Wherein My Food Conference Skit Works So Well, I Am Put on the Hot Seat; MD Hearing

"David Edwards" presents at the NOFA-NJ Winter Conference on Sunday, Jan. 26. (Photo by Rita Ladany) I got a taste Sunday of what it is like to be a government food policy official in enemy territory. 


I spoke at the NOFA-NJ Winter Conference in Lincroft, NJ, and decided to assume the role of David Edwards, a high-ranking (and fictitious) food policy official at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (NOFA is the Northeast Organic Farming Association.) 


I had actually assumed the same fictitious role on Wednesday evening at a get-together at Groton Wellness, but because most of the people there already knew me, it was all in good fun. Yesterday, most of the people hadn’t met me before. And also, this time I dressed for the role,  in suit and tie and dark glasses; the NOFA-NJ board member who introduced me, Theresa Lam, played along and explained to the 45 or so people present that “David Gumpert has been delayed, but we have a substitute speaker, a high-ranking official from the Department of Health and Human Services by the name of David Edwards.” 


I guess I should have realized that not everyone understood this was a skit when one man immediately got up and left when the speaker he had come to see apparently wasn't there. This was, after all, a busy conference, with several dozen presentations and more than 500 attendees. 


My/Edwards' talk was entitled, “Survival of the Weakest: Keeping America’s Food System in Safe Hands,” and I went through a series of PowerPoint slides making the case that our factory food system has done a wonderful job of keeping people’s stomachs full, even if it has led to serious chronic health problems and police-state regulation of small farms selling food privately. The health problems, I pointed out, have resulted in huge economic benefits for Big Pharma and the medical profession, and the over-regulation has benefited Big Ag corporations. 


I also argued, as David Edwards, that we in government had cleverly created a food safety “crisis” to distract from the factory-food-related health issues (such as antibiotic resistance, over-use of pesticides, and the rise of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs). 


I thought it was pretty cute, till people in the audience began taking me seriously. One woman interrupted with questions about why I was defining food safety entirely in terms of pathogens. I was taken aback, but decided to stay in character. 


She wouldn’t accept David Edwards’ explanations that there were serious food safety issues, and that we had to penalize small farmers to get the message across, even if that meant confiscating unregulated food. “Why would you dispose of perfectly good food?” she inquired when I explained that food confiscated from from Rawesome Food Club in California and from Alvin Schlangen and Michael Hartmann’s farms in Minnesota had been disposed of in landfills. “How did you know it was unsafe?”


I gave her the standard line, that because it hadn’t been a part of the state’s regulation-inspection process, it was assumed to be high-risk food. She wasn’t buying it. 


A man wanted to know why I was arguing that we had to promote an armed raid against Rawesome Food Club in Los Angeles. I explained that we had to set some tough examples, to discourage others from getting the idea that private food sales would be tolerated.

In the Q&A afterwards, there were more tough comments and inquiries about the Food Safety Modernization Act and about undue corporate influence over dairy and other industries. I cut it short after just a few questions, anxious to return to the much-more-comfortable David Gumpert. 


Theresa Lam confessed to me afterwards that she had been worried that my skit had gone awry, and perhaps I should come out of character.  “A couple people were pretty angry.”  But in the end, she was relieved, and glad I had stayed in character. “People were engaged. It was a very informative exercise.” 


I must admit, I sweated the intense cross examination. It made me realize how uncomfortable it can become for government proponents who have commented here, when people here become angry and fire off intense questions. 


In the end, I realized yet again why government officials are so reluctant to engage in direct face-to-face discussions or debates about raw milk and other food rights issues. Who wants to have their rules questioned and scrutinized? 

I also understood how insecure these officials must feel, at heart, to be defending a system that has become so terribly corrupted. So many stay inside their hallowed halls, limit themselves to speaking to industry supporters and other government officials. They must be just a tad nervous. After all, it’s never a good idea to be messing with people’s food. 


The push to legalize raw milk in Maryland, home of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is gaining momentum. Liz Reitzig has been leading much of the effort, and tomorrow (Tuesday) will feature a full day of hearings. Livestreaming of the hearing will be available here; click on the arrow with the Health and Government Operations Committee.  

Ora Moose's picture

Good one David! I'd suggest that when and if you do it again, have someone at the door intercept the disgruntled ones that would leave, and quietly fill them in on the skit so they can enjoy a good laugh. Did you fess up at the end so people in attendance would understand what they just went through?

I enjoyed your presentation. Got some stirring. Next time you may have to bring body guards!

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Oh my gosh, David...this is hilarious, I'm just about rolling on the floor, laughing hysterically!! But, what a good way to engage people, to open their eyes and to challenge them into realizing what really is going on. Was this video-taped? I would love to see the whole thing. So, did you finally 'fess' up and turn into David Gumpert in the end? How did you come up with this idea, it is ingenious and very creative!!

David Gumpert's picture

It looks as if there is a video of part of my talk that the people at NOFA-NJ were able to do. (You'll have to turn up the sound pretty high to hear.) It comes on about 5 minutes into my talk, after I've explained that I've been told I bear a resemblance to this guy David Gumpert, whom I have nothing in common with and want nothing to do with....and that I originally put this talk together for President Obama, at the request of Michelle, who thought the Prez should know more about why people are so interested in locally-grown food and farmers markets. At this point in the video, I am just taking off my sunglasses, since we don't have the bright lights I am used to in Washington. 


In answer to your question, yes, I did fess up at the very end, after answering a few Qs from the audience. With much relief, I dispensed with my jacket and tie, and returned to regular old me. Most of the audience kind of realized what was going on at this point. 


Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Well, good for you, David...what an absolutely brilliant idea!!

rawmilkmike's picture

David, another similarity between “David Edwards” and “Don Schaffner and Michele Jay-Russell” is that they are also roll-playing.

