Others have written eloquent and informed pieces about AB (Agricultural Bill) 1735, a sneaky "Trojan horse" piece of legislation as has ever been passed. Amanda Rose wrote about it back in October at The Ethicurean. She says, "Coliform bacteria are a mixed lot. Some