Millers Organic Farm Falsely Linked to Listeria Illness?

CDC Claims Raw Milk From Millers Organic Farm Caused Listeria Illness

CDC accuses Millers Organic Farm of causing raw milk illness

CDC accuses Millers Organic Farm of causing raw milk illness

In a recent announcement from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), they stated that a Multistate Outbreak of Listeriosis was linked to raw milk from Millers Organic Farm in Pennsylvania.

The statement declared, in part, that an elderly woman in Florida had died as a result of Listeria from raw dairy

at Millers Organic Farm. Shortly after this claim from the CDC came out, investigative journalist David Gumpert reported on his blog questioning whether the CDC was engaged in misconduct in issuing that premature release and that the woman who died was being treated for advanced cancer—not listeria.

The Weston A. Price Foundation issued a release vindicating Millers Organic Farm as the source of the problem, showing the lack of real evidence from the CDC and that the family’s story did not support the CDC claims.

When stories like the CDC’s claim are issued, it gives a distortion of the facts that leads to manipulation of the data. Rather than seeking scientific results that prove what was behind the illness, the CDC reported on it as fact, giving false data to the statistics surrounding raw milk—statistics that will likely not be set right by the CDC.

Meanwhile, thousands of people continue to consume raw milk, including milk from Millers Organic Farm, will no ill effect. According to the WAPF press release,

“The FDA has spent years aggressively warning people against drinking raw milk with the claim that it causes hundreds more foodborne illness outbreaks than pasteurized milk. Yet, there have been no cases of listeriosis attributed to raw milk consumption going back forty years, or more. Unlike raw milk, pasteurized dairy has been linked to several deaths in the past ten years.

Prior to the false claim from the CDC, there have been no reported illnesses associated with Miller’s Organic Farm in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania.

“This recent release from the CDC is a deliberate attempt to tarnish raw milk and present false and defamatory information,” says Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, DC. “This is a witch-hunt against raw milk. This is clearly not a case of illness associated with raw milk, but rather an agency with an agenda.”

The CDC recommends that people “drink and eat only pasteurized dairy products (including soft cheese, ice cream, and yogurt).”

“This is a weak attempt to shut down people’s choices,” says Pete Kennedy, president of the Farm-to-consumer Legal Defense Fund. “It shows this bureaucracy is getting more desperate in trying to stop the growing demand for raw milk.”

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

Raw milk produced on Millers Organic Farm is not the likely cause of illness

Raw milk produced on Millers Organic Farm is not the cause of illness in a Florida victim

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Canadian Dairy Farmers See Support from Community

 

Canadian dairy farmers get support from comunity

Canadian dairy farmers get support from comunity Photo: David Pickett

This past week saw a notable celebration in Canada for Canadian dairy farmers in support of raw milk and food rights.

Hundreds of people gathered at the courthouse prior to a hearing on March 16 in support of Canadian dairy farmers. The rally and celebration of food rights was about an application for injunction that would ban Canadian dairy farmers or anyone else from distributing raw milk.

Several national media attended the event. Reported on “The Bovine” blog:

“The record turnout of raw milk consumers and supporters at today’s rally — an estimated 250-300 men, women and children — underlines just how unpopular such a move would be with the constituency that would be most affected by the proposed injunctions. The courthouse security police, who know Michael Schmidt from the many times he’s come to this courthouse before, told him that “every time you come here, there are more people”.

Durham-area farmer Michael Schmidt has been a lightning rod for raw milk issues in this province since 1994, largely because he has been very open in the way he operated.

On many occasions over the years Michael has sought various avenues to legalize the much-in-demand product, whose production and sale in the province remains largely underground. But the response to Michael’s overtures has not yet led to any improvement in raw milk’s legal status.

In his talk, Michael praised other raw milk farmers for also “coming out of the closet”. For instance, Michael was not the farmer who brought a cow to today’s event and milked it in front of the crowd. But even this could be just a tip of the black market iceberg.”

The article, “Massive Raw Milk Rally in Newmartket” continues on The Bovine site, describing other speakers at the fun event.

David Gumpert covers the event supporting Canadian dairy farmers in a similar vein. The “Big Demonstration” that David refers to alludes to the hundreds of people there. David goes on to explain the intricate and somewhat complicated court matters involved in the case.

“On this particular day, Schmidt brought about 300 people with him, the largest demonstration ever on his behalf. They were in good spirits, much more animated and outspoken in demand of their food rights than I’d ever seen before—radicalized might be the description that is beginning to apply.

