Local Forage has published a comment from Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy Company, a California organic/raw milk dairy farm, which serves as a delineation of the State of California's AB1735 — an addition to food laws which essentially will make the sale of real raw milk illegal in California on January 1, 2008. Among other things, this caught my eye:
The language contained in AB 1735 was placed there by CDFA to get rid of Raw Milk in California. Last year you might remember that CDFA ordered a recall of all OPDC raw milk products. Several months ago after threatened legal pressure CDFA settled with OPDC for a cash amount, mutual legal release, and the promise that OPDC would not sue CDFA or its personnel for the biased and unfounded recall. FDA, DHS, and CDFA concluded after several weeks of intensive testing of cows fresh manure and OPDC dairy products that there was no connection between any sickened children and OPDC raw dairy products.
[Bolding added for emphasis] This is the type of thing that makes you go "hmm". If I read this correctly (and it is stated plainly), the California Department of Food and Agriculture caused a recall of all Organic Pastures raw milk products and then, after Organic Pastures threatened to sue, settled the matter with OP on the basis of, among other things, a cash payment and a promise by OP not to sue the CDFA or its staff. Geez. Why was this not shouted from the rooftops?
To further underline the biased-ness of the CDFA, the FDA, DHS and even the CDFA itself then determined after weeks of testing that "there was no connection between any sickened children and OPDC raw dairy products". So why was this not shouted from the rooftops?
Instead, we have what appears to be an end run by the State of California in altering our food laws such that, in order to be sold in California, raw milk can only contain a small amount of certain forms of bactera — not all of which are harmful but greater amounts of which are naturally present in raw milk. Well, that knocks raw milk out of the pictures. And this, instead of testing raw milk for pathogens (disease-causing organisms).
Sure, Organic Pastures could go ahead and pasteurize its milk, but that would make it not raw milk. And, given that in my opinion, pasteurized milk is not so great for you and certainly isn't what I'd call "nutritious", I won't be drinking it, or eating unraw cream, cheese, butter, or the like.
However, there's a fight going on here, and the small farmer is up against it.
Only, this time, let's hope that the small farmer isn't so much out there on his own. If we want to be able to buy raw dairy products in California, it's time to take a stand.
- 2007 Settlement between the CDFA and Organic Pastures
- CDFA, Organic Pastures and AB1735
- Deadline 2008: raw milk under threat in California
- Effective action against AB1735, an illegal law passed against Raw Organic Milk in California
- On our impending loss of Organic Pastures Dairy and organic raw milk in California
- California Raw Milk – Temporary Restraining Order against AB1735
- California Raw Milk Hearing set for April 15, 2008
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