Rawesome Case Disappearing Act: Two Defendants in L.A. County Case Settle with Small Fines

From left, Sharon Palmer and Victoria Bloch, with their lawyers Matt Bromund and Freddy Sayegh. (Photo by Angela Doss of www.thegirlsgoneraw.com)Almost like a mirage, the Rawesome Food Club case seems to be disappearing before our eyes. 

A big chunk of it vaporized Friday when two defendants--Sharon Palmer and Victoria Bloch--settled the charges filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney 13 months ago with slaps on the wrist...no, I'd say they were little taps. They each pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor, and agreed to pay a small fine.

Palmer, the Ventura County farmer, pleaded guilty to one count of distributing milk in unsanitary conditions, was fined $400, and will have to do 40 hours of community service.  She will be on probation for three years.

Bloch, the graphic designer  who worked for Palmer at farmers markets on weekends, pleaded guilty to one count of mislabeling a container of goat milk. She'll pay a $100 fine  and won't have any  community service requirement.  She'll be on probation for one year.                                                                      

The case of James Stewart, Rawesome's manager, remains in abeyance. He has a hearing scheduled next Wednesday in Ventura County on his motion to dismiss charges against him there for alleged with fraud and securities law violations  in connection with Palmer's acquisition of Healthy Family Farms back in 2008. Palmer still faces charges there as well in connection with loans and a mortgage obtained to obtain the farm. 

But if the events today are any indication, Stewart's Los Angeles County case can be expected to vaporize, and the Ventura County case looks to be on unsteady legs. 

The L.A. County District Attorney clearly didn't want to have to present evidence  in the Rawesome case. The prosecutors there had previously offered Palmer a deal whereby she would plead guilty to a single felony count,  with five years felony probation.

She refused the deal, and her lawyer proceeded to subpoena Richard Estes, the chief counsel  for  the California Department of Food and Agriculture, to challenge the legality of herdshares. As I discussed in my previous post, many  of  the  charges against Palmer  and Stewart in L.A. County grew out  of a herdshare Palmer operated for Rawesome, whereby she provided raw goat milk. 

Apparently when Palmer arrived at court Friday morning for a pretrial hearing,  at which the state was  supposed to present its key evidence in the case, the deal for Palmer had improved--the felony charge would become a misdemeanor and there would be no restrictions  on her selling at L.A. County farmers markets. The move to subpoena Estes of  the CDFA had apparently helped convince Estes he didn't want to testify and prosecutors that they didn't want to do a legal defense of prosecuting herdshares in California, when the state has  no law covering herdshares. 

Both Bloch and Palmer had indicated  a willingness to fight the charges associated with Rawesome, but  apparently were swayed by the offer of a very small penalty,  and the prospect of avoiding a protracted wait for a trial. Bloch said that apparently, under the labeling laws, "ignorance of the law isn't necessarily an excuse. I am guilty of having made one sale to an undercover officer because I gave him goat milk without a label." 

According to Palmer, the misdemeanor count she pleaded guilty to is misleading with its mention of "unsanitary condition." "When I was raided, the milk was for my 'milk fed pig'. The unsanitary conditions relate to the non-food containers the milk was kept in to feed the pigs. Even my pig food did not have pathogens in it and tested clean."

The  two women, together with Stewart, were charged in early August 2011, when they were arrested and tossed in jail--Stewart and Bloch for two days and Palmer for a week--until bail could be arranged. 

Subsequently, Palmer and Stewart were arrested by Ventura County sheriffs in connection with the fraud allegations while at a hearing in L.A. County. They were held--Palmer on $2 million bail  and Stewart on $1 million bail--for days until a judge finally reduced bail enough that the two could raise the money. In late July, Stewart was jailed in Ventura County for violating terms of his bail by not showing up for a court hearing; he remains there.

The prosecutors may have failed to get very tough penalties on Palmer and Bloch, but they no doubt accomplished their key goals: to shut down Rawesome Food Club and get at least a couple of small notches on their belts by obtaining guilty pleas to a couple of misdemeanors. Certainly those were the primary goals all along--pile on the charges and then let the defendants off, relieved they only had small penalties, and send a message that private food clubs that provide members with full choice, including raw milk, won't be tolerated.

Terry Dean Nemmers's picture

"A big chunk of it vaporized Friday when two defendants--Sharon Palmer and Victoria Bloch--settled the charges filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney 13 months ago with slaps on the wrist...no, I'd say they were little taps. They each pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor, and agreed to pay a small fine. Palmer... will be on ***probation for three years***. Bloch.... on ***probation for one year***." Little taps, huh? Coming from someone who advocates "civil disobedience" and "revolution," right? But I guess you would have to minimize it get someone else to go down the same path to destruction, right? Exactly how many times have you been arrested, David? How many days have you spent behind bars, huh? Exactly how many years have you been on probation, huh? Will this trigger your "revolution?" Probation is a nice long leash that the state can yank anytime they want, isn't it? And why would the prosecutor care what the size of the charge is as long as they admitted guilt, huh? He wouldn't, would he? The next time the charges will be larger, won't they? Sounds more like a rout of the so-called zealots, doesn't it? But I guess that's what happens when you play by the crooked court's rules, isn't it?

