Patty Ewing Robichaud

FDA Should Be Crying Over Spilled Milk

By Patty Ewing Robichaud on August 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm

First, they went after the Amish…and spilled the milk.

Now they’ve gone after a private raw food group…and cut the cheese.

Watch out, all producers of natural food, the FDA nannies are on their way to plan a sting operation on your small family business! And we, the taxpayers, have paid for one-year investigations into these providers of raw products to knowledgeable and informed buyers!!

What I have learned from these raids is that it is legal to sell these raw products in 10 states, illegal in 11 and DC – but it is the Feds who enforce it through their thugs in the Food and Drug Administration! That means that even if you live in a state where it is legal, you get to foot the bill for these bureaucrats and their teams of law enforcement personnel to pose as purchasers for more than a year (“to gather evidence”) and then obtain warrants and raid Amish farms! Hmmmm – aren’t there more important uses for our taxpayer dollars and the time of our law enforcement officers?

And why, as consumers, are we being denied the right to eat what we want? I wonder how long it will be before they come knocking on our doors to inspect the contents of our refrigerators for contraband raw milk and fresh cheese…

According to the Washington Times:

It’s a battle that’s been going on behind the scenes for years, with natural foods advocates arguing that raw milk, as it’s also known, is healthier than the pasteurized product, while the Food and Drug Administration says raw milk can carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria.

“It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” said Tamara N. Ward, spokeswoman for the FDA, whose investigators have been looking into Rainbow Acres for months, and who finally last week filed a 10-page complaint in federal court in Pennsylvania seeking an order to stop the farm from shipping across state lines any more raw milk or dairy products made from it.

The farm’s owner, Dan Allgyer, didn’t respond to a message seeking comment, but his customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland were furious at what they said was government overreach.

“I look at this as the FDA is in cahoots with the large milk producers,” said Karin Edgett, a D.C. resident who buys directly from Rainbow Acres. “I don’t want the FDA and my tax dollars to go to shut down a farm that hasn’t had any complaints against it. They’re producing good food, and the consumers are extremely happy with it.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/28/feds-sting-amish-farmer-selling-raw-milk-locally/

I would say overreaching by the Feds is an understatement. And killing any small business is not what our economy needs – particularly now, in the middle of a crippling recession.

In the People’s Republic of California is all for this nanny-state business, as discovered by The Daily Caller:

A yearlong sting operation involving a multitude of state and federal agencies brought to justice Wednesday a dangerous ring of raw dairy enthusiasts in California.

Los Angeles police yesterday arrested a farmer, one of her employers and the owner of a raw foods store on criminal conspiracy charges stemming from their allegedly illegal production and sale of unpasteurized milk, cheese and other nefarious dairy products.

Sharon Palmer, 51, James Cecil Stewart, 64, and Eugenie Victoria Bloch, 58, were all charged in a thirteen-count complaint, which includes “the felony crime of processing milk without pasteurization” and four counts of conspiracy. Arraignments were scheduled for today.

Stewart is the owner of Rawesome Foods, a private buying club that offers customers raw milk and cheese, in addition to other products. State agents raided his store yesterday and seized or destroyed his entire inventory.

“In total, it looks like they took $30,000 to $50,000 worth of food,” said one Rawesome member in a video interview. “They backed up a twenty foot truck with a flatbed, and they filled it up with food. It was full when they left here, and you could see watermelons, coconuts, fresh produce that James had just bought this morning. They took it away. That truck was full. And when we came back in, they had double padlocked all the locks, and everything was bare.”

In the search warrant, authorities were authorized to seize any possible evidence of “interstate transportation,” including tax records, real estate transactions, billing records, purchasing and club records, emails, receipts, cash register data, credit cards receipts and inventory records.

Police also were ordered to seize Stewart’s computers and electronic devices, address books, telephone numbers, contacts, client lists and business cards.

Stewart is being held on $123,000 bail.

The Food and Drug Administration contends raw milk can carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria. It’s lawful to manufacture and sell unpasteurized dairy products in California, but certain licenses and permits are required. Stewart and Palmer, the owner of Healthy Family Farms, allegedly didn’t have those permits.

According to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, law enforcement agencies launched a yearlong sting operation when they caught wind of Stewart’s and Palmer’s illicit cheese.

How taxpayers are supposed to stomach this raw deal and not call it a crime, worthy of investigation, is beyond me.  Our federal government feels it needs to “protect” us from our rights to produce and consume as we please.

It is clear to me the FDA should be on the budget-cuts table as an overspending and overreaching entity – clearly overstepping the bounds of common sense and the needs of the people it is supposed to serve.

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