David: Congratulations, for be willing to assume the role of Mr. Edwards. Now you need to find someone to play Mr. Edwards role. Was the event recorded.

David: Found the video, you assumed the role well.

DrCatBerge's picture

Dear David Gumpet. I fear that you have not had a taste of being a food safety official by making a 'fake presentation'. I have been a public health official in Sweden for 3 years and worked at the European Commission for over a year, and I can assure you that attempting to protect the whole population of people in a world where 4% of the population are feeding 96% of the population is far from easy. There is no agenda to support large scale business. Large scale business is a situation that has evolved in modern society, and public health officials are not the ones that can change this trend. It is a simply fact of modern day western life that the people are no longer farmers. They are simply there to protect the consumers, as far as possible, and I can assure you that it is not easy. These kind of speaches simply alienates consumers that are seaking out niche products and the authorities, and accomplishes little to improve the safety of all products and allowing people to choose their food and their risks. Raw milk is a niche product that should be made available to the small sector of consumers that are willing to pay the price for it. The majority of consumers simply want to have access to good quality food at good prices. A single working mom in the city should be able to buy her kids plenty of milk so that they can grow strong. She should not have to find another job and thereby not see her kids to find that milk. Her kids have never touched a cow or even been on a farm, and therefore are more susceptible to bacterial pathogens in the farming environment than Amish kids. Public health officials have worked hard to provide people access to this food. I find these kind of thoughts and opinions are more common in USA than in Europe, making camps and fighting between disciplines. I do not think it is the way forward. In Europe, the industry and the authorities, the consumers and the producers are more aware of the difficulties of balancing risks and safety measures, and working together to find pathways for everyone to make their personal choices are regards what risks they want to take and what products they want to buy and eat.

Corporate agriculture didn't accidentally "evolve" but was systematically built by corporations, banks and governments. It's a planned economy that requires massive corporate welfare subsidies, market interventions like "intellectual property", and police and military action to prop it up.

Regulatory bureaucracies are fully conscious of this and see their role as to help aggrandize this corporatist system. They openly refer to big business, NOT the people, as their "clients". This is both their career interest and their ideology.

During the lethal Showa Denko outbreak, which killed at least 37 people and permanently debilitated thousands, the FDA led the criminal public relations coverup to fraudulently blame it on L-tryptophan supplements as such rather than on the genetic engineering process. In his "Nature" article propagating this premeditated lie, FDA flack Sam Page was frank enough to openly say that it was critical that the establishment present the right PR front "especially given the impact on the [biotech] industry." The FDA's James Maryanski subsequently coordinated the campaign of lies.

That's an extreme example on account of how many people died or were critically injured, but it's also typical.

These bureaucrats do indeed consciously, systematically lie, and they do so as part of a corporatist planned economy offensive. To run interference for them and claim otherwise is to join in the lie.

Good points, Russ. Sorry if those working for the system feel under attack, but they choose to work for these agencies. They could be doing something really beneficial for everyone if they used their talents and energies to build an alternative to the doomed industrial system. For example, how about becoming the small farmers they resign to obsolesence? Or perhaps figuring out other ways to rebuild self-reliant communities? They claim to be "doing their job". Fine, and I'm doing MY job by trying to keep my family healthy obtaining fresh, relatively uncontaminated food.

Ken Conrad's picture


A living probiotic food such as raw milk should be made available to all children, so that each child has an opportunity to nurture a strong immune system.

Unfortunately raw milk has to compete with toxic endocrine and immune disrupting medical interventions such as vaccines and chemically laced, HFCS sweetened dead foods that disrupt a child’s overall health and undermines raw milk’s life giving properties.

People seem to have a limitless supply of funds to spend on expensive booze, drugs, cigarettes, soft drinks etc. yet when it comes to buying good wholesome food it’s all of a sudden to expensive.
Hence the existence of government policies designed to placate consumer vice, keep food cheap and run small family farms out of business to be replaced by CAFO’s. The regulatory mechanism has a huge role to play in this process.

The amount of disposable income that North Americans spend on food pales in comparison to many other countries around the world.


DrCatBerge's picture

I do not think we can blame governments. People have to take responsibility for their own health and their food choices. People afford what they want.

D. Smith's picture

Take responsibility for our own food choices??? Exactly how do we accomplish this when the "unblameable gov't" is making "food choices" like raw milk illegal all over the country as fast as they possibly can? And if they aren't making it illegal, they're making up rules and regulations which make it impossible for small farmers to stay in business. That makes raw milk inaccessible. It's not a matter of "affording" what people want, it's a matter of legality and access. Regulators won't be done with their jobs against raw milk until it is illegal in the entire USA. That is their aim and their goal.

Yes, you can buy raw milk in Belgium - but we don't have that luxury here except in a few States like CA and CT. Is this something you are failing to understand? I live in western South Dakota and the only raw milk operation we had just shuttered their business during December because of rules and regulations that were so ridiculous they decided they just couldn't afford to keep operating no matter what price they would have charged for their products.

Somehow, the dots just aren't being connected in favor of the small dairy farmers, I'm afraid. And THAT is no coincidence.

Belgium's nothing to write home about either. There, if the people make the choice to take action to defend their farms and food, the government sets up a kangaroo court and tries them as an organized crime network.


"Let them eat cake."

(It has to be GMO-based cake, of course. No "choice" there. The government's planned economy made sure of that. No choices there either.)