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Once a cheater always a cheater.....

Kristen P's picture

Indeed, Sylvia, indeed.

Wonder how much insolvent CA spent (wasted) on this fiasco tax payer dollar wise, needless waste of resources, time, money, and assault on people's lives and basic freedom.

Where are the citizens of CA who are sickened by all this and even more so, see the writing on the wall for their state because of the stupidity of the higher ups?

The courts are more like circuses for the stupidity of the other branches and agencies of government at this point than vehicles of justice.

Terry, can you email me, I looked at your site and could not find a contact email, mine is eleew then a 18 and then @ juno (dot) com

Terry Dean Nemmers's picture

"Once a cheater always a cheater..... said Sylvia Gibson" Exactly. The only way to win is to expose the cheater and his rigged game! "Wonder how much insolvent CA spent (wasted) on this fiasco tax payer dollar wise, needless waste of resources, time, money, and assault on people's lives and basic freedom." To mantain control? This was a wise investment for the people who run the rigged game. "Terry, can you email me, I looked at your site and could not find a contact email, mine is eleew then a 18 and then @ juno (dot) com" My mistake - I think have it corrected. lionnews00@gmail.com

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Terry, you have absolutely no clue why Sylvia said what she said & it is definitely not in the way you think!

ingvar's picture

In regards to TDN’s style
1. If it is a stretch to read this very different style of writing, how is it that that stretching is bad, exactly?
2. If I ask a question, for that asking can I be attacked for making a false statement?

In regards to Rawesome, the 8/2011 raid,
1. Criminal acts were committed under the color of law in the commission and execution of the August 2011 Rawesome raid, weren’t they?
2. These criminal acts are an issue that must be resolved in the clear light of day, aren’t they?
3. The damaged party is the Rawesome Club, isn’t it?
4. Who did the damage?
5. These criminal acts under the color of law involve the Judge who granted authorization for the taking of “samples,” and those who requested that authorization, and those who ran that raid, and those who participated in that raid, with the resultant wholesale destruction of Club property and disruption of the Club’s operation, don’t they?
6. Aren’t there Rawesome Club members whose health or the health of those they cared for was irreparably damaged as a result of that raid?
7. Isn’t this a matter for the Los Angeles County, California, Grand Jury?

In regards to MW
1. Will you kindly provide the reference that is the basis for your recent statement regarding the book “The Untold Story Of Milk?”

Seriously and cheerfully yours,
Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

David
I’m not sure your site is functioning properly: when I click on a comment I am sent to your post that the comment is attached to, but not to the specific comment. This is so with two different browsers of mine. With small numbers of comments it doesn’t matter but, well, with the longer comment sections, I don’t have time to manually search for the new comment. Also I thought the new comment rollover occurred in chunks of 100 comments but it seems the “I expect WI …” post rolled over between 100 and 200. Thanks.

Terry Dean Nemmers's picture

"....how is it that that stretching is bad, exactly? 2. If I ask a question, for that asking can I be attacked for making a false statement?... 1. Criminal acts were committed under the color of law in the commission and execution of the August 2011 Rawesome raid, weren’t they?"
Good answer, Ingvar! Maybe the next question you want to ask is: "David why did you tell Terry in an email that he can only post (3) three times in any new post?" And like I have said previously when attorneys sue the government for rights violations the things they look for are: 1. incompetence, 2. misconduct, and 3. abuse. Those are the things that should have been addressed in this case as well as in Hershberger's, Schlangen's and Hartmann's. Not this "death march" to jail or probation that as misrepresented as a primrose path.

David Gumpert's picture

J. Ingvaar Odegard,
The problem you are encountering with clicking on posts occurs when there are a large number of posts, and there is a second or even a third page of posts. In that case, you have to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the second or third little square to get to other pages.

As far as the Rawesome prosecution is concerned, you raise important questions about the government's actions. I'm not familiar with the possible remedies the defendants, or others, might have--whether they can sue various agencies for possible criminal acts, or for damages. I hope someone does challenge one or more of the agencies. Such a challenge might make the agency think twice before undertaking such an action again, and would help educate more people about the kinds of excesses that are occurring in this food arena. 

