articles/2011/feb/15/green-bay-packers-players-join-unions-rejecting-go/#
Green Bay Packers Players Join Unions in Rejecting Gov's Cutbacks

http://www.prwatch.org/news/2011/02/9917/got-dough-how-billionaires-rule-our-schools
Rather than blaming teacher's unions for problems in the education system, let's put the blame where it belongs -- billionaires whose "philanthropy" represents a political agenda to influence education policy in the U.S.

A few billion dollars in private foundation money, strategically invested every year for a decade, has sufficed to define the national debate on education; sustain a crusade for a set of mostly ill-conceived reforms; and determine public policy at the local, state, and national levels. In the domain of venture philanthropy -- where donors decide what social transformation they want to engineer and then design and fund projects to implement their vision -- investing in education yields great bang for the buck.

Without an adversary, you all start eating each other alive. Why dont you take some hits at me and leave poor Bill Anderson alone. What the hell is wrong with you people?

I'm a teacher in California and make $88,000 a year with full benifits. This should give you all something to throw darts at. I've got your back Bill.

cp

Bill,

Don't believe in propaganda period right or left. If you have read my posts you can see that for yourself.

Never heard of the Koch brothers myself until Wisconsin . . . . wonder why? Propaganda maybe . . . hmmmm. No mention of Soros and why is that?

I do believe we have the freedom to consume foods of our choice and small farmers have the right to produce QUALITY meats, dairy and produce without government intrusion directly to consumers and even to top chefs . . . . believe me . . . . great chefs do not buy substandard foods.

There is a reason why I am now sold out of all of my heritage poultry.

Kind regards,

Violet
www.kilbyridgefarmmaine.blogspot.com

Not a fan of George Soros either, Violet. Flip side of the same coin.

We don't disagree about small farmers. I just happen to think that our regulatory agencies should be devoting the resources they use for prosecution towards helping small farmers. And they should be prosecuting the factory farms.

As much as we'd all like it, we're not going to have an anarchist society (without government) anytime in the near future. And if we were to have such a society, it would need to be collectivist to a certain degree -- the market left to its own devices is an incredibly destructive force on society. That's not to say the market shouldn't have a role, just that the market needs to serve the interests of society and not the other way around.

That is genuine libertarianism. This ultra-right-wing economic individualism that Americans call "libertarianism" is a total hoax. Study historical libertarians (prior to the 1950's) -- Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Tucker, Henry George, etc... they were not fans of capitalism.

Great job CP . . . . with health benefits you make about $107,000 per year. Good for you! Then again, I am just a lowly farmer without any benefits or a retirement pension and I still manage to get by and don't really get upset about it.

I love my job though!

Kind regards,

Violet
www.kilbyridgefarmmaine.blogspot.com

Look, I agreed with the Judge's decision and most of you didn't. If everyone always agreed about everything, there would never be progress. Our species would be like the amazing ants that survive and prosper on genetics alone.

Glad to hear the Michigan group is working on the risks section of their website.

As you all probably know, almost all scientific journal articles are reviewed by anonymous peers. This is true for ones you might not like (for example, outbreaks from raw milk) and ones you might like, such as this recent paper in New England Journal of Medicine:

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1007302

Bill A - I suspect you know the answer to your question about Staph aureus enterotoxin. Write your answer and I'll comment on it.

Bill,

Don't think that the government needs to help me at all . . . Just needs to get out of the way.

Night all.

Kind regards,

Violet
www.kilbyridgefarmmaine.blogspot.com

p.s. Lykke is not Bill Marler, but thanks for the complement :)

Violet-

If you intend to sell cheese made in any meaningful quantity on your farm, you're going to have to work with the government, like it or not. They can be helpful with food safety issues, but unfortunately they don't understand artisan cheese making so well. Their system is designed for the big boys. We need a system that is designed for the small farmers and cheese makers.

Lykke-

Staph Toxins are produced once the concentration reaches 10^6/mL. This threshold is also the threshold for Grade B raw milk for pasteurization and manufacturing (aka cheese and butter making) when it is recieved at the dairy plant. Staph toxin is heat-stable and can survive pasteurization.

Below these levels, cheese can have staph and still be perfectly safe. As a cheese maker, it is entirey possible to use Staph-positive milk and make safe cheese. It is important to either 1) test for Staph toxin in the finished product or 2) determine what the peak concentration of staph was in the cheese. On most normal varieties of cheese (where the pH drops and stabalizes within 24 hours), Staph will reach its peak concentration within the first few days, and then it will run out of food and will slowly start to die off as the cheese ages.

Believe it or not, there are many award winning raw milk cheeses which have low levels of Staph. Modern dairy breeds are the main reason this happens. Higher milk production cows are the most susceptible to sub-clinical staph infections in the udder.

"And they should be prosecuting the factory farms."