It was a testimony to Schmidt and his cause that such a turnout materialized on a frigid and damp morning, since the actual court case is only in its infancy. The proceedings on Wednesday, which took about an hour, were devoted to scheduling future hearings and determining technical issues, like whether to combine two complaints against Schmidt—one from the York Region and another from the Ontario dairy director.

Or possibly people are simply becoming ever more outraged that the legal beat against Schmidt refuses to end, and has been renewed on entirely new grounds….after 22 years of farm raids and trials. I recalled in my talk to the crowd how the last time I was in Newmarket in January 2010, the legal assault against Schmidt was already 16 years old, and how that January day, he was acquitted by Judge Paul Kowarski. But because Canada doesn’t prohibit double jeopardy, like the U.S., Michael’s acquittal could be appealed and in effect, he was re-tried. The Ontario government jumped on the opportunity to keep the case alive, and found judges to overturn the acquittal.

Schmidt has ignored that conviction, and the fine that came with it, insisting he has done nothing wrong in providing milk to members of his herdshare. His persistence, together with his ongoing resistance, appears to have enraged Ontario officials and the dairy cartel they support, and so this latest legal case represents a new wrinkle in the seemingly endless legal entanglements thrust upon him.”

For the rest of the article, see David’s blog post on “Big Demonstration Buoys Michael Schmidt in Ontario’s Latest Raw Milk Case

For additional pictures of the event, attendee Dave Pickett shared his wonderful photos of the event.

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt on food freedom

Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt on food freedom

Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt to Hold Peaceful Celebration of Food Freedom

Dairy farmer Michael Schmidt issued a media advisory alerting the media of the planned rally in celebration of food freedom. The rally and celebration is designed to bring awareness to the draconian measures against dairy farmers in Ontario. Full press release below.

MEDIA ADVISORY

CONTACT: Liz Reitzig 301-807-5063 liz@hartkepr.com Elisa Vander Hout 519-372-6570 arc@bmts.com

March 10, 2016

Mothers, Farmers Threatened With Arrest Over Milk

Farmers, Others Criminalized for Feeding Communities

Raw milk activist, Michael Schmidt, his wife, Elisa, his son, Marcus, and a church pastor are threatened with arrest if they do not immediately cease raw milk distribution. A peaceful protest supporting Michael will be held at the Ontario Court of Justice on March 16. The media is invited to witness the peaceful milk and cookies picnic celebration. The gathering will be followed by a court hearing to determine if an order will be issued to enforce the ban on distribution of raw milk in Ontario. Explicitly targeted by the application is anyone else, including mothers, who are engaged in ‘counseling others to….distribute unpasteurized milk.” 

SPEAKERS:  Michael Schmidt, Farmer; Liz Reitzig, Founder Nourishing Liberty; David Gumpert, Journalist, Author and raw milk expert; Elisa Vander Hout, Founder Our Farms, Our Food Coop

WHAT:  Protest, and celebration, by mothers and others in support of raw-dairy farmer Michael Schmidt, and the right to “voluntary exchange,” outside Ontario courthouse in Newmarket.

Recent swat-style raids and arrest warrants on small farmers have inspired mothers and other activists to take their message to the courthouse where they plan to risk criminal charges, and possibly jail, by gathering for a peaceful milk and cookies picnic.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 8:30a.m.

WHERE: Ontario Court of Justice, 50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket Ontario. Self-parking is available

WHY: The March 16 rally is in advance of a court hearing on issuing the injunctions, which could lead to jailing of ANYONE—farmers, moms, dads—who even encourage the distribution of raw milk.                 

OTHER SPEAKERS INCLUDE:

Local mothers sourcing raw milk for their families.

VISUALS: Cow being milked, crowds with signs, courthouse building, families with small children, children with raw milk and cookies, mothers, farmers distributing milk, law enforcement.

Mothers and farmers are available for interview prior to March 16th and at the rally.

For additional information on raw milk www.realmilk.com For additional information on this case read Raw Milk Trial In Canada. For additional background and to support farmer Michael Schmidt, visit their legal defense fund.

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Raw Milk In West Virginia Now Legal

After a seven-year battle, the Governor signs bill to make raw milk in West Virginia legal through cow shares

Raw milk in West Virginia is now legal and available through cow share arrangements. The news spread quickly on Facebook after the governor signed the bill into law.

Lead advocate for the legislation, Tinia Creamer stated,

“It has been really amazing to watch the positive change in West Virginia on the issue of raw milk rights and food freedom. We’ve taken Food Freedom from a place of silence to a hot button issue that whole state has now talked about,” Says Creamer.