As for Terry Dean Nemmers' "style," I have no issues with his style. A person's style is their style. I have a problem when people post here excessively, in my judgment, and for whatever reasons (posting unrelated links, excessively arguing, getting into personal tiffs with others, etc.). In those situations, I privately ask them to reduce their comments to what I consider to be reasonable limits. If they exceed the limits, then the system blocks them. There are no hard and fast rules on this stuff. It's a matter of etiquette and allowing for reasonable discussion.

Terry Dean Nemmers's picture

"I'm not familiar with the possible remedies the defendants, or others, might have--whether they can sue various agencies for possible criminal acts, or for damages." David your style is misdirection, isn't it? Criminals cases get dropped when they can be shown to be rife with 1. incompetence, 2. misconduct and 3. abuse, can't they? That is what you don't want the cloistered community to hear, isn't it?

Sylvia Gibson's picture

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/09/07/ventura-dairy-farmer-pleads-gu...

"pleaded guilty to one count of selling her goat milk stored in unsanitary conditions to Rawesome market,"

People put their trust and faith and money into her and her products. The $1300 fine is a joke. By selling raw dairy from unsanitary conditions she put many people at risk for illness. Palmer has admitted selling eggs she outsourced- without telling the consumers, one can only wonder what other devious crap she pulled.

Sylvia Gibson's picture
rawmilkmike's picture

Wow, I guess there's a lot to be said for direct farm sales since it seems the state is more interested in eliminating healthy food choices than they are in creating them.

Kristen P's picture
rawmilkmike's picture

I'm disappointed by outsourcing to but its better than nothing. The state is putting our only sources of healthy foods in jail and out of business.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

rawmilkmike,

Perhaps to you her devious outsourcing is better than nothing. It is the same crap you buy in the grocery store. If I am paying premium money for a certain item, then I expect to get that particular item. If you don't have it, fine, I'll look elsewhere for what I want. She knowingly deceived her customers, she committed fraud against the customers. Hers was NOT a healthy source. She could rot in jail for all I care.

rawmilkmike's picture

I thought she was being prosecuted for not outsourcing.

David Gumpert's picture

Rawmilkmike,
The Rawesome case became very complicated, in large part because the prosecutors piled on charges, against not only Sharon Palmer, but against James Stewart and Victoria Bloch.  It was complicated even further because of internal divisions within Rawesome over allegations (by some Rawesome people, but not by the prosecutors) that Palmer was selling conventional food from places like Costco and claiming it was organic and grown on her farm. However, for all the charges piled on by prosecutors (for violating CA raw milk laws, mislabeling, securities law violations, etc.), none of them had anything to do with the accusations against Palmer that she outsourced her food (i.e. sold conventional food as if it was organic and grown on her farm). Individuals like Sylvia won't let go of that internal dispute, and every time Sharon Palmer's name is mentioned, she (and others) bring up, for the umpteenth time, their accusations that Palmer is a fraud.  It's pretty discouraging, since the case is complicated enough as it is.
In my view, the case, at its most fundamental, is about the government's political campaign against private food, with the courts being used to carry out the campaign at this time.
It's difficult for people like you, who may not be familiar with the convoluted history of the Rawesome situation, to understand all its nuances. It's difficult for me to know how much background to provide each time I write about it. I obviously didn't provide enough this time. In the meantime, I'd suggest you do a search of "Rawesome" and "Sharon Palmer" on this site, and take a look at some of the posts and comments to get more of a feel about it.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

David,

Sharon Palmer has a long legal or should I say illegal, history of various types of fraud. She admitted on this blog that she fraudulently sold eggs that she outsourced to customers and did not tell customers.

As I had said before, whatever is between her and the laws she broke is not my issue, that is up to the courts. My issue is her deceiving customers. Disdain comes to mind when she is pictured as the poor little misunderstood farmer.

It is discouraging when you put not only your trust and faith, but also your money into something you believe in and then to have that person or people deceive you, is unforgivable. To ignore and/or minimize her behavior in the food movement is an injustice to those who don't know. It would be no different than spouting off that no foods can make you ill.

Kristen P's picture

Amen.

rawmilkmike's picture

Sorry again Sylvia. I guess whenever you discharge a firearm in an urban area you run the risk of hitting an innocent bystander.

Amanda Rose's picture

Rawmilkmike,
Some of us believe that farmers who violate the trust of their customers don't deserve our support for whatever it is they are being dragged to court. David doesn't make this distinction.
Amanda

rawmilkmike's picture

Amanda if revenge is your only interest than you are worse than Palmer(that's assuming Palmer's guilty). You should be up in arms that Palmer got off scot free on the Costco egg thing rather than happy another raw milk supplier has been shut down.