The conditions that created the factory farms are a combination of the easy credit of the fractional reserve banking system combined with government policy that controls the prices paid to dairy farmers and eliminates any meaningful competition. To spend more government money "prosecuting" factory farms would be illogical; get rid of the mechanisms that caused their existence (government intervention into the market) and the factory farm would disappear.

Bill, you seem to take issue with how much corporations spend on campaign contributions. Could answer this please?

How do you explain that the top political donors to the Democratic party are overwhelmingly unions? They are just like the corporations you despise, except that they use money collected from the taxpayer to fund their political ambitions.
http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

"That's not to say the market shouldn't have a role, just that the market needs to serve the interests of society and not the other way around."

The market is the driver in any society. All wealth comes from the earth, whether it be grown, harvested or cut. Under free markets parity price is paid to the harvesters of true wealth and that insures full productivity and fair wages. Collectivist economies do not work, as the hardest workers are compensated no more than the lazy lout for his labor. Plus, under Socialism/Marxism there are still wealthy dictator oligarchs at the top controlling the economy (the Rothschild banking family funded the Bolshevik Revolution - it was not a grassroots "workers" revolution - and it lead to a brutal dictatorship under the guise of "socialism").

CP, Bill got himself into this situation when he promoted his socialist agenda unchallenged in no less than 4 posts. We are not "picking on him". We are just asking him to explain his assertions.

David Burge over at http://iowahawk.typepad.com/ has a post on 3/2/2011, Longhorns 17, Badgers 1 in re. comparison of public education results of Wisconsin and Texas. Paul Krugman's work, published in The Times, is analyzed.
Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

Ahaha! FTCLDF making a run at "Worst Legal Team in the U.S."

In other news, contaminated cheese still unhealthy/raw milk people still don't care about the public.

Lola-

All economies are collectivist, whether you acknowledge it or not, even capitalist economies. Corporations are collectivist entities. There has never been, never will, a true free market, in which every individual is pitted against every individual in a ruthless bargaining and numbers game for survival. Markets exist within the confines of social institutions and customs, and as such are creatures of the state and of the ruling class.

The most compelling case for economic collectivism is NOT Marxism or socialism or some other outdated 19th-century industrial-revolution-era ideology. The most compelling case for economic collectivism is nature, biology, and evolution. Species which have the most developed cooperation and mechanisms of mutual aid are also the species which are most successful in nature. Your extreme right-wing "social darwinism" is in fact the opposite of true biological darwinism, in which the struggle for survival is not of the individual against the forces of nature, but a struggle of the entire species.

I do take issue with unions supporting Democrats. The Democrats have betrayed the working class far too many times, and the United States is long past due on the organization of a true mass labor party.

Why is it that we are the only industrialized nation on the planet in which you can be bankrupted by medical debt? I'll tell you why -- It is because our labor unions have put their lot in with the Democrats, instead of organizing their own political party.

The biologists push to have information content formally recognized and added to the four basic forces of nature (gravity-electromagnetism-strong nuclear-weak nuclear) brings forward contrasts such as these: the information content to describe the physical universe from start to present comprises 10 to the 90th power bits; the information content in the simplest life forms (a virus, say) comprises 10 to the 10 to the 11th power bits. Thats ninety zeroes vs. 100 billion zeroes. The point is that biology is wildly complex. We assume it is orderly.

Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

I have no disagreement with you, Ingvar. I'm talking about macro-scale phenomenon, not reductionism. Evolutionary biology is driven as much (if not moreso) by a specie's ability to cooperate as it is driven by competition. Species more adept at cooperation are also more adept at survival.

Humans are the only species which attempt to reduce all economic organization to numerical values. This is the very basis of neo-liberal economic theory which underlies the last 30 years of supply-side economics -- the theory of marginal utility. All things must be quantified in order to have economic value.

If Lola had her way, it would be sheer competition among the lower classes. The rich, of course, would not be forbidden from cooperation to further their interests, but it would be a threat to this Randian version of "Freedom" to have the poorer classes cooperate.

Such is American capitalism. Socialism for the elites. Afree market for everyone else.

Bill,

Your above statement may be your own political theory . . . . but is not grounded in reality. BTW . . . No idea what the heck you are talking about.

Violet

Bill, please refrain from putting words in my mouth. What you are claiming about me is untrue.

First and foremost, I hate corporations (in the multinational, public sense, not in the family-owned, private "Inc." or "LLC"). I am not a "right-winger" and I am not defending "the system".