“Regaining the ability to operate herdshares was certainly not an overnight occurrence here, and the general thought for a long time was that West Virginia would never allow co-ownership agreements to exist again. In the end, I believe it was worth the 7-year fight. Well worth it. Persistence and growing a strong statewide support base through social media made SB387, the Raw Milk Herdshare bill, law. We overcame corporate Lobby groups, Lobbyists hired by statewide Health Departments and involvement from the FDA.”

The fact that raw milk in West Virginia is now available through cow shares is phenomenal. This opening for co-ownership of animals through cow share arrangements speaks to the ongoing shift from complete prohibition to acceptance of people’s rights to obtain the foods of their choice from the producer of their choice.

It is refreshing to see this shift continuing to occur, especially as enforcement increases against raw milk in Canada. If raw milk in West Virginia can be legal and available, perhaps it won’t be much longer for the other states and Canada that are holding out.

After the West Virginia bill was vetoed in 2015, Tinia persisted in bringing the issue before the General Assembly in 2016. Her hard work has paid off with farmers rights now reinstated.

“It is a relief, really,” says Creamer. “I know that raw milk in West Virginia through herdshares will help small farmers thrive; they will be a much needed way to bolster our economy. I am thankful that farmers will be able to offer, through co-ownership, a local food to their communities. This will, in turn, offer education to families about where their food comes from, how it is produced and really connect farmers to the people, as well.”

As the tide continues to shift towards raw milk availability, it is the advocates like Tinia we can thank for their tireless, unpaid work that keeps legislation and possibility alive.

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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Raw Milk In Canada Heats Up

Families will rally for raw milk in Canada at upcoming court hearing

If you want to see raw milk in Canada widely available, consider supporting this upcoming court case and rally. When people search for raw milk, usually sources abound. After all, it is available in most countries and all 50 states. Even in the places where it is difficult to find, there are still options. One might wonder why there is so much opposition to raw milk in Canada when there is strong support for raw milk in other parts of North America and Europe.

As reported on Nourishing Liberty, famous Canadian dairy farmer, Michael Schmidt, his wife, Elisa, and son, are named in an injunction to permanently cease distribution of raw milk in Canada, specifically, Ontario. Also targeted are the individual herdshare owners as “Jane Doe” and “John Doe.” These citizens who enjoy raw milk government is attempting to enjoin them for distribution or even recommending raw milk to others.

By implicating “Jane Doe” and “John Doe,” for the first time, the Canadian government is allowing it to pertain to anyone involved, including mothers. Canadian mothers are now explicitly threatened with arrest simply for participating in a herdshare. This is a new low, even for Canada, to hold raw milk trial in such a way.

As one raw milk proponent, Angela Kang, says, “What is safe raw milk to me? It is my direct, unadulterated connection to the Earth that feeds my family and me. It is as intimate of a relationship as my relationship with my God. We are supposed to be a country of peace and tolerance and acceptance. No government in a free country should interfere with this. I want raw milk in Canada.”

If you are anywhere near Canada, join the mothers, farmers and community at the food rights rally as they gather to celebrate the connection they have with their food.

Organizers of the rally say, “We envision farmers peacefully feeding their communities so we and future generations may be nurtured by the gifts of the land. And in turn nurture the earth through our inherent connections. The goal of this rally and celebration is to bring this vision to the front and stand empowered to proudly participate in our communities through peaceful food production and food distribution.”

Read more about the case on the Nourishing Liberty Blog, Raw Milk Trial In Canada

Michael Schmidt and his supporters are raising funds for their legal defense. Please contribute on the Michael Schmidt GoFundMe page.

If you would like to help spread the word, here is a Food Rights Rally Flyer with all the details.

Family Food Freedom Rally Family Food Freedom rally for raw milk in Canada

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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Kojo Nnamdi Show Covers Raw Milk

Sally Fallon Morrell Rejoins Kojo Nnamdi to Discuss Raw Milk 

The Kojo Nnamdi show, a popular daytime radio talk show in the DC area, recently had Sally Fallon Morrell on to discuss the benefits of fresh milk. You can listen to the full audio on the Kojo Nnamdi site.

During the episode, Sally points out that raw milk is a healthy food and that even the old, young and immune compromised can all benefit from drinking raw milk. She says that raw milk can be produced in a way that minimizes any safety risks.