"People have to take responsibility for their own health and their food choices". EXACTLY WHAT WE'RE DOING. Another family and I are driving over 2 hours round-trip every week because my state doesn't think I should take that responsibility. Every time a citizen attempts to take responsibility for their life or that of their family, bureaucrats leap into action to discourage them through onerous laws, licenses, certifications, you name it. We moved to the state in which we currently live due to the relaxed homeschooling laws . The state we left demanded constant streams of paperwork and testing of the children. This is not because homeschoolers are exiting their homeschools illiterate,ignorant and dysfunctional. It's because it's a danger to the status quo every time someone takes responsibility for themselves and others notice the positive results.

ingvar's picture

Dr. Cat Berge said: “People have to take responsibility for their own health and their food choices.”

That is precisely what is going on here at this website, with RAWMI, with private food arrangements, with food clubs, and on and on- the exercising of the unalienable rights that every person possesses by the irrevocable act of the Creator God. These rights cannot be separated from the person. They might be suppressed, violated, etc., but they exist in every individual on the face of the earth and they cannot be taken away (ref.: Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America, the Federalist Papers, the Bill of Rights, and other documents).

Dr. Berge also said: “I do not think we can blame governments.”

Yes, we can blame governments that trample these unalienable rights.
The puprose of government is to protect those unalienable rights. If the government ceases to protect those unalienable rights, then that government has forfeit legitimacy.

When the principled Sheymov realized he worked for thugs (he discovered that Marxism is a recipe for government by thugs) he defected from the USSR to fight against the USSR. Being a highly ranked KGB official did not deter him from his honorable course (reference: “Tower of Secrets” by Victor Sheymov).

Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Thanks for taking the time to post this comment.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Sorry Cat, I left off your name.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Dr Cat Berge - I fear that you missed the whole point of David's 'fake' presentation. It was a 'tongue in cheek' effort to point out how ridiculous our government agencies, big Ag and big Pharma have become here in the USA. By your statement, I am assuming that you are still living in Sweden...which makes for a much different environment compared to ours. His presentation was meant to prompt and challenge the participants, which it did and it even elicited the types of questions that he was asked during the presentation. In other words, he wanted people to be aware of the tactics that are being done by these agencies, big Ag and big Pharma despite the 'sweet' words that these groups tend to use to confuse and deceive the public. He presented stark examples of how these groups have over-stepped their bounds and authority, all of which not only have kept nutrient dense, real foods from the people, but have also put a lot of people out of business.

DrCatBerge's picture

I live in Belgium. I have spent 10 years in USA. I have been part of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation. I know the American system. When I say that it is a system of camps and fighting against each other, that is simply a truth. How can you in USA change this? How can you get FDA to find solution for you as well as other commodities? That is your challenge. I fear ridiculing public health officials and appointing them guilt by association (being part of government does not make them responsible for corporate systems) is not the solution.

Corporations are artificial creations of government and are in fact extensions of government. Nominal government exists to serve corporations, as bureaucrats in every sector openly say. It's the same system, and to be a bureaucrat of one part is to serve the whole.

We the people don't want the FDA finding any "solution for us". The solution is to abolish the FDA along with the corporations it serves.

"We the people don't want the FDA finding any "solution for us". The solution is to abolish the FDA along with the corporations it serves".

Right on, Russ! Couldn't have said it better :)

rawmilkmike's picture

DrCatBerge, if your had to chose between only safe processed foods which never have any foodborne illnesses associated with them and only the most unsafe raw foods which have many outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with them, which would you choose for your family?
Sweden: Ban rejected NHCR nutrients in supplements?; Legal experts: Don’t be silly
By Shane Starling in Brussels , 22-Jan-2013
Lycopene, lutein, CoQ10, probiotics and any other nutrients rejected under the EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) could be banned in food supplements, a Swedish government official told a congress in Brussels this morning. But legal hounds at the event ridiculed the suggestion.

Sweden’s National Food Agency is proposing the ban of raw milk sales entirely. Currently, it is legal for Swedish farmers to sell raw milk in small quantities, directly to consumers on the farm itself.
In practice, however, Swedish raw milk sales are not so open and free across the country. Stories swirl about farmers who are afraid of the authorities and hesitant to allow current customers to share their names with prospective buyers.

DrCatBerge's picture

Dear Raw milk mike,
I live in Belgium. I drink raw milk. I go twice a week to a local dairy and pick up a gallon that I consume myself!. It helps against my allergies. I make the choice... and educated choice and a choice of buying local and buying taste. I do not need to impose that choice on all people. All people make a choice. We should let all people make the choice.
I have lived 10 years in USA. I know the system there too.
Kind regards,

rawmilkmike's picture

Why French Kids Eat Everything

Welcome to the French Kids’ School Lunch Project. 

the the florist had a sign saying that one could buy raw milk direct from the farm 24/7,  in  the nearby town of Caussade.

Check out this video below of a raw milk vending machine in France.

D. Smith's picture

Interesting links, rawmilkmike. I "borrowed" your puffho link - I hope you don't mind! I sent it to my DIL and hope she shares it with her friends.

David Gumpert's picture

Dr. Cat Berge, I appreciate your thoughtful response. I am certain I can't fully appreciate the sense of responsibility many public health people feel.  I agree with you that there is a huge disconnect between people and their food brought on by the trends you identify.

