Raw Milk Bill Officially Introduced in Wisconsin

As promised, Wisconsin Representative David Murphy (R-Greenville) has introduced a bill that would legalize the sale of unpasteurized milk and dairy products, when sold directly to consumers on the farm.

Previous attempts to change raw milk legislation were drafted in 2013 and 2014; both bills failed to make it to a vote on the state legislature floor. Wisconsin, “the heart of American’s dairy land,” is seemingly one of the most difficult states to pass raw milk-friendly regulations due to its Big Dairy presence and reputation.

Read more about the controversy and the proposed bill here.

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

Virginia Bill Proposed to Legalize Raw Milk Sales

A new controversial Virginia bill, House Bill 1461, would allow state farmers to sell raw milk if they own three or less milking cows.

Currently, cow shares are legal in Virginia, but the change in regulations would help small, local dairies improve their businesses. The bill “Exempts persons who own three or fewer milking cows from the oversight of the Milk Commission and the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ requirements governing the quality, grading, and sanitary standards for milk so long as the milk their cows produce is sold directly to consumers and contains a label stating that the product has not been inspected by the state.”

While some will fight against the bill in the name of public health, others, including many of the state’s small dairy farmers, will speak up against this attack on small farms and try to share accurate raw milk safety facts with their legislators and the public.

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

New England Lawmakers Submit Comments Against USDA’s Potential Restrictions on Raw Milk Cheeses

Both federal and state lawmakers have spoken out against the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (USDA) quest to tighten restrictions on the sale of raw milk cheeses, arguing that the restrictions could make it difficult for small, local artisan cheesemakers to stay in business.

Lawmakers from Vermont and New Hampshire have joined together to write a letter to FDA Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor, arguing that the change in standards “could ban many age-old recipes for raw milk cheese and severely harm artisan cheese producers” in New England.

US State Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Vermont Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), US State Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotee (R-NH), and New Hampshire Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH, 2nd district) all signed the letter.

“Cheese production is an important, and growing, component of our nation’s value-added agricultural economy,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is an economic driver in rural areas across the country, producing good jobs, internationally-recognized brands, and award-winning cheeses.”

One Vermont-based cheesemaker added, “…we are not asking for ‘less’ regulation, we are asking for ‘good’ regulation that is developed transparently and based on solid science.”

The lawmakers and local dairy farmers join the Weston A. Price Foundation in submitting comments to the USDA opposing the unnecessary change in restrictions.

Read more via The Hill and Valley News.

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

Weston A. Price Foundation Fights USDA On Raw Milk Cheese Restrictions

The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) has petitioned the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (USDA) to ease its pursuit of stricter, unnecessary restrictions on raw milk cheeses.

In August 2015, the USDA invited the public to submit commentary on “potential intervention measures to reduce the risk of foodborne illness” stemming from unpasteurized cheeses.

Along with its comments to the USDA, WAPF included lengthy scientific research on the safety of unpasteurized cheeses, and pointed out that most of the outbreaks attributed to these cheeses come from raw, unaged cheeses – which are illegal to sell in this country. In other countries, some cheeses produced from raw milk are a popular export and cultural staple, like Italy’s Parmigiano Reggiano, which can only legally bear that name if it is made from raw milk.

Read more about what Weston A. Price Foundation President Sally Fallon Morell has to say on the issue in the organization’s official press release here.

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

Michael Schmidt Faces New Charges

Canadian Hero, Michael Schmidt, Sees Mounting Court Costs; Community Shows Solidarity in Peaceful Non-Compliance

Michael Schmidt is one of the most well-known and well-respected names in the real food movement. Schmidt has faced years of legal harassment for his peaceful production of raw milk and for feeding his community.

Three years ago on December 6, Schmidt was charged in connection to the Shropshire sheep case. The legal battle is ongoing and Michael faces up to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the protection of healthy sheep (the Canadian Food Inspection Agency threatened to kill them). The legal battle is ongoing and financially devastating. Please donate to the legal fees to help keep Michael out of prison.

As though the charges against him for helping to temporarily save the sheep were not enough, a multi-agency task force recently raided Glencolton farm leading to additional charges against Michael and four other farm owners.

Schmidt also faces charges for removing surveillance cameras that the Ministry of Natural Resources placed just outside his driveway to spy on anyone going to or from the farm. Schmidt states “I am convinced that these charges about the cameras are some sort of revenge…They don’t like the fact that I continue to peacefully feed my community. They are using the judicial system to prolong their harassment of a peaceful farmer.”

Led by Michael Schmidt, many Canadians recently gathered at Queens Park in Toronto to sign a “Declaration of Food Rights” which states that they are willing to suffer the legal consequences rather than stop procuring raw milk from the producers of their choice.