She goes on to point out the richness and health benefits of the cream in raw milk. That it is what nature makes for growth and for protection against pathogens and it is healthy for digestion and the gut.

The fact that Kojo Nnamdi is covering this topic (and recently raw milk cheeses was covered in Vogue) Link here reveals the growing demand of fresh, raw milk and raw milk products from local farms.

The CDC estimates that about 3% of Americans consumer raw milk. Whether you are a proponent of raw milk for human consumption, or not, the fact that it is gaining mainstream media coverage indicates a general warming to the idea.

While no one expects raw milk consumption to overtake pasteurized milk consumption in the next few years, the fact that mainstream news is covering is with a balanced approach shows that perhaps those of us who relish the beverage will not be sidelined as much for consuming it. As raw milk gains normalcy status, we can hope to see some of the prevailing ridicule and criticism tempered with a more reasonable acceptance of raw milk as an suitable beverage for those who choose it for health reasons or otherwise.

Attitudes from those opposed to raw milk consumption, whether for personal or political reasons, are not likely to change soon, but are no longer being considered as the only voices on the issue. All in all, the shift in the media is not likely to create an overnight change in policy or public sentiment, but it begins to change the basic public acceptance of the wholesome food that has helped so many people regain their health.

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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Raw Milk Cheese is Heating Up

What the International Cheese Market is Telling us About Demand for Artisanal Raw Milk Cheese

With the ever-increasing popularity of raw milk, raw milk cheese is also gaining notoriety. The FDA’s current policies are not friendly to imported or domestically made raw milk cheeses. So a growing population turns to a black market for these artisanal cheeses.

Apparently, this issue is larger than a US cheese crisis.

According to the January 7, 2016 article in Vogue, “Earlier last year, a criminal cheese gang made international headlines when the Russian police busted it for hauling $30 million of contraband cheddar. With Vladimir Putin’s ban on Western food products, Russians have been getting creative about procuring their beloved banned cheeses. Sound nutty? The U.S. also has a list of banned cheeses—primarily because of health concerns—resulting in a black market where cheese delicacies can be had if you know where to look and are willing to pay up.”

The fact that a publication such as Vogue is picking up on the raw milk cheese black market is evidence that the government’s prohibition on the coveted cheeses is weakening. It is encouraging to see the attitude shifting enough that people are taking control of their own food choices.

With many resources available for people to connect directly with their farmer, people are empowered to use networking to secure the foods of their choice from the producers of their choice.

Now that raw milk has gained in popularity and supply, but is still heavily regulated, many people turn to cheese making classes to learn how to make the delicacies of raw milk cheese for themselves. Farms, buying clubs, herdshares and homesteads are making it easier to find raw milk. Cow, goat, sheep and Italian water buffalo milk each make a special raw milk cheese.

Linda and Larry Faillace, expert farmers and artisan cheese makers, teach classes on a wide range of cheeses. The popularity of their classes proves that despite tough regulations, raw milk cheese is a growing trend. Their classes offer the best antidote to the bans so that those who want to can experience the delight of the traditional, celebrated cheeses.

Do you need a source for fresh, raw milk for your own cheese-making? We have just the resource for you!

 To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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Cow Share Legislation Pending in Maryland

Will the Farmers Get Their Chance at Raw Milk Through a Maryland Cow Share Program?

The legislature is now considering whether to legalize raw milk through Maryland cow share opportunities. It’s been years now since cow shares were legal in Maryland. Over the past 10 years, farmers and consumers from around the state have participated in legislative initiatives to reinstate Maryland cow share operations to bring the raw milk economy back to the state. This year, the legislation offers the perfect solution—let Marylanders engage in cow shares.

The legislation, HB79 introduced by Delegates Morhaim and Kipke, simply gives farmers the legal right to engage directly with consumers who wish to purchase a share in a cow in order to obtain the milk from their own animal.

Cow shares, or agistment agreements, are age old agreements that allow for a farmer to board a cow for someone who does not have the land to care for their own livestock. Horse boarding is a popular use of agistment agreements.

Currently, only a handful of Maryland farms as registered to provide raw pet milk. However, there are many people in Maryland who wish to give raw milk to their families. Legal cow shares would create the possibility for families who wish to do so.

One Maryland dairy farmer, Kelly Hensing, currently registered to provide pet milk only, notes that “this kind of an agreement gives us more of a relationship with the people who want the milk. Cow shares are legal contracts between a farmer who has the space and expertise to raise and milk cows and a consumer who wants that milk. The agreements provide the necessary transparency and oversight for a comfortable and responsible relationship between consumer and farmer. I am excited about the possibilities this has to offer.”