I will take issue with you when you say, "There is no agenda to support large scale business." That may be true in Europe, but not in the U.S. In my "fake" presentation, I have a slide explaining the disconnect Americans experience when they go into supermarkets, and see what appear to be a wide variety of products produced by a wide variety of companies. In fact, the dairy and meat industries are controlled by just a very few companies--one corporation (Dean Foods) controls much of the dairy industry and four companies control the chicken, beef, and pork industries. It appears to consumers as if there are a variety of companies because each corporation has a dozen or more brand names it uses for its milk or meat. The U.S. has antitrust laws that are supposed to prevent such concentration of economic power, but they aren't enforced against these companies. Why? It turns out we also have the most sophisticated system of bribery (couched in terms like lobbying, PACs, SuperPacs, etc.) in the world. The politicians receiving the bribes control the regulators'  budgets. So, our regulators mount a propaganda and enforcement campaign against raw milk (as one example) or against heritage pigs (as in Michigan)--whatever the corporate supporters decide the politicians and regulators should carry out. In the case of raw milk, the regulators exaggerate data in a way that borders on fraud. They refuse to allow research into the possible health benefits of raw milk, so that such research is conducted nearly exclusively in Europe, and then American regulators criticize the European research as being incomplete or based on questionable methodologies. 

Partly as a result of these trends, food safety in the U.S. is based nearly entirely on pathogens. Corporate interests prevent serious regulation, as occurs in Europe, of antibiotic usage in raising animals, and of GMO crops and ingredients.

Beyond such political and financial considerations, I think Europe (along with Asia and the Middle East) have much stronger food-based cultures than does the U.S. So regulators (and their politician bosses) in Europe are much less inclined, by virtue of their heritage and training, to carry out a corporate agenda designed to penalize small food producers than in the U.S. 

I think all these trends help explain what you identify as the increasingly sharp divisions that have occurred between public health and consumers in the U.S.--divisions that I am afraid are going to probably become even sharper once the U.S. begins enforcing the Food Safety Modernization Act later this year. 

ingvar's picture

I am glad for Dr. Cat Berge’s comments because there is a need for what she does. Her statement here is very limited in scope but (taking liberties myself now) I do not think that she understands very well how our present state of affairs came about (but Russ does) but she is a realist as is Mcaffee as is Watson (and of course many, many others, but please take a brief comment as a brief comment). As a society vis-à-vis food, a question is what way are we going and why? We should be going in a very different direction but that doesn’t mean we don’t need what Dr. Cat Berge does or don’t need what a corporation can do but the corporations must compete against the three cow family farm and they will fail at that competition because it’s built out of their systems to produce nutritious food while it is built into their systems to misuse the law as a commercial bludgeon and to deceive themselves and lie to others and to otherwise manipulate the business, legal, and social terrain to their seeming advantage. Add in that there are people that think a man or a woman is a cancer on the earth and that if a great proportion of the earth’s population of men and women was eliminated, that would be a good thing. Who here believes that? I don’t. But the mathematically insane theories of ‘evolution’ have been and are widely taught as fact and transcendent moral law has not correspondingly been taught hence there are many ill-behaved people to be protected from (our current state of affairs) but what direction does the momentum take us? The absence of light is pummeled by even a little light.

Have a wonderful day!

Enjoy a glass of clean, delicious raw milk!

Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

If trying to surrender more slowly to an enemy whose intent is totalitarian, and trying to appease the unappeasable, is your idea of "realism", then all I can say is that doesn't sound the slightest bit realistic to me.

Nor is telling lies about what these bureaucracies ARE, as does anyone who claims these have any goal other than to aggrandize corporate domination, any part of good strategic or tactical doctrine, no matter how flexible the tactics need to be in general. Know Your Enemy is not a principle which can be effected in a half-hearted, delusional way.

Shelly-D.'s picture

" There is no agenda to support large scale business. "

Cat, you are incorrect. I think you need to read up on Earl Butz (Assistant Secretary of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., from 1954 to 1957, Secretary of Agriculture from 1971 to 1976 ) and how his policies shaped agriculture today. He told farmers to "get big or get out" and he managed to almost destroy the family farm in America. He gave walloping big incentives to large-scale agribusiness. The proliferation of large commercial farms in America are a direct result of his manipulation of the market. There IS an agenda, and it started 50 years ago with him.

DrCatBerge's picture

There might have been an agenda.. but that agenda was not by public health officials. Do not mix up agricultural policy with public health safety. Public health officials and administrations are simply trying to secure the system. What I mean is that a public health official should not be mady guilty of simply working for the government. As regards 'get big or get out' , can you tell me a single modern country where the same situation is not happening. This is a global phenomenon, there is more than US policy governing this trend. How many modern day kids do you think want to get up at 4 am to milk the cow, and work until 7 pm 7 days a week. No one wants to work that hard any longer. People want easy life, and therefore they have to take responsibility for the trend too.

For someone claiming not to have a political agenda, you're sure pumping out the lies left and right like a fourth-rate hack columnist. "There Is No Alternative"..."globalization is a law of nature"...."people wanted to be driven off the land and into shantytowns"...."people are lazy and don't want to work...."

Dr. Berge,
Working for an oppressive government is as wrong now as it was in during the time of the Nazis. We now have a system that teaches kids that it is better to snoop on and bully one another than to get up early and do physical labor that causes them to actually need a shower afterwards. This is a big fat reason I'm homeschooling my 5 kids. BTW, one does NOT need to get up at 4 A.M. to milk a cow! You can milk the cow anytime you want to, as long as it's every 12 hours. This I know from researching keeping a dairy cow. Neither does produce farming demand ungodly hours-I know a couple who get up around 6A.M. and they appear to be very professional and successful at their career. There's way too much ignorance and misleading propaganda about this.