It seems that, fundamentally, Michael Schmidt is standing for the choice of people to procure the foods of their choice from the producer of their choice while the government continues to use harassment as a means of stifling these connections.

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

Farming Class Highlights Raw Milk Safety

The annual raw milk Symposium teaches, among other things, raw milk safety and how producers can create higher quality raw milk from grassfed cows. The Weston A. Price Foundation, in conjunction with their annual Wise Traditions conference, puts on the class. This year, the entire class was live streamed so that viewers around the county who could not attend the conference could still benefit from the valuable information.

The raw milk symposium features lectures and practical tips on productions from farmers, nutritionists and marketing experts. The classes include a pivotal class called “Building, Managing, Marketing & Sustaining a Raw Milk Micro-Dairy” presented by expert Charlotte Smith from Oregon.

Other classes include a presentation by Sally Fallon Morrell titled “Why Raw Milk?” that delves into the nutritional benefits of raw milk. The talk focuses on “the benefits to bones, teeth, immunity, respiratory health, growth, detoxification and even mental health conferred by whole unpasteurized milk, citing studies going back one hundred years and up to the present day.”

Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures in California, has a talk titled “Behind the Scenes: What’s Really Happening with Raw Milk in the USA?” Mark is known for being involved in the legal sales of raw milk in California.

Peg Coleman helps us understand the importance of data and what it does say and what it doesn’t say in her talk “Risk Beyond the Numbers: Understanding Data, Gaps, and Assumptions Bridging Them.”

This symposium provides a platform for experts, farmers, consumers and anyone seeking additional information on raw milk from regulations to production to the nutrition of it. As an overview, this class will give anyone an idea of where to locate resources and information to further their studies on the topic. The class also helps to dispel misinformation about raw milk.

Each class is available individually, as presented.

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

“Farming in Fear” Documentary Examiners Farmers’ Rights

Farmers are no strangers to hard work and defending their ground and it seems like lately, all too often, defending their ground means defending against over-regulating governments.

An award-winning short film direct by Sean Malone, “Farming in Fear,” documents the struggle of Virginia farmer whose dream of holding onto her property is put in jeopardy.

“Facing overwhelming odds in the form of collusion involving a ruthless local government, a rapacious environmental group, powerful real estate interests, and even the IRS, Martha Boneta stood her ground,” says Bonner Cohen, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research and senior policy analyst with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). “The film documents her struggle against corrupt forces intent on driving her off her land. Her ultimate triumph is inspirational and so is this documentary.”

The film won Excellence in Filmmaking for a Short Documentary and the Audience Choice Awards at the Anthem Film Festival and is now screening at universities across the United States.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today!

Australian Dairy Farmers On Trial

It isn’t just American and Canadian dairy farmers who are under attack by their local governments for selling raw milk: two South Australian dairy farmers are being prosecuted for selling raw milk through their cow share program.

In South Australia, it is illegal to sell raw milk for consumption but not illegal to drink it from your own cow. Although cow share programs have been used as a loophole to get around similar restrictions in the US, the South Australian authorities found this cow share program to be a “sham” to sell raw milk to consumers.

The couple appealed their guilty verdicts to the Supreme Court. Justice Tim Stanley agreed with the magistrate that the cowshare program was a sham and constituted a sale under the Food Act but was forced to grant the appeal due to errors made by the magistrate and prosecutor. The couple will face a new trial in the future.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today!

Maryland Raw Milk Sales Now Legal – For Pets

Although people living in Maryland still cannot legally obtain raw milk for consumption, their pets can. The Maryland Department of Agriculture has granted dairy farm P.A. Bowen Farmstead a license for selling raw milk for pet consumption.

P.A. Bowen Farmstead is owned by Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) President Sally Fallon Morell and her husband, Geoffrey Morell. Fallon Morell, in conjunction with the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, have been fighting for decades to end restrictions on raw milk sales in Maryland and around the country.

This kind of license is the first of its kind in Maryland, and adds the state to a select group of others that allow raw pet milk sales: Florida, Georgia, Indiana and North Carolina.

Read more at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today!

Raw Milk Heats Up in Wisconsin

Previous efforts to legalize raw milk sales in America’s Dairyland have been unsuccessful, but Wisconsin raw milk advocates in the region haven’t given up hope yet. Assembly Republican David Murphy of Greenville, WI says he plans to introduce a new bill in November 2015 that will give people the freedom to buy raw milk straight from the farm.

Former Governor Jim Doyle previously rejected a similar bill when it came across his desk in 2010, due to last-minute lobbying to convince him of the risk that raw milk-related illnesses could pose to Wisconsin’s reputation. Current Governor Scott Walker’s office said they will consider a similar bill if it reaches his desk but that it must include safeguards to protect individuals’ health and the reputation of the dairy industry.

Support the Campaign for Real Milk, join the Weston A. Price Foundation, today!