Corporations do not exist in a natural, organic, free market sense. Corporations only exist for two reasons: because of changes in law made in the 1800s allowing corporations to have indefinite charters and to have charters outside the public interest, and because of fractional reserve banking systems which allow more "money" to be in circulation (and thus borrowed) then there is in reality, causing corporations to grow disproportionate to demand. In the system I advocate, there would only be mutually beneficial, private, contractual trade between two parties, and with most of it done on a local level. That's it. Government regulation is not necessary because all businesses are small businesses where the customers know the product being sold. Businesses providing poor products would be allowed to go out of business and business providing good quality products will thrive. This doesn't exist in the real world, you say? Ever see someone sell honey on the side of the road? That's a free market. Ever been to a farmers' market? That's a free market. Ever bought eggs from a neighbor or co-worker? That's a free market. What do you think people did in rural areas in the 1800s, wait for the gov't regulator to show up and give them a permit? No, they bought and sold goods freely, even those items that came from distant locations, like spices from India. We don't think this system will work because we've been told constantly that it won't, and that you need someone (gov't) to tell you what to do because people are dark-hearted and unscrupulous. Some are, but the vast majority aren't.

Now, about those rich oligarchs...first you need to know who they are and how they play, then you dismantle their system of power.

The Illuminati families are the oligarchs, Bill, with the Rothschild banking family the most notorious (you've made fun of my "conspiracy theories", but these are facts, not fiction). Read how money is created and you will see the power that this family wields and how. You know that money is created when you sign a promissory note with a bank, right? They literally type the amount of money you want to borrow into an account for you. That's it. Nothing backs it up except that promissory note. Your signature created that money. But you "owe" it back to the bank in the form of your labor (which you trade for "money"), even though they put up nothing of value to begin with. (This is not theory, this comes from a Federal Reserve-issued handbook I have.) Money does not exist in a fiat system! It only exists as debt. (And the federal debt is proportionate to the price disparity between what farmers are currently paid and what farmers would be paid if they received parity price.) Go back and read that link to the Rothschild family history I left for you. You know why the War of 1812 happened? Because Congress wouldn't renew the Rothschild's central bank charter (it was only given a 20 year charter) so the Rothschilds sent the British military ("I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain's money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply." Nathaniel Mayer Rothschild, 1815) to the U.S. to try to intimidate the Congress into renewing the charter, which they did in 1816.

I want the oligarchs gone as much as you do. But I want to be free, too. Each person has to be allowed to fail or succeed according to his/her own merit. The system I've described best encapsulates that, I think. I don't expect you to agree, we may just have to agree to disagree.

Completing my thought above, that The point is that biology is wildly complex. We assume it is orderly. I am not positing conflict between complex and assumed orderliness. The animate is unimaginably complex yet we study, believing there is discoverable order and the effort to study is worthwhile. If we thought the inanimate let alone the animate to be an indiscernible chaos would we make any effort to study it? Study is typically orderly in fashion as we try to be alert to the unexpected. As to the use of numbers, I dont think we put numbers where numbers dont belong, numbers are one of the measures of our minds (tools e.g.). My reason to look straight at this unimaginable complexity of the living is to avoid predisposing myself to errors rooted in false certainty.

Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

What I still find so maddening is the pretense that this is all about safety and public health. That is a complete fallacy, LYYKE. If it were about safety, then diet sodas, particularly aspartame would be banned since:

"Reports of adverse reactions to the US FDA also supports this, as aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA!"

from the article today on Mercola's website:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/03/04/new-diet-sodas-can-cause-strokes.aspx

The FDA HAS TO KNOW that this additive is dangerous yet there is no action on their part. I would argue that aspartame is 1000x more dangerous to your health than raw milk yet it is perfectly legal and deemed "safe" by the FDA. I do not support a ban of aspartame, rather, I believe it is a consumer's choice to slowly poison themselves to death if they so choose. But the FDA should put the information out there so that consumers can make their own choices and stop pretending that safety matters to them.

How Donald Rumsfeld and Ronald Reagan were responsible for the approval of Aspertame in the 1980's:

http://www.rense.com/general33/legal.htm

Lola,

You have an awfully romantic view of American history and the free market.

Private ownership of land was forcibly imposed on this continent by European settlers, as part of the largest genocide in human history (also known as "Manifest Destiny") -- the wiping out the Native Americans who occupied this continent prior to European colonization.

The natives had communal conceptions of land ownership, and viewed it as a common resource for all humans to share equally. In the native view, we are stewards of the land, not owners of it. We borrow it from our children and from the other creatures of nature, we do not inherit it from our parents.

In the white man's system, the natives were forced to adopt individual ownership of land so that it could be bought up by real estate speculators only seeking profit.

If only freedom were as simple as deposing the Rothschilds and the Fed. Unfortunately for us, the structure of political and economic power is a lot more complex than that.

But this political debate is getting distracting. Let's talk about raw milk. I'm all for raw milk freedom. Yogurt, butter, cheese, kefir, you name it. And it should be coming from small sustainable farms. But I'm here to tell you that if we see more and more people getting sick from raw milk, because of this "free for all" attitude of disregard for food safety, then we are just asking for more state repression.