Theresa's picture

David, thank you so much for taking the time to visit us at NOFA-NJ. Your presentation certainly had my adrenalin flowing! After all, NOFA-NJ is an organization that promotes small local organic and sustainable farms and food and your character David Edwards was speaking out against our beliefs. Seeing it all play out from my perspective, I thought the situation was hilarious. Mr. Edwards presented his support of the Health Department's regulatory activities very subtly at first, while the audience did not seem to notice where this was going. As his discussion progressed, eyebrows began to furrow, then they people began squirming in their seats, then came many incredulous looks and looking at each other questionably. But nobody questioned Mr. Edwards! Were they afraid of him? Next, Mr. Edwards explained how he supported the authorities who held up guns at the Rawsome food raid and dumped out all of their good food in the garbage. They still did not question him! I could no longer take the silence, I raised my hand and asked "Did you say that they just threw all of that good food in the garbage?" Ahh, finally. This opened up the presentation to more questions which Mr. Edwards imperiously (yet humorously) defended his stance. It was a great show and it was truly a pleasure having you present at our event. Please keep up the humor, its very engaging. Many thanks to Dr. Heckman for suggesting you as a speaker. I highly recommend the same.

David Gumpert's picture

Theresa, thank you for your openness to my unconventional approach. David Edwards thanks you as well, for allowing him to  finally step out of the shadows and be his own man. You may have opened up a whole new career for him.  

mark mcafee's picture

This would all be very funny....except the skit is real. Unfortunately, Mr. John Sheehan of the FDA is the no show for the speech and not Our beloved David. Cat has the EU constructive perspective, I have the American alienation perspective. I have tried many times to hold constructive dialogue, share hard data studies of raw milk, even with the submission of two huge FDA citizens petitions ....to no avail. The FDA doors are locked tight and well guarded. For the FDA to allow access would empower us and surrender to knowledge!!!

Our future of progress will however need to follow more on the course of EU constructiveness to truly bear fruit. That is why Dr. Cat is such a great voice for RAWMI.

David...great humor and for those of us that see the greater picture and it's history, great skit!!!

Every day I meet families that want their kids to have the immunity of a family raised on an organic farm. Not an easy task. The innate conflict between city immune systems and country farm immunity is very real. RAWMI was born to allow the raw milk risk to become low enough to safely allow the city to meet the country in a new healthier future for us all.

D. Smith's picture

Ditto what Ken said. He is much more on target with his answer than Dr. Cat Berge. We must all remember that she was trained in the ways of the "system". Her comment was rude and distasteful.

Why should we need her or anyone else to protect the people of the world from their food? Do you know how ridiculous that statement would sound to our grandparents?? If corporate business would stop producing dangerous foods, this would not be an issue. I'm sorry but I just can't tolerate someone with a degree who blantantly protects the corporations rather than the people. The word they ought to be spreading is helping people to keep foods local instead of importing foods from Brazil and China and kingdom come.

I feel more secure reading and learning from the information in books written by people like Gene Logsdon, Wendell Berry, Joel Salatin and a few others than I would ever feel with her "canned" educational information.

DrCatBerge's picture

Dear D. Smith,
Read through my sentences and tell me what part was 'rude and distasteful'. What do you know about my training and competences? Please avoid these kind of personal attacks.
Kind regards,

D. Smith's picture

I am entitled to my opinion just as you are, and it wasn't meant to be a personal attack it was just my opinion of your entire post. The WHOLE first post you made on this thread seemed rude (against David) and somewhat condescending.

It was not a "fake" presentation, it was a sort of test for the audience, to see how they would react.

I don't care about your training or your competence.

rawmilkmike's picture

When the state bans food and nutritional supplements for the working class and the republicans eliminate taxes for large corporation like General Electric so that our streets, bridges, and levees are not repaired and cuts social programs for the under-payed workers at Walmart, what do you have left?

D. Smith's picture

Chaos. That's what we have left.

When I was a kid I didn't watch much tv (nor do I now, for that matter) but I remember some show where they kept referring to an organization named CHAOS. It's appropriate for today's world more than ever.

I was too busy helping in the barn or jumping around in haystacks with the mice and the snakes or snaring gophers or catching bullheads in the dam or chasing pigeons around in the hayloft to worry about tv, but I do remember hearing that term and wondering what it was all about. With our "food safety alphabet agencies funded with our tax dollars" we now have complete chaos and I do believe that was likely the intent - starting in the early 1900's. You'll notice they've used our money to decimate our food supply. It was and is a very well managed plan. I do believe the Nazi's probably took lessons from us.

Ora Moose's picture

D, you may be referring to Get Smart, they used to fight CHAOS on a regular basis but that was fiction, today chaos is all too real especially in the food and nutrition arena http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElqZms_SUjg

D. Smith's picture

Well, if Get Smart had an organization named chaos, then that was most likely the program I meant. We only had one channel and if I didn't want to watch what was on it, I went outdoors or helped my gramma in the kitchen. I spent a LOT of time outdoors - and in the kitchen!

"I do believe the Nazi's probably took lessons from us."

They did, in many sectors. Since we're all about food here, I'll focus on this example.


The Rockefeller Foundation's eugenics program had many Nazi interlinkages, provided funding for Otmar Verschuer (Mengele's civilian boss), and was inextricably linked with the Foundation's involvement with genetic engineering, including of food, from the beginning.

Today GE of crops and animals for "food" is inseparable from GE for aspiring eugenics purposes. The ideologues of the one are always the ideologues of the other.

Thus, just as US corporatism was an educator and supporter of Nazism, so to this day Nazism's ideological influence is a living thing within Western technocratic and bureaucratic circles.

D. Smith's picture

I hope these links work. First one is short, second one (with Gary Null) is long. Still, both worth watching.



Ora Moose's picture

Nobody here will learn anything new from this article, but with nearly 18,000 views this should help spread the word among the uninitiated http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/28/drinking-r...?

mark mcafee's picture

I am posting from my iPhone so please excuse my errors. We had a great raw milk hearing in Maryland today. Lots of very high quality testimony. The FDA was a no show. The committee had lots of hard questions and even suggested that the Maryland state health experts had exaggerated the data and then forced a semi apology from one of the experts. One of the committee members asked for a working group and a one year trial to see how raw milk would go! Remember Maryland is the FDA backyard...home and front yard,. It seemed as if there was no one 100% against raw milk accept the young phD from the international dairy processors org. If course they hate raw milk .... They do not get to process it!! All about the money!!