Amanda Rose's picture

Revenge isn't even one of my interests. You just didn't seem to have background on this, so I was trying to supply it.

rawmilkmike's picture

I appreciate your patience.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Wait a min, wait a min....now the rumor has been stretched to some of the outsourcing supposedly came from Costco??? Where in the world does this accusation come from?

rawmilkmike's picture

Thanks David for the Rawesome info. I was wondering what Sylvia was so mad about. Sorry Sylvia while I do try to add raw eggs to my diet when possible and my wife has discovered wheat grass and spirulina; raw milk is by far the most popular super food in my house. Now if this Palmer person had sold pasteurized milk from Costco as raw that would be much more serious to me. Selling pasteurized milk as raw is a serious problem in Europe. It's not a problem in Wisconsin because all raw milk sales are farm direct only.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

rawmilkmike,

I want to believe that most farmers are honest and will tell you, when you ask, how they farm. If they won't tell you, then I would suggest you move on to another farmer. If you find out they lied to you, then share your experience with other consumers. Palmer admitted her outsourcing of eggs, these are the same eggs that she told the consumers where from her organically fed chickens...Which was fraud to all those who bought those eggs, they thought they were from palmers organically fed chickens and they were not. People like that leave a black mark for trust against those who are honest.

rawmilkmike's picture

I really don't think we have a disagreement Sylvia. We are just passionate about our own issue.

David Gumpert's picture

Rawmilkmike,
Nearly all the charges against Sharon Palmer had to do with distributing raw milk via a herdshare agreement. In the course of its investigation, the state repeatedly tested her milk to be sure it was raw, and it was. Kind of funny to think about, but that state might have filed fewer charges (or no charges) had she substituted pasteurized milk for the raw milk she supplied. Anyway, here is Palmer's explanation about her outsourcing activities--that they resulted from a mountain lion assault on her chicken flock, and occurred with at least partial knowledge of Rawesome Food Club.
http://www.thecompletepatient.com/article/2011/october/13/i-can-explain-...
Some people here think she should be forever condemned for outsourcing. The state thinks she should be forever condemned for supplying raw milk.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

"Some people here think she should be forever condemned for outsourcing. "

I can't speak for others. I feel she should be exposed for the fraudulent selling of products that were not hers and she knowingly sold to unsuspecting consumers. There is no doubt that others who are in search of healthy foods want to know about the people they are buying from. Isn't "know your farmer" promoted?

As for wild animals attacking farm animals, people are not stupid, they are very understanding and if it was explained to the consumers what had happened and that she was temporarily outsourcing, the consumers would have been informed and made their choice on whether they wanted to buy the outsourced eggs or not. Palmer, by selling eggs that were not hers and not informing the buyers, it appears she was devious just for the profits. So yes, she should be exposed.

Amanda Rose's picture

I don't know if she or anyone else should be "forever condemned" for outsourcing. Remember at the beginning of all of this when you all held a big rally and I didn't go? I did not show support for Palmer because she had defrauded her customers.

Amanda Rose's picture

This is good news especially for Victoria Bloch who appeared to have gotten herself caught in the middle of a shit storm. Part of the storm was created by Palmer and Stewart, so I have less sympathy there, but the plea agreement as a whole seems to fit with the charges that were actually brought.

rawmilkmike's picture

Amanda, Our food regulations were written to insure consumers get the foods they are looking for not to force us to buy what ever a processor chooses to sell.

rawmilkmike's picture

Not if they were innocent.

rawmilkmike's picture

Sounds like another case of guilty even when proved innocent.

rawmilkmike's picture

Like O.J.

Terry Dean Nemmers's picture

"Sounds like another case of guilty even when proved innocent." You said that you were coerced into pleading guilty to something that you did not do. As soon as you do that you destroy your own reputation for a short-term benefit. 95% of the people take plea bargains (that includes innocent and guilty people). The state does not care if you are innocent or not. All they care is that their reputation looks good and their reputation is intact. Only a wolf in sheep's clothing would say that is justice. We need to start pulling the sheep mask off of the crooked courts! That is the only viable path to victory!

Terry Dean Nemmers's picture

"Sounds like another case of guilty even when proved innocent." Mike: The people who are part of the "justice" system know that people are presumed guilty until they are proven innocent . They know it has nothing to do with "protect and serve" but in reality it is “convict and incarcerate.” They just want you ignorant of it so they can take advantage of you.

'The Code of Silence is a zero-sum game. You can't have integrity and play the Code of Silence game because every time you use it to win the game of “convict and incarcerate” you lose honor and integrity. Sadly, a lot of the cops succumb to the Code. It becomes a way of doing business for them.'
Walking With the Devil: The Police Code of Silence by Michael W. Quinn [Mpls Police Sgt (ret)], page 69-70.

And all the crooked court needs to do to make you guilty is to change the rules and the people will blindly ignore the facts!