I'm not for state repression. Maybe you are?

"The free market" does not inherintly lead to raw milk safety and quality. A dedication to safety and quality leads to it. I have yet to hear any suggestions or insights on your part about how we could go about improving quality and safety in raw milk, just a lot of complaining and personal attacks against the people who are putting their heads together and trying to improve on these things.

Here's my challenge to you, Lola. Cut it with the political rhetoric. I'll do the same, because lord knows I've been guilty of it. Let's talk about dairy science.

How do you address raw milk quality and safety on your farm? What types of tests do you have done, and what kind of results do you look for? Do you perform any on-farm tests, such as shelf life tests, identifying protein films or pseudomonas buildups with a black light, or lacto-fermentation of the milk to characterize the microbial community within the milk?

I'm curious. In a free market, you have to take the initiative to put forward a quality product. How do you do it?

The Milk Opera. I love this site.

In a free market, Bill, each individual farmer decides if and what tests are necessary to ensure milk quality, based on cultural values and customer demands.

In your system, every farmer, from Washington State, to Alabama, to Maine would have the exact same system.

OPDC buys expensive tests to ensure milk quality/safety, and Mark's customer base will pay the premium needed to off-set those testing costs.

I live in a traditional farming area, where many people have dairy animals and poverty is fairly high. I would not be able to make any money selling milk if I had to run the same tests as Mark because the culture here does not value them and the customers here could not afford the premium I'd need to off-set the cost. (That is not to imply that people here are ignorant; on the contrary, they are pretty well tuned in to agriculture.) That does not mean I wouldn't produce quality milk; I just wouldn't want to be forced to run the same tests as Mark, as I could not make back the cost.

I would do testing, however, if my customers demanded it and would pay me the premium needed.

(For the record - I live in Wisconsin and I don't sell raw milk. The above scenario is hypothetical.)

And, if the farmers and consumers on this blog are any indication, some value testing, some do not. Let the free market sort out who tests and who doesn't.

Bill, have you ever worked on a farm (I mean more than an afternoon watching someone milk cows)? Did you grow up on a farm? Do you currently own a farm? You have a great body of knowledge, but yet have little (I'm guessing) practical experience.

Buy your farm (or rent some cows), run your tests, market your product, and see what results you get (and most importantly, what profit you receive. Profit is not a dirty word, it's what keeps your business in business!). Now talk to other farmers in other areas, and see what their communities value as a product. (And I don't mean at a WAPF conference. Talk to some farmers outside that circle.)

Say whatever you want to me as a reply, but I am not going to reply to you. This back and forth has gone on long enough and we'll never see eye to eye; besides, I have a farm and family to manage and I've neglected them long enough. My parting advice to you: you have a tremendous amount of knowledge in your head. Now, go get some experience to back it up. Go out and talk to others and realize that others may not have "book learning" behind them, but they have a tremendous amount of real world experience, and that their opinions and methodologies are just as valid as yours. There is room for everyone here. Stop trying to fit us all into one paradigm.

Lola-

You did not answer my question about how you address food safety and quality, you just brought it back to politics. Testing is not the only means of address safety and quality.

And you are putting words in my mouth -- I have never advocated for any kind of enforcement of raw milk standards, just that the standards should be developped so we can establish a safety record for certified raw milk, to prove that it can be produced safely and what kind of testing is needed to establish safety.

You have not explained to me how your free-for-all system will deal with the inevitable outbreaks that occur. Who is going to incurr the medical costs for the victims? The farmer who sickened them, or the victims themselves? We already know what the courts will say about this, and how these outbreaks will shift public opinion against the cause of raw milk.

For producers using the raw milk standards, they will have a recall plan in place in the event of a bad batch, and insurance to cover any medical expenses the victims may incurr.

I do not appreciate your ongoing personal attacks on me, Lola, but I will defend my honor -- yes I do have farm experience, but it is primarily organic vegetable farming not dairy farming. My experience in the dairy industry is mostly on the processor's side, not the farm side.

I still would like to know how your farm addresses safety and quality. What can you tell me about your milk? A shelf life test does not cost anything if you already have a refrigerator and a clean mason jar. Put a jar of milk in the fridge and don't touch it for two weeks. Does it still taste good? Its a pretty simple test, doesn't cost anything except a few minutes of your time.

So Bill . . . . if you have only farmed vegetables and handled "processed milk" in a commercial setting. . . how can you have a say in raw milk regulatory reform?

You are not even close to my expertise . . . go out there and milk cows, goats and sheep yourself . . . . create quality cheese with this raw product . . . . become a successful cheesemonger . . . If you have questions so many of us here on this blog would be happy to answer them . . and not with textbook speak . . . with real life knowledge. Please, get over yourself. You are way too young to have all the answers yet.

Kind regards,

Violet
www.kilbyridgefarmmaine.blogspot.com