From JERRY BRUNETTI
[I’ve been drinking raw milk regularly since childhood, and raised my kids on it. I’m a dedicated imbiber of local, non-pasteurized, raw goat’s milk. Please support your own health, and our local, mom-and-pop, raw dairies. Ain’t nobody’s business if you do. -DS]
What a surprise! “Pseudo” farm organizations like Farm Bureau — an oxymoron — now support Wisconsin Governor Doyle’s veto of a proud bill to legalize raw milk in the Dairy State, all in the name of protecting everyone from … what? The existing centralized, monopolized, industrialized food system is literally owned and operated by a handful of dominating cartels, who in turn, are in bed with agencies such as the FDA. According to the centers for Disease Control, this well-subsidized inner sanctum of a corporate-state food alliance kills 5,000 Americans annually, hospitalizes over 300,000 every year, and sickens at home an estimated millions more. The architects and apologists for this failing, yet propped up system are now attempting to criminalize yet another traditional food that has virtually thousands of years of a track record of safety compared to much of the stuff that comes out of goliath food operations that made the “special effects” of sci-fi movies look arcane. These are the same forces at work that attempted to implement NAIS, and Farm Bureau was a proud champion of that Orwellian maneuver, as well.
Back to milk. Essentially, there are two basic forms of milk produced in this country surrounding this issue of raw vs. pasteurized: that which is worthy of certification to be drunk raw by customers also desirous of exercising their God-given, indefensible rights to do so; and that milk which needs to be pasteurized for a variety of reasons. In the early 20th century, certified raw milk was recruited from eligible farms inspected and approved by physicians who utilized raw milk therapy for their patients. The Mayo (Clinic) Foundation successfully treated 18,000 patients using raw milk therapy for everything from gout to tuberculosis. There was also the milk “swill” that was contaminated enough to sicken and kill enough Americans that pasteurization laws were appropriately brought into existence. The record is profound, vast and irrefutable — medically, scientifically and legally. All milk is not created equal. The “food police” would have us believe that imposing more draconian regulations on owner/producer/processors somehow reduces mortality rates, yet they have not an iota of interest in remediating or replacing the primary contributions to the food safety problem, namely centralization, runaway non-inspected food importation, “too-big-to-fail” corporations processing food at breakneck speed, and government regulations written by the very corporations under those rules.
If the FDA and Farm Bureau had a genuine interest in our health and longevity, they would be saiyng and doing things relevant to the obesity and diabetes epidemic that is now affecting many millions of American adults, as well as children. This so-called “food” industry laced everything they can with refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup (now up to 160 lbs. of sugar per capita per year!). This has now morphed into a perfect storm of an unprecedented, national health disaster whereby our saccharin diseases are the primary cause of limb amputation, blindness, stroke, and kidney failure/dialysis.
The real issue of outlawing a raw milk opportunity for dairy farmers who desperately need economic options besides “get bigger or get out” is the protection and control of the industry’s status quo market share, safeguarding well-entrenched corporate and bureaucratic interests, and marginalizing unadulterated food as the cost-effective medicine that it can and should be. Our failing, legalized drug-addicted and chronically afflicted society is now a lucrative captive market for the pharmaceutical petrochemical trusts that thrive on our malaise and misery.
Once again, follow the money.
And so it appears consumer interest in alternative to industrial food is gaining critical mass. Industry and authorities are noticing. And acting.
Across the country, government raids of food buying clubs, raw milk dairies, and producers and distributors of raw foods and the like are on the rise. As pitiful and insulting as this is, there is a need for extra prudence on the part of farmers and club operators. Following are tips for surviving a raid passed along by David Gumpert, raw milk authority…
Be wary of strangers who want to join your private buying group or herdshare. Particularly be wary of sad tales and begging to buy product on the first visit without proper membership.
Have a video camera at the ready. Search warrants are usually specific as to what can be searched and/or seized, a video recording of events inhibits abuses by regulators and other law enforcement personnel. Regulators and law enforcement officials definitely don’t appreciate being videotaped, and sometimes will simply disconnect videos or order targeted individuals to put the videos away. Film anyway.
Have a plan of action. Much like planning how your family might escape a fire, decide in advance who will handle the video camera, who will collect business cards or take down the names of all agents, and who will interact with the regulators. Regulators and police count on the element of surprise to sow confusion, and keep the targets from responding intelligently.
Read the search warrant fine print. Sometimes there are limitations on the search warrants that targets can exploit. Vernon Hershberger, the Wisconsin dairy farmer, was able to slow the regulators down because he knew the search warrant in his case likely wouldn’t allow forcible entry, so when agents returned a second time, after he cut the seals on his fridges, he locked his farm store doors and they were forced to leave. They eventually returned with an amended warrant that specifically allowed them to take his computer.
Keep computer backups. In nearly all such raids, the authorities confiscate computers so they can document transactions and customer interactions. If you don’t have a backup of what’s on your disk, you can literally be put out of business. Moreover, it’s advisable to monitor what information you keep on the computer in the farmhouse or in your food club. There’s something to be said for backing up every few days onto another computer kept off-site.
Also, encryption of PC records is now cheap, easy, and difficult to break. Rawesome Foods, a Venice, California private buyers club, reopened the day after a raid with double the patrons present.