'Mr. Supalo said he believed the hearsay law might be unconstitutional, but he eventually realized his duty as a juror was only to assess the evidence, not the laws. “We weren’t the U.S. Supreme Court,” he said of the jurors. “Right or wrong, this was the hearsay law, and we had to use it in this case.”' Hearsay Rule Vexed Jurors in Illinois Murder Case, By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Published: September 8, 2012.

Now I suppose the hierarchy will be upset that I put things into context, won't they?

rawmilkmike's picture

Wow, and I thought raw milk was legal in California. Reminds me of when we were told they were going to legalize raw milk in Wisconsin. When I looked at the proposed law it was just more restrictions. It wasn't legalization at all.

rawmilkmike's picture

I hope Vernon doesn't take the first deal.

Terry Dean Nemmers's picture

"I hope Vernon doesn't take the first deal." If Vernon is innocent, then he shouldn't take any deal. If Vernon is guilty, then he shouldn't take any deal if the government obstructed justice either.
'So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.' John 8:7

Kristen P's picture

It does seem to be much ado about nothing after all, doesn't it?
It's a shame that no one seems to care about outsourcing: not the government, not the DA, not the farmer's markets, not the producers or vendors... who is out there to protect the Farmer's Market consumer?
Caveat Emptor.

rawmilkmike's picture

There isn't enough deference between the best and worst vegetables. The deference between fresh and processed food is a matter of life and death.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

"who is out there to protect the Farmer's Market consumer?"

We apparently have to look out for ourselves. Word of mouth goes a long way. Whenever someone brings up Palmer et al, I inform them of what I've read about her dealings and her admission of outsourcing without informing the customers, and also encourage them to google her name and arrest records. Fraud is fraud.

mark mcafee's picture

Broom Rider, aka...Dr. Amanda,

I see that you have become a Commercially licensed Broom Rider with Advanced Instrument, Multi Engine, High Purformance and Complex ratings.....you fly that Broom into any kind of adverse weather conditions. Wow....very impressive.

Did you even read the CDFA recall notice or Press release? Did you even read the OPDC recall notice. Sounds like you are an OPDC wanny be "FB liker" . You got blocked months ago because of bitchy destructive comments....but you still hang arround vicariously lurking about.

The September 13th recall raw milk tested negative. Same for the skim raw milk that tested negative. The only test that came back positive was the raw cream. There should be no reason not to drink the raw milk. Even raw milk dated Sepetmber 13th. The expanded yet very targeted and narrow, very specific recall was an act of slightly over cautious regulator activity. To recall a product which tested negative is something to be expected from our very very very very very cautious CDFA food safety partners.

My daughter Kaleigh loves raw milk and she is one of the healthiest young moms I know.

Watch your next flight of the BROOM....you are messing with my daughter....that is Hard Hurricane force IFR weather and I do think you want to tempt your fate messin with me....I protect my young.

Ground your Broom and start considering what it is you really believe in.

Mark

Amanda Rose's picture

Make all the personal attacks you want. Your Facebook page is public and I can certainly read how you guys respond to a recall. And lo and behold, look what's there.

Suggest to your employee that she stop acting like one of your customers, daughter or not. She is the head of marketing for your dairy and in charge of your Facebook page. On Facebook you actually have to switch your settings to post as "yourself" when you are an administer of a business page. Tell her not to switch to herself, just to continue posting as OPDC. Perhaps after posting as OPDC, she could leave her name so that people know it's her and not you if her intent is to tell people it's her and not you.

Or perhaps you've instructed her to play it this way.

Amanda Rose's picture

Mark,

Did your cream come from different milk than your bottled fluid milk? Was the skim milk not a byproduct of the cream? You've only got one tank and it was the same code day that was recalled. We know it pathogens can be unevenly distributed in product. Do you have structures in place that make you sure your milk was not contaminated when your cream obviously was?

Amanda

rawmilkmike's picture

Cream goes through an additional process and I don't know what's so obvious about it.

rawmilkmike's picture

What did it test positive for?

Amanda Rose's picture

Cream indeed goes through a different process as it is being separated from the skim part of the milk. I am asking Mark why he's sure the skim and whole milk didn't have campy. These state tests are needles in haystacks. In any case, we're talking about the latest recall for campy: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/egov/Press_Releases/Press_Release.asp?PRnum=12-033

rawmilkmike's picture

Didn't Mark say it tested negative. Amanda, with raw milk, it's more likely a false positive than a false negative. Don't you get it. I'd rather drink campy than pasteurized milk. I wouldn't return my milk. Healthy people don't get diarrhea from campy. We don't even know if campy causes diarrhea. If it did is it that hard to drink a glass of water. Consumers need these farmers more than they need us. We're not traveler's so why would we be afraid of traveler's diarrhea. Campy is more likely to come from humans than from grass feed cows.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

You're the first person I've read that would rather drink campy. I can't imagine knowingly feeding myself or any child something that was contaminated. healthy people do get diarrhea from campy. Campy does cause diarrhea. Where do you get your information from?

rawmilkmike's picture

To tell you the truth, cream is really not a necessity so I probably wouldn't use it even though I did pay $20 a half gal. for it. But carrot juice doesn't go over to well with the kids.

rawmilkmike's picture

Right here on the net but I will admit sometimes I had to go to page 10 hit number 999.