I smell a working group being formed and perhaps a one year trial period. That's what I see and feel brewing. It was very nice to have committee members ask me plenty of questions and to be able to share my 14 years of experience in a normalized raw milk market in CA. Sally, Liz and many others joined in the testimony. Even a Phd biologist from Scotland- (Texas now )made great raw milk arguments and touched on things like the human genome!! One of my favorite pieces of science.

I am sure that earth quakes trembled all afternoon at the FDA....along with prayers to the PMO gods and indigestion over possible raw milk in Maryland. Times are changing. If I was in the FDA or in the Maryland state regulatory agencies, I would read this like an NFL quarterback and get onto the right-side of history while there was still time. History is being made right now.

rawmilkmike's picture

Mark, what do you find so exciting about the human genome project. Are you suggesting that the people funding it are about to shoot themselves in the foot? Have they published anything useful to alternative medicine?

The one superb thing to come out of it is the fact that there's only c. 30,000 genes in the human genome.

But they were expecting >100,000, since they were assuming the doctrine of One Gene = One Trait, which is also the foundation dogma of the alleged safety of genetic engineering.

Therefore, along with all the other evidence, that of the HGP relegates this core piece of GMO Junk Science to the trash heap of history, and leaves the entire dogma of theoretical GMO safety in tatters.

Of course, this hasn't slowed down the cartel or the regulators at all. But it's a piece of smoking gun proof for my claims above, that regulators are conscious lackeys of corporatism and conscious liars.

It's simply not possible for an informed person, which all regulators claim to be, to assume GMOs are safe. Therefore all their claims to that effect are premeditated lies.

The same is true of antibiotic resistance, the poisoning of the soil and water, and all the other world-historical crimes of corporate agriculture.

Ora Moose's picture

Oh oh, I was afraid this might happen. If you have not heard yet, David has been slapped with a court restraining order as a direct result of impersonating a government official. According to the terms, he is prohibited from giving speeches at any public conference or seminar, cannot visit Farmers Markets, and must stay away from any farm that has cows or sells food.

According to an FDA spokesperson “We decided to make an example of Mr. Gumpert, since we can’t let just anyone pretend that they are a government official or regulator simply by putting on a suit and tie and wearing dark sunglasses. Next thing you know, they might show up at farms and confiscate all the milk and cheese at gunpoint for their own personal use. This is a high risk profession and we don’t want anyone getting hurt so we decided to nip it in the bud.”

Mr. Gumpert also was told that he must not sell his books across state lines, but can continue to sell in his home state of Massachusetts only. It has not yet been determined if he will be allowed to purchase food or milk at supermarkets.

“As far as I know, satire is still legal in America,” Said Mr. Gumpert. “When you can get arrested and harassed for making people laugh, it’s a sad state of affairs and the whole country suffers.”

An appeal will be filed shortly by the newly created DGLDF (David Gumpert Legal Defense Fund.) If you would like to support David, a vehicle has been set up to receive donations for the cause. Please send your contributions (cash only please) to:

c/o Ora Moose
PO Box 7890
Manila, The Phillipines

Good luck David, stay strong!

This is an updated version, please delete my previous post David

Ora Moose's picture

I’m also hearing that David may be charged with running a blog without a license, and defamation of obviously corrupt government practices in high places. They’re very mad (as in crazy) and they’re not going to take it anymore. Donate now to the DGLDF, make a difference.

David Gumpert's picture

Ora, you had me a little worried there, especially when I saw those legal support funds were to go to the Philippines. Am I safer there? 

Ora Moose's picture

David, you probably would be much safer as long as you don't go around impersonating a Phillipino. I was getting worried that people don't get the joke since there were no replies all day but I knew you'd get it.

mark mcafee's picture


What do I find interesting about the human genome and human biome projects?

First off... It shows evidence that we are genetically ruled by a about 95% bacterial DNA The human biome project tells us to start thinking differently and to stop killing ourselves with the abuse of a antibiotics. And...start respecting the dominant role of bacteria in our lives!! We are after all BacteriaSapiens!! That's what is so important about these scientific & societal investments

mark mcafee's picture

Hey Cat..

Most of my posts around here are to try and inspire some rank and file at the FDA go break code and start asking questions. Watch out some of the junk yard dogs around here bite... But mostly it's just anonymous backing. I know the FDA reads this blog for the newest information. I know its a one way bridge, but at least they read it! How do I know? During litigation on my last FDA citizens petition, the FDA had reams of blog post comments that they submitted as evidence!!! Congrats to David!! Communicator extraordinaire! Even though sometimes the junk yard dogs can bark...if you pet them just right they tend not to bite to much. lol

I'm proud to be an honest junkyard dog rather than a vile police dog, the type you may prefer, a loathsome combination of viciousness and servility.

If the metaphor is supposed to mean that people here are stupidly, gratuitously combative, that's false, as you know well if you pay any attention at all. I, at least, argue a consistent viewpoint on the relationship of governmental and corporate bureaucrats, and the clear tyrannical intent of this combined bureaucratic system. I argue it more or less sharply depending on how strongly anyone is spewing the fraudulent opposite.

This is unlike your constant waverings. You usually sound like you want to appease FDA types. But during the Lawton fight you said you wanted RAWMI to focus on local public health officers. Now you're back to saying his comments are primarily to try to appease FDA types.

One can try to talk to the people, as I do, and one can add trying to talk to local government. But one thing which is proven to fail, no matter who tries it (other than big corporations and the rich), is to try to talk to upper-level government.

