Food Police: Judge Bars Wisconsin Families from Drinking Unpasteurized Milk from Their Own Cows, Florida Selling Raw Milk As “Pet Food” « Frugal Café Blog Zone

Food Police: Judge Bars Wisconsin Families from Drinking Unpasteurized Milk from Their Own Cows, Florida Selling Raw Milk As “Pet Food”

Posted By on October 7, 2011

Udderly insane: Wisconsin judge bans families from drinking milk from their own cows

 

A few months back, I wrote about how Pres. Obama’s FDA spent months investigating Amish farmers and their raw milk in Pennsylvania.

The Nanny State Food Police overreach grows… now a judge in Wisconsin has banned families from drinking unpasteurized milk from their own cows.

It could be only a matter of time before home vegetable gardens are heavily regulated and/or banned by the government. Actually, those times are upon us now — Steve Miller, a Georgia man who is a hobbyist vegetable gardener, has been sued by the state government for growing “too many vegetables” on his land.

Last month, Adam Guerrero, a high school math teacher in Memphis, Tennessee, was cited and faced possible jail time for the “nuisance” his vegetable garden and sunflower beds were supposedly causing. Sanity, this time, has prevailed. Guerrero finally was granted permission by the government to keep his garden.

The demonizing of unpasteurized milk in Wisconsin, however, grows.

From Center for Media and Democracy, Wisconsin Judge Rules Against Food Rights:

Wisconsin dairy farmers are appealing a state judge’s ruling that they do not have the right to own a dairy cow or drink the unprocessed milk from their own cows.

Mark and Petra Zinniker, who sought to distribute raw milk to herd shareholders through their private farm store, received a judgment from state Circuit Court Judge Patrick Fiedler ruling against them on all counts in August.

[…]

Neither the Wisconsin State Constitution nor the U.S. Constitution enumerate any food rights or these kinds of farmers’ rights.

However, given that humans have farmed, and drunk the milk from their dairy animals, for more than 5,000 years, the breadth of the court’s ruling has astonished many.

As the Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution concedes, not all the rights of people are written out, providing that the “enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

In spite of this, Judge Fiedler has made several blanket denials of civil rights, based on his argument that the Plaintiffs’ “reasoning behind why the court should declare that there is a fundamental right to consume the food of one’s choice” is “underdeveloped.”

A lengthy post on this latest Nanny State mandate is over at World Net Daily — here are some of highlights: Judge: Americans do not have right to choose food:

A Wisconsin judge has decided – in a fight over families’ access to milk from cows they own – that Americans “do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow.”

The ruling comes from Circuit Court Judge Patrick J. Fiedler in a court battle involving a number of families who owned their own cows, but boarded them on a single farm.

The judge said the arrangement is a “dairy farm” and, therefore, is subject to the rules and regulations of the state of Wisconsin.

“It’s always a surprise when a judge says you don’t have the fundamental right to consume the foods of your choice,” said Pete Kennedy, president of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, which worked on the case on behalf of the farmers and the owners of the milk-producing cows.

The judge’s original ruling came in a consolidation of two cases that presented similar situations: Cows being maintained and milked on farms for the benefit of non-resident owners. He refused to grant a summary judgment declaring such arrangements legitimate, deciding instead to favor the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, which opposed them.

“Plaintiffs argue that they have a fundamental right to possess, use and enjoy their property and therefore have a fundamental right to own a cow, or a heard (sic) of cows, and to use their cow(s) in a manner that does not cause harm to third parties. They argue that they have a fundamental right to privacy to consume the food of their choice for themselves and their families and therefore have a fundamental right to consume unpasteurized milk from their cows,” the judge wrote.

Bunk, he concluded.

“They do not simply own a cow that they board at a farm. Instead, plaintiffs operate a dairy farm. If plaintiffs want to continue to operate their dairy farm then they must do so in a way that complies with the laws of Wisconsin.”

He cited an earlier consent decree involving one of the farm locations, which had been accused of being the source of a “Campylobachter jejuni infection” and said there are state reasons to require standards and licenses.

Identifying the cases as the “Grassway plaintiffs” and the “Zinniker plaintiffs,” the judge said both were in violation of state rules and regulations.

It was, however, when the plaintiffs petitioned the judge for a “clarification” of his order that he let fly his judicial temperament.

“The court denied plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, which means the following:

“(1) no, plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a diary (sic) herd;

“(2) no, plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;

“(3) no, plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to board their cow at the farm of a farmer;

“(4) no, the Zinniker plaintiffs’ private contract does not fall outside the scope of the state’s police power;

“(5) no, plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice; and

“(6) no, the DATCP did not act in an ultra vires manner because it had jurisdiction to regulate the Zinniker plaintiffs’ conduct.””It is clear from their motion to clarify that the plaintiffs still fail to recognize that they are not merely attempting to enforce their ‘right’ to own a cow and board it at a farm. Instead,plaintiffs operate a dairy farm,”he wrote.