Amanda Rose's picture

The negative tests Mark refers to are the corresponding tests that the state did on the skim and whole milk when the state did its monthly testing. They pull samples for each product and test them. The sample they tested for skim and whole were negative but since the cream was positive, assuming it came from the same source milk, you have to wonder about the rest. Maybe someone can find the quote from the WA raw milk farmer who got caught up in a recall. It made him think about the problems in testing and he said something like, "Just because I go fishing and don't catch a fish doesn't mean there are no fish in the lake." This is a really good analogy to show the uneven distribution of pathogens in milk. Just because a bottle of skim and whole milk didn't test positive, doesn't mean the batch was negative (especially when the cream was positive).

On reactions to campy, my titers are probably very high and as long as they stay that way, campy in whatever food vehicle doesn't pose a lot of risk to me. I expect the lion's share of OPDC customers (especially new ones) don't fall in that category. Some risk more than diarrhea. They have a right to make their own decision about what they are eating and feeding their children that is not clouded by manipulative marketing. Manipulation can come from both sides, of course, but in this exchange I have been talking about the behavior coming from OPDC's paid full time marketer.

Amanda

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Amanda, thank you for this post. How many gallons do you think the bulk tank holds and when the state conducts its monthly test, how large of a sample do they take--a cup, pint, quart, gallon, a few gallons, etc…?
I love the fishing analogy you used. If Mark is serious about RAWMI and educating farmers about all the pathogens that can be found in raw milk, I sure hope he is making it clear pathogens are not equally dispersed in liquid. He knows perfectly well why the milk could test negative and cream from this same milk could test positive. He should be educating everyone why this occurs instead of playing dumb.

Teach, Teach, Teach

rawmilkmike's picture

If there wasn't enough to test positive there wasn't enough to make you sick.

Amanda Rose's picture

"If there wasn't enough to test positive there wasn't enough to make you sick."

That may be the case for the specific bottle that was tested but we're talking about uneven pathogen distribution and we know that somewhere in the tank there was campy -- the cream was positive. Other bottles from the same tank could have had enough campy to make someone sick. That's why they were recalled.

rawmilkmike's picture

Mary and Amanda,
I live in Wisconsin and it's almost impossible to get raw milk here. It's not sold in stores and there is no testing. We have to beg a farmer to sell us milk and hope the state doesn't find out. Testing would only increase the price of the milk and would serve no purpose because the milk would all ready be consumed by the time the test results came back. Furthermore anyone who drinks raw milk for more than a year already knows raw milk prevents diarrhea it doesn't cause it. Why would you believe anything a competitor says about fresh milk?

rawmilkmike's picture

Amanda, I was just thinking, if the hole and skim were negative for campy that proves it didn't come from the cows. If the skim was negative that suggests it may not have been in the cream either. That means there's a good chance it was a contaminated sample or even a false positive.

Kristen P's picture

Or maybe you know nothing of which you speak...

rawmilkmike's picture

Kristen, you obviously know nothing about fresh milk or you wouldn't compare it to outsourcing. Speaking of vegetables doesn't anyone care that you can no longer buy edible corn on the cob anywhere at any price?

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Mike - where in Wisconsin do you live? I have no problem buying deliciously sweet organic sweet corn on the cob when I'm in the Milwaukee area! And, thanks to my cousin who lives in Kenosha, I now have a source for my raw milk when I'm there.

rawmilkmike's picture

I'm in Milwaukee. Good to hear you have a source of fresh milk. The problem I have with corn is do to my age. I'm 57. Over the last 40 years corn has changed a lot. This may have been the corn grandma made for us; Golden Bantam Improved Non GMO Open Pollinated. Open Pollinated corn can't be grown near GMO corn, it has a short shelf life and the youngsters today don't know the difference. So it just doesn't pay. These Heirloom verities weren't as sweet but they were softer, meatier, milkier, and more flavourful. Maybe with a little work we could get someone to grow us some.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Since you're in the Milwaukee area, go over to Will Allen's Growing Power. All of his items are organic, non-GMO, grown the old fashion way, free of perservatives & are absolutely luscious! His corn is incredible!

rawmilkmike's picture

You know, I did buy some wheatgrass there. I may not have tried his corn.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

And Mike, he has the most sweetly, delectable arugula, in fact, all of his spring greens are wonderful in flavor! I will be back there to teach next week, so I plan to make a run over there to pick up some luscious salad greens & veggies! Have you had the chance to meet & chat with Will Allen? He is absolutely fascinating to talk to.

rawmilkmike's picture

I haven't meet Will but I did have a friend Clyde Mathews, give me a privet tour. It's a cool place.

rawmilkmike's picture

Kristen can't we look at this as a brainstorming session between friends who are on the same team?

