The FDA has conducted a yearlong sting operation on an Amish farm in Pennsylvania to prevent the farm from selling raw milk to willing customers in the Washington D.C. area.
Remember, this yearlong sting operation to prevent consenting adults from drinking raw milk was conducted by the same FDA that recently allowed a half-billion eggs contaminated with salmonella to be unleashed among the consuming population before being recalled — not to mention the millions of pounds of ground beef and chicken tainted with E. coli and salmonella that were eventually recalled by irresponsible companies allowed to police themselves.
Amish Farm Was a Food Club
According to the FDA complaint, the agency began investigating Rainbow Acres Farm, owned by Dan Allgyer, in late 2009 when an investigator in their Baltimore office used aliases to sign up for a Yahoo user group for Rainbow Acres‘ customers, placing orders under the assumed names for raw milk.
Washington Times writer Stephen Dinan said the orders were delivered to private residences in Maryland, where the investigator would pick them up. By crossing state lines the milk became part of interstate commerce, thus subject to the FDA’s ban on interstate sales of raw milk. And since the jugs of milk found were not labeled, the FDA tacked on another violation.
Dinan says when investigators confronted Allgyer in February 2010, he turned them away. U.S. marshals and a state police trooper returned two months later at 5 a.m. with a warrant, and raided Allgyer’s farm.
Since investigators claim they saw coolers containing dairy products labeled with Maryland town names, they sent Allgyer a letter in April 2010, telling Allgyer to stop selling across state lines.
Allgyer then formed a food club and had customers sign an agreement stating they supported his operation, knew he wasn’t trying to entrap the owners, and maintained they would be shareholders in the farm’s produce, paying only for the farmer’s labor.
But the FDA continued to take Allgyer’s shipments, and in April went to court to stop the Amish operation. “It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” said Tamara N. Ward, spokeswoman for the FDA.
By some estimates, there are 10 million raw-milk consumers in the U.S., where sales are legal in 10 states. “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.”
Pete Kennedy, president of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, said it’s almost like the FDA treat raw milk as crack. These raids have taken place in a number of states, and at the federal level, says Kennedy. His organization has sued to try to halt FDA enforcement, and the case is pending in federal court in Iowa.
Cops Raid California Raw Milk Club at Gunpoint
Last year, with guns drawn, four officers blazed into a food club in Venice, California, and raided the walk-in cooler to confiscate raw milk, and unpasteurized goat cheese. Rawesome Foods is a private food club run by nutritionists and raw-food advocates. For a membership fee of $25, consumers can purchase unpasteurized dairy products, organic eggs, and fermented vegetables.
“I still can’t believe they took our yogurt,” a Rawsome volunteer told the L.A. Times. “There’s a medical-marijuana shop a couple miles away, and they’re raiding us because we’re selling raw dairy products?”
Federal regulators said Rawesome Foods failed to obtain proper permits and licenses. Agents from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the FDA, the USDA and others confiscated 17 coolers with honey, milk, cane syrup and other products.
On the same day, a raid involving 20 agents was also conducted at Sharon Palmer’s private California farm; Palmer produces goat’s milk, and raises cattle, pigs, and chickens. It was the third time in 18 months Palmer’s farm was raided over the labeling of her goat cheese.
In 2010, three raw milk raids occurred Wisconsin as well. In one case, a farmer was prosecuted for refusing to give authorities information about his customers.
In June 2010, agents of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, escorted by police, raided Traditional Foods Warehouse, a popular food club in Minneapolis specializing in locally-produced foods, and two more farms suspected of illegally selling raw milk.
Big Dairy Behind Raw Milk Raids
The members of food clubs join for the expressed purpose of buying raw milk, so they know precisely what they’re purchasing. These raids have nothing to do with protecting the public from the alleged dangers of raw milk. If drinking raw milk was deadly, primitive cultures would have died out long ago.
In her article “More About Raw Milk”, Sally Fallon, V.P. of the Weston-Price Foundation says, “All outbreaks of salmonella from contaminated milk in recent decades have occurred in pasteurized milk.”
Fallen adds that even the 1985 Illinois outbreak affecting 14,316 people, contained a salmonella strain in pasteurized milk that was genetically resistant to both penicillin and tetracycline.
These raids are rooted in establishing power and control. As Mike Adams with Natural News points out, “The real reason why the FDA opposes raw milk is because Big Dairy opposes raw milk. Just like Big Pharma, Big Dairy has worked very hard behind the scenes to steer FDA policy in its favor. And according to some recent reports, Big Dairy is one of the primary forces trying to eliminate raw milk because it threatens the commercial milk business.”
At the very least, willing consumers should have the freedom of choice to purchase raw milk, and not have their food choices dictated by federal regulators serving the interests of Big Dairy.
Pasteurized Versus Raw Milk
When raw milk is pasteurized, the milk is heated to a specific temperature for a designated length of time to slow microbial growth. But pasteurization also destroys beneficial bacteria found in raw milk, kills natural enzymes and destroys the chemical make-up of calcium in raw milk.
While milk pasteurization is vaunted as a safety measure by Big Dairy, pasteurizing milk increases its shelf life so milk can be effectively mass-marketed, maximizing profits for the dairy industry.
The risk of pathogens causing diseases such as salmonella are present in all foods manufactured for sale to consumers; these risks aren’t exclusive to just raw milk.
As with any food that’s mass produced, the presence of salmonella and other harmful bacteria depends on the sanitary way food is produced, the living conditions of animals, the quality of the food animals are fed, and the care that’s taken to ensure cleanliness in the overall food operation during production.
As Global Healing Center points out: Today’s pasteurized milk comes from cows crammed in cages loaded with synthetic hormones and antibiotics. Homogenizing purposely destroys raw milk’s natural butterfat in an effort to separate and hide the cream from the consumer. European studies show that this is dangerous and may cause heart disease.
In the European Union, all raw milk products are legal and considered safe for human consumption, and can be sold without any price, variety or quantity restrictions.
In France, raw milk and cheeses are considered the standard for high quality dairy products. “Many French cuisine traditionalists consider pasteurized cheeses almost a sacrilege. Many traditional French cheeses have solely been made from raw milk for hundreds of years”.
In Germany, raw milk and cheeses are legally sold in the entire country, and sold widely in all health food stores, supermarkets, gourmet delis, delicatessens, and department stores.
The Nutritional Benefits of Raw Milk
Here’s just a sampling of the nutritional benefits of raw, organic milk, via the Global Healing Center:
*Organic, raw milk is a complete food, loaded with minerals, protein and vitamins. Raw milk contains an amazing selection of minerals ranging from calcium and phosphorus to trace elements.
*Pasteurization destroys them and they must be re-supplied
*Raw milk has 20 of the standard amino acids
*Up to 80% of the proteins in raw milk are easy to digest — some are complex antibodies
*Raw milk is abundant in calcium — legendary for its benefits for teeth, bones etc.
*It is also loaded with enzymes that have an array of health benefiting functions
*Raw milk is alive with beneficial bacteria that aid digestion and protect against disease-carrying organisms