She also comments that if she were able to provide cow shares, when they come to the farm to visit their cow or pick up their milk, they would also likely pick up meat and other items from the farm. This kind of economic activity would be helpful to small Maryland farmers who often struggle to make ends meet or who have to have off farm jobs to make ends meet.

The legislation, if passed, is set to take effect on October 1, 2016.

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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Michael Schmidt Faces Possible 10 Years In Prison

International Legal Defense Funding Requested to Help Court Costs for Michael Schmidt

In recent news, Michael Schmidt faces ongoing legal harassment for running his dairy operation in Ontario Canada. But, it is not technically his dairy operation that has him facing 10 years in prison.

In writing about this case, bloggers note that:

Sometimes it is someone’s humility that has the greatest impact on us rather boisterous heroics. Such is the case with Ontario farmer Michael Schmidt. For 21 years, Schmidt has peacefully run his farm and provided his community with fresh, nourishing foods including raw milk. Schmidt produces raw dairy products for a group of families who want these foods and go to great lengths to obtain them.

In a recent article about Michael Schmidt, it states:

“In fact, these families have actually purchased the farm from Schmidt and his wife, Elisa, in an attempt to avoid violating the law. Absurdly, Canadian law outlaws raw milk distribution. It is legal for farmers to drink raw milk from their own animals, but not to distribute it. Schmidt claims that it is his natural right to peacefully farm and to provide clean, wholesome food to his community, so he continues to milk the cows and make the products available to the community of farm owners. Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and other Canadian agencies, both federal and local, continue to harass him for this peaceful act.”

Rather than responding to the antagonism in kind, Michael calls on the strength of character to search for a positive outcome despite the Canadian government attempting to escalate it. As the government continues to treat Michael like a violent criminal, Michael remains peaceful.

“Schmidt continues to challenge the government on its authority to criminalize him and his community over milk. This past summer, the government escalated its harassment of him and the farm owners, by planting surveillance cameras on the road by the property to spy on anyone entering or leaving the farm. Schmidt discovered the cameras and publicly questioned who put them there and why. A concerned neighbor removed the cameras, leading to theft charges against Schmidt.

When he reported to the police station for identification, authorities demanded that he submit to fingerprinting – a procedure not required for the type of offense he was charged with. When he refused, he was jailed overnight, before being forcibly fingerprinted in the morning and set free. Meanwhile, around this time the MNRF and a multi-agency task force conducted multiple raids on his farm and delivery vehicle.

During one farm raid, farm owners, concerned neighbors and community members blocked the driveway and prevented the government from removing thousands of dollars’ worth of food and farm equipment. The government then said that the peaceful activists were promoting “anti-government” sentiment. Five people present at that raid have been charged by the West Grey Police for ‘obstructing police.’”

His raw milk politics have him in hot water, but the 10-year prison term is over the sheep case he became embroiled in over 3 years ago. It takes a lot to dispel the government of the notion that peaceful people should go to prison for saving harmless animals from abuse, nonetheless, that is what Michael is facing. We have a chance to help his legal defense through a fundraising effort that now seeks a final push past the initial limit so that the team supporting him can make the best possible effort to keep this modern milk hero free and farming.

Donate to their legal expenses. All donations at this link go to the Canadian Constitution Foundation in support of Michael and Montana’s legal fees.

Follow the cases on the Facebook groups page.

The original fund set up by the CCF shows that it is fully funded. However, with the additional charges and the pre trial hearings taking many months, they are in dire need to legal funding immediately and ongoing. In an effort to save a farm, save a farmer and save a family, please donate what you can and remain involved in this case as we watch the dramatic impact that true humility can have on a community.

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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Food Freedom Movement Spreading State to State

In March 2015, Wyoming passed its Food Freedom Act, a groundbreaking law that deregulates many homegrown farm foods sold direct-to-consumer. Wyoming State Representative Tyler Lindholm, who co-sponsored the bill, predicted that farmers in the state would immediately feel positive impacts from the changes in regulation.

So how has it been going?

Lindholm says, “Wyoming’s first season under the Wyoming Food Freedom Act was one of bounty without a doubt…the results have been exactly what we all knew already. The free market will thrive if given the chance…I’ve talked with several Farmers Markets and their managers and have found the numbers being reported as doubling the number of consumers and produces in a multitude of products.”

Wyoming’s success is apparently inspiring other states, including Utah, to consider their own food freedom bills.

Read more via Reason.com.

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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