Amanda Rose's picture

No, that's not what it means at all. Re-read our discussion about uneven distribution of pathogens.

rawmilkmike's picture

The reason I pointed out that cream goes through a separate process is that the alleged contamination could have happened in the separator. These so called pathogens are more likely to come from humans than from the cows themselves which means the alleged contamination is more likely to have come from the persons doing the milking or the person washing the bulk tank or the person taking the sample or the persons operating the separator or the persons bottling the cream.

I'm sure there is more unevenness in our levels of health, the sample quality, and test reliability than there is in the so called pathogen distribution.

churchlanefarm's picture

“On reactions to campy, my titers are probably very high and as long as they stay that way, campy in whatever food vehicle doesn't pose a lot of risk to me.”

Yes exposure is indeed one of the essential components to good health. Pasteurized milk and chlorinated water are by far a much greater threat to good health then exposure to organisms such as campylobacter.

Clearly pets are not versed on current microbial research which suggest they too are vulnerable to many of the same infections that affect humans, for they (cat and dog) routinely use the toilet bowl instead of the accessible, fresh, clean water in their dish.

People who spend their time trying to avoid and control ubiquitous organisms such as campy fail to realize that exposure to such organisms is a given and likely occurs on a daily basis despite their efforts.

Ken

Sylvia Gibson's picture

I agree that exposure is important. It's amazing that the human race has survived, it you go by the govt entities propaganda.

It is sad that we are subjected to many unwanted toxins on a daily basis, chlorine being one of them. Years ago I had read that swimmers (daily swimming in pools) have a higher incidence of esophageal cancer than the regular population.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/152475.php
"incidence of the cancer has increased fivefold over the last 30 years. " Such a great increase in so short a time.

http://www.belkraft.com/chlorine_dangerous.htm Many cities are using a mixture of chlorine and ammonia=chloramine. Fish die in it (you can't use it in your fish bowel), dialysis machines require special filters as chloramine prevents red blood cells from up-taking oxygen. http://www.chloramine.org/chloraminefacts.htm

Terry Dean Nemmers's picture

"I agree that exposure is important. It's amazing that the human race has survived, it you go by the govt entities propaganda." Well, like the cops say: "Follow the money!" Who benefits from people being sick, being in jail, etc? The people with money and power, right?

'With the rise of the democracies and the dethronement and disempowering of previously powerful groups such as the military, the nobility, and the like, there has been a gradual shift from the conscious and explicit use of direct methods of interpersonal and social control to one that are more indirect, subtle, and covert.' Gaslighting, The Double Whammy, Interrogation and Other Covert Control in Psychotherapy & Analysis, Theo L. Dorpat (Maryland: 2004), Page xviii.

The people with money and power have sunk lots of money into find ways to psychologically manipulate people, haven't they? And their investment has paid off, hasn't it?

'By making another person feel fearful, guilty, or ashamed, the manipulator is in a position to gain control over the other individual's affects, thoughts, and behaviors by substituting his own beliefs. This is the basic mechanism of gaslighting whether used in everyday life, in psychotherapy situations, or in the thought-reform and mind-control manipulations of cult leaders. Some advertising and many social interactions in which one person attempts to gain control over another are based on this principle.”' Gaslighting, The Double Whammy, Interrogation and Other Covert Control in Psychotherapy & Analysis, Theo L. Dorpat (Maryland: 2004), Page 7.

rawmilkmike's picture

Couldn't have said it better myself Ken.

g gardner's picture

For what it is worth I drank 3 gallons of the sept 13 dated milk. All good. Off subject a bit but I would like to know how raw milk sales have been since the last 2 recalls, and the raising of the price of milk. Just curious if what happened to rawsome as far as them shutting down, is what the state/feds etc are trying to do with OP. My feeling is the demand for raw milk is so great, IMHO, that the demand should be great enough to keep you going when the recalls hit . In other words the consumer will buy your product immediatly once it hits the shelves and you are regaining revenues. Seems recalls these days are a part of doing business in the raw milk world. Also I am suprised there arent more raw milk dairies springing up and competing for some of that market share. And speaking as a consumer I would like to see a bit of competition resulting in some lower priced raw milk.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Circustrainer,

The majority who drink the milk don't get ill. It appears that those who do become ill have problems with their immune system, it doesn't appear to be working at optimal levels.