I hope the "junkyard dog" term applies to me! I would hate to be left out :)

Why would the corporate government employees be nervous? They have an entire army on their side, if they choose to push it that far. Certainly, the legal system, the police, etc. I think you were feeling discomfort because you don't have that assurance in your normal existence.
Wow, they can't take it when a few readers of a blog ask questions and express anger? I guess that's typical of dictatorial types; "Obey me and don't ask questions!".

mark mcafee's picture

David, great pix. You really look like The G Man!!!lol

Russ, I try to talk to everyone that includes the FDA and locals anytime the opportunity a ails itself peace and progress has few constructive bounds I try to speak to everyone in a voice and language they understand. That is why my messages may seem varied.

Just trying to defend Dr Cat a little here. Her voice has taught me much about speaking with Indians in a far away and distant foreign land called FDA. And it works, they have sent an emissary of peace and progress is being made regardless of the feelings we all hold for the FDA, when they fold, they all fold.

Dr Cat is a big reason why CA figured out coliforms and how that risk works!!

rawmilkmike's picture

Dear Cat, it does help that you start with a “Dear David, Dear Raw milk mike, Dear D, and end with a “Kind regards, Cat”. It make us want to do the same but it doesn't change your underlying message and your gilt by association. In America government agencies like yours ignore the very people they are suppose to represent, and ignore the letter, and intent of the law. The regulatory agencies should be protecting us from adulteration, misbranding, and unfair business practices. Public health officials should promote good health. Both are, in fact, doing the exact opposite. People that should be dying in their sleep at 125 after a long healthy, productive life; are dying from cancer and heart disease at 50 after a life of chronic ill-health, all do to lack of government control of industry. We instead have industry control of government.
So what's going on in Belgium? Are they deregulating raw milk? Is it's availability increasing or decreasing? If you are really working to make raw milk more readily available to the general public, why do you have such a problem with Davids presentation? Are you promoting unhealthy processed foods like pasteurized milk?
“the Kindsheid-Jesu primary school in Belgium has installed a vending machine for fresh raw farm milk!” but the “Belgium Scientific Committee Recommends Boiling Raw Milk Before Consumption”
“From 14 December 2012, the regulatory environment for vitamins and dietary supplements was set to become stricter, with new regulation of health claims. Thus, conforming to the new EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) regulation.
Response to your posts;
“I have been a public health official in Sweden for 3 years” In America many public officials are 'rude and uncooperative'.
“and I can assure you that attempting to protect the whole population of people in a world” From themselves??? That's 'rude and distasteful'
“There is no agenda to support large scale business.” denying the obvious is 'rude and distasteful'
“Large scale business is a situation that has evolved in modern society” if you consider the stone-age modern.
“public health officials are not the ones that can change this trend” because, like most of us, they can't afford to stand up to their boss, when good jobs are so hard to get.
“It is a simply fact of modern day western life that the people are no longer farmers.” All of our food comes from the farm so, yes we are. And many of us still remember raw milk and would gladly buy it if it were easier to get.
“They are simply there to protect the consumers, as far as possible” from what exactly?
“These kind of speeches simply alienate consumers that are seeking out niche products” No, the state does that by ignoring our complaints. Very 'rude and distasteful' Since when is real food a “niche product”?
“improve the safety” You obviously have a different definition of the word “safety” than the consumers you are suppose to be working for. 'distasteful'
“Raw milk is a niche product that should be made available to the small sector of consumers that are willing to pay the price for it.” Telling working class families they don't deserve healthy food is very very 'rude and distasteful' Pasteurization, homogenization, and useless regulation only add to the price. There is no reason for raw milk to cost more, unless that is your primary intention.
“The majority of consumers simply want” a good job. Telling us what we want is 'rude and distasteful'.
“to have access to good quality food at good prices.” There is no good quality food in the US at any price. And do to government misinformation most Americans don't even know this.
“A single working mom in the city should be able to buy her kids plenty of milk so that they can grow strong.” pasteurized milk is toxic and you know it. That's why you don't drink it.
“Her kids have never touched a cow or even been on a farm, and therefore are more susceptible to bacterial pathogens in” any environment. If you believe children have no immune system, why do you vaccinate them? What do you think Coke and chocolate milk do to their immune system? What about pasteurized milk for that matter?
“Public health officials have worked hard to provide people access to this food.” How, by telling them it is illegal when it most certainly is not? Again, denying the obvious is 'rude and distasteful'
“I find these kind of thoughts and opinions are more common in USA than in Europe” This is clearly an international battle because these are international companies. Minimizing our “thoughts and opinions” is 'rude and distasteful'.

“making camps and fighting between disciplines” This is a fight between consumers and the pharmaceutical industry, period. Minimizing the importance of raw milk and our fight for access to it, is 'rude and distasteful'.

“I do not think it is the way forward.” We evidently, don't make the rules.

“In Europe, the industry and the authorities, the consumers and the producers” have the same problems. Some countries just don't have the same industrial presents.

“are more aware of the difficulties of balancing risks and safety measures, and working together to find pathways for everyone to make their personal choices” Double talk and denying the obvious is 'rude and distasteful'

“what risks they want to take” Risks, are you serious??? Haven't you seen? :
“Raw milk myths and evidence by Nadine Ijaz pdf”

“and what products they want to buy and eat.” Do any states have raw milk available in all their stores and supermarkets.

“I do not think we can blame governments.” This is not a matter of blame.

“People have to take responsibility for their own health” The responsibility is ours whether we take it or not.

“and their food choices.” there are no good food choices in America.

To say “People afford what they want.” is flippant, 'rude and distasteful'. Healthy food is not available at any price and people working for $12 an hour can't afford it no matter how low the price.