Kennedy said the ruling is outlandish.

“Here you have a situation where a group of people, a couple of individuals, boarded their cows which they wholly owned, with Zinniker farms, and paid them a fee for the boarding.”

He continued, “The judge said people have no fundamental right to acquire, possess and use your own property.”

The dispute is part of a larger battle going on between private interests and state and federal regulators over just exactly who makes the decision on the difference between a privately held asset and a commercial producer.

The dispute is part of a larger battle going on between private interests and state and federal regulators over just exactly who makes the decision on the difference between a privately held asset and a commercial producer.

The Los Angeles Times recently profiled a case in which prosecutors had arrested the owner of a health food market and two others on charges of allegedly illegally producing unpasteurized dairy products.

The arrests of James Cecil Stewart, Sharon Ann Palmer and Eugenie Bloch just a few weeks ago advanced the government’s crackdown on the sale of so-called raw dairy products.

But Fiedler’s arguments weren’t unique.

Attorneys for the federal government have argued in a lawsuit still pending in federal court in Iowa that individuals have no “fundamental right” to obtain their food of choice.

The brief was filed early in 2010 in support of a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ban on the interstate sale of raw milk.

“There is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds,” states the document signed by U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose, assistant Martha Fagg and Roger Gural, trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.

[…]

The report blames the aggressive campaign against raw milk on large commercial dairy interests, “because it threatens the commercial milk business.”

The reason cannot be safety, the report said, since a report from the Weston A. Price Foundation revealed that from 1980 to 2005 there were 10 times more illnesses from pasteurized milk than from raw milk.

The federal government attorneys say the FDA’s goal is to prevent disease, and that’s why the “ban on the interstate sale of unpasteurized milk” was adopted.

Raw milk is also outlawed in Canada — some are fighting back, as reported by National Post, Ontario farmer convicted in raw milk case launches hunger strike:

Farmer and raw-milk crusader Michael Schmidt has launched another hunger strike in his nearly five-year legal battle to make Ontario the only province to legalize the sale of unpasteurized milk.

The move comes after the Ontario Court of Justice on Wednesday found Schmidt guilty of selling and distributing raw milk and raw-milk products. In a 77-page decision, Ontario Justice Peter Tetley convicted Schmidt of 15 of the 19 criminal offences charged under the province’s Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Milk Act.

In January 2010, Schmidt was found not guilty of 19 charges related to his cow-share business. This week’s decision essentially reverses the acquittal and now Schmidt may face fines, but is unlikely to see jail time.

In Canada, it is illegal to market, sell, distribute or deliver unpasteurized milk or cream. Yet it is legal for farmers and their immediate families to drink raw milk or to use it to make cheese.

[…]

Reached Friday, Schmidt said the danger in unpasteurized milk comes in large industrial production centres, where milk from several farmers is pooled and any one providing bad milk can ruin the whole batch. He said when done properly at a family farm, the production of raw milk can be safer than pasteurized milk from factories.

“The only zero tolerance with regard to food [safety] is with milk,” Schmidt said. “Everywhere there is a calculable risk [that governments] accept, but not with milk.”

Schmidt recalled how more than 20 Canadians died in 2008 after deli meats became contaminated with listeria.

“Did they ban cold cuts?” he said. “No. They looked at the operation and said, ‘We need you to do things better,’ and so on. The problem really is the industrialization of our food.”

Asked how long he would remain on a hunger strike, Schmidt said, “Until I see some results.”

Florida is getting around the raw milk ban, selling it as pet food:

Florida calls it pet food, but people crave it and will go underground to get it.

Florida allows the sale of unpasteurized milk only as pet food, yet while a growing number of people want raw milk for themselves, the state turns a blind eye.

Nothing prohibits drinking raw milk. State officials acknowledge that there’s an underground supply chain.

People say it’s a creamier, purer and healthier alternative to pasteurized milk.

This year, about a dozen more farms statewide, a total of 46, registered to sell raw milk as “commercial feed.” There’s no way to tell how much is bought for human consumption.

[…]

The state, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration, warn that raw milk can be hazardous, not healthier, and that pasteurization is needed to avoid contamination such as E. coli and salmonella.

The Palm Beach County Health Department in recent years has had only one reported listeria case caused by raw cheese consumed in Mexico. Broward has no reports in the past two years.

Derek Friedman believes raw milk is harmless and that pasteurizing renders milk useless.

“Where’s my freedom of choice to choose what I put in my mouth?” asked Friedman, a Boca Raton chiropractor who focuses on holistic health care and nutrition and has been drinking raw milk for a decade. “Let the consumer decide. Get the government out of my food.”

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I'm a conservative frugalist. My priorities: Watchdogging the government, making sure our tax dollars are spent wisely, living within our budgets (at home and in Washington, DC), and adhering to our Constitution and the conservative principles upon which it was developed by our founding fathers. Also, loving God, my family, and my country. Be wise, be frugal. God bless America!      

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