I believe that there are many factors that affect the immune system, many which are beyond the local person's control. Tap water is one factor, there are many chemicals we are forced to consume. We have to have water to live. The foods consumed have numerous chemicals in and on them that it is a major factor in affecting the immune system. Personal care products; soap, shampoo, toothpastes all contribute to contaminating our bodies.

There are reasons why cancers have increased, autism has soared, allergies increased, learning disabilities increased, obesity epidemic, etc. Do I believe it is genetically influenced? Not for the majority. I think that all these chemical assaults to our bodies are major contributors to whatever genetic link there is. Even tobacco isn't just tobacco anymore, it has 100s of lethal chemicals added. Is it the tobacco that contributes to lung cancer or is it all the added chemicals to the tobacco that contributes to lung cancer? Why do the majority of smokers appear not to have breathing problems? Why does it affect only a few?

The raw milk movement is growing. It doesn't appear that recalls affect those who want it. I think the recalls help to educate the consumers on what to look for and what to ask of the farmers. I don't need to know a plate count, it really would mean nothing to me, as I've no doubt that the majority of people would be in the same boat. Plus, by the time they get the plate count results, I've probably already drank the milk.

I think if more people knew how the pasteurized milk was processed, then more would move toward raw milk.

rawmilkmike's picture

“With millions of Americans contracting food borne illnesses each year, the USDA is committed to supporting research that improves the safety of our nation’s food system,” – this was the comment of USDA Deputy Secretary, Kathleen Merrigan, in a Dec. 15th, 2011 article in Agriview.  In the same issue, it was also revealed that U.S. meat and milk exports had failed to pass the European Union’s standard for drug residues.   Deborah Cera, leader of the drug compliance team at the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, admitted there were many violations involving scores of drugs in U.S. livestock.  In a Nov. 17th 2011 article in the Wisconsin State Farmer, Kim Brown-Pokorny of the WI Veterinary Medical Association, warned that Wisconsin was the worst violator nationwide in terms of illegal drug residues in the meat of culled dairy cows.  Yet, there was no mention in either article of prosecuting or penalizing these drug users or even informing U.S. consumers of this obvious food safety threat.

Terry Dean Nemmers's picture

"Rawesome Case Disappearing Act: Two Defendants in L.A. County Case Settle with Small Fines"
It would appear that some of the major flaws of the "revolution" are that the 'instigator' has never actually been arrested for civil disobedience, right? The 'rabble rouser' has never spent a single minute behind bars, correct? The 'provocateur' has never been on probation, right? In summary, the 'agitator' wants the 'community' to do something that the 'agitator' would never consider doing himself, right? Maybe the 'fomenter' should have written the book on the 'revolution' behind bars so there would have been some inspiration for the 'community' to take the 'kamikaze ride' in court for the maximum penalty, huh? Maybe that is why I was able to talk some sense into Schlangen, huh? Since I was able to speak from experience that being in jail IS NOT as wonderful as the 'goads' wanted him to think it was, huh?
(Corrected version)

Rawesome folks aren't the only ones making deals. This article involved "organic" milk, not raw milk - but you will notice a few comparisons along the way.

Organic Scandal Ends In Settlement: http://www.cornucopia.org/2012/09/bush-era-organic-scandal-ends-in-7-5-m...

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Can you imagine the stench from that feed lot?

mark mcafee's picture

Big changes in California. CDFA just sent a notice to all local health department agencies that directed those agencies to start testing Grade A dairies that want to sell raw milk from their BULK TANKS at a different standard. Now...all Grade A raw milk that is sold from a BULK tank off a dairy in CA will have to meet the same standards as OPDC does in their finished product.

That means less than 10 coliforms in the BULK TANK on the farm if sold consumer direct. That also means that OPDC is now going to be tested twice to meet the very stringent coliform standards. Once at the bulk tank and one more time at the finished product.

OPDC is now being tested twice as much....to meet our very hig standards. This also clearly makes any possible outsourcing for Class 1 or 2 uses impossible. I also argue that this letter is the best and most rational arguement for OPDC being removed and separated from the Milk Pool. This would save OPDC about $30,000 per month and provide the funding to reduce milk prices and also build our new creamery.

This is a serious food safety gap....it is now closed legally buy a letter sent down from Sacramento. The powers of the Secretary of Ag....are huge.

Becuase of this new testing at the Bulk tank, there is no way that Milk Pool milk can ever be recieved at a Raw Dairy Creamery. This makes our case iron clad that OPDC is structurally....not a participant in the MILK POOL.

It is too early to start dancing....but I think that the party will start very soon. The MIlk Pool obbligations for OPDC have been a massively repressive economic wet towel.

Mark