“When I say that it is a system of camps and fighting against each other, that is simply a truth.” you must be talking about the, behind the scenes, in fighting, that the consumer seldom sees. Are you saying if all the government agencies would work together you'd be able to stamp out raw milk once and for all? A fight between government officials and the people they are suppose to represent is not a “fight against each other”.
“I drink raw milk. I go twice a week to a local dairy and pick up a gallon that I consume myself!. It helps against my allergies.” That's over a quart per day. That's enough to eliminate any and all allergies. Have you experienced any other health benefits? How long have you been drinking raw milk? When was your last case of diarrhea? The average American non-raw milk consumer gets diarrhea 3 times a year.
“I make the choice... and educated choice” Good point. Do you educate the public? Do you tell people there are 10 million satisfied raw milk consumers in America? Do you tell them raw milk is a low risk food with health benefits?
“and a choice of buying local” You just said it was for your allergies?
“and buying taste.” I prefer chocolate milk myself.
“I do not need to impose that choice on all people.” Could you?
“All people make a choice.” What?
We should let all people make the choice. Do you have the authority to do otherwise?
“There might have been an agenda.. but that agenda was not by public health officials.” You're right this agenda comes down from the pharmaceutical industry through the medical industry with a little help from the cheese industry and a full blessing from the CDC, but “public health officials” could stop them all dead in their tracks by simply publishing factual information on raw milk.
“Public health officials and administrators are simply trying to secure the system.” How? By publishing disinformation?
“As regards 'get big or get out' , can you tell me a single modern country where the same situation is not happening. This is a global phenomenon, there is more than US policy governing this trend.” Ya, these are international companies.

“How many modern day kids do you think want to get up at 4 am to milk the cows, and work until 7 pm 7 days a week. No one wants to work that hard any longer.” But they do. And there is no reason for it considering today's job market. Child labor and farmers working for slave wages is nothing new. Even though protection from price fixing is the state's primary responsibility. It is not their job to protect us from ourselves.
“People want easy life, and therefore they have to take responsibility for the trend too.” Are you saying it's our lack of work ethic? You've got to be kidding me. It's our work ethic that got us into this mess. Hunter gatherers only worked 15 hours a week. “The invention of farming increased the number of hours worked and then the industrial revolution increased it again.” We sell our souls for a handful of colorful beads. Shouldn't technology decrease the work week?

Jamming this many false statements into one post is very 'rude and distasteful'
“What do you know about my training and competences?” snappy comebacks are very 'rude and distasteful' Our opinion of your “training and competences” is shaped by our first hand knowledge of raw milk's safety and health benefits and your apparent support of the anti-raw milk “discipline” “camp”.
Kind regards, Mike

mark mcafee's picture


At the end of the fight and the end of the day, peace is settled by reasonable battle weary people that sit and talk things out and decide the new political lines and decide just how much progress was actually made with all the fighting.

If no one meets with or talks with the FDA there is scarce chance of much long term progress. Each state level health department takes its orders from the book of FDA. Even little old Humboldt county in CA that forbids the sale of Raw Milk takes its orders from the FDA and refuses to follow CA state laws for raw milk production and access.

Our best friend in this battle is the consumer and the decisive dollar vote. The it is "Food safety" as the staying game....when everyone gets healthy and few or no one gets sick, then we win. When safety fails, and people get sick , we all lose.

Lastly it is teaching and time that erodes everything that the FDA believes in their 100 year old bible that directs the killing of nearly everything in order to protect us all.

rawmilkmike's picture

Mark you said “When safety fails, and people get sick”.
What if there is no correlation between state sponsored food safety and people getting sick. Have you seen any correlation.

mark mcafee's picture


As I left the Maryland legislature, after testifying before their health committee on HB 3. A cow share bill, we met with the chief of staff of the chairman for the committee. In the past the chairman simply refused for any raw milk bills to be voted on and killed all bills prior to vote!!!

His rationale was simple, he is risk adverse and he is saving lives by stopping raw milk access.

We explained to his chief of staff the CDC data about the actual numbers of consumers sickened by pasteurized milk since 1972 ( 430,000 CDC data ) and shared with him the 77 deaths!! Then we shared the raw milk data. Zero deaths from fluid raw milk and two deaths from illegal Mexican cheeses. Less than 1800 illnesses since 1972.

Risk of death !!! Zero!!

This argument made no progress. The chairman had his directive from the FDA. Kill any raw milk bills on sight!! Regardless of arguments.

This is our democracy in action. Maryland has no shortage of raw milk... It flows from Pennsylvania all over the place. This is 100% political and about some long standing code of military honor at the FDA that makes its home in Maryland.

D. Smith's picture

This is a fascinating article called High Rise Foods. Designed by a Belgian architect. It's one of those things you see and think to yourself "if only". If only it were that simple.


D. Smith's picture

Let me also add, just for the record, I do NOT believe in global warming and I do not believe we're overpopulated. That is media spewed claptrap for the gullible. Still, his idea has merit because not everyone can live on a farm no matter how much we wish we could, and this might be a good idea on a smaller scale, too. Or it could be tweaked to many different adaptations. Rooftop gardens are still a good idea, also, as are community gardens (on the ground) as long as the City Fathers allow their "permission" for people to do so. Getting more and more unlikely every day, however.

D. Smith's picture

More from Vandana Shiva:

The irony is that GMOs are being promoted in the name of science, yet science and knowledge are being sacrificed daily for untruths to feed the greed machinery, not people. Without knowledge sovereignty there is no food sovereignty. Without knowledge freedom there is no freedom and democracy.
[end quote]

Taken from this link: http://www.asianage.com/columnists/gmo-biggest-food-con-268

D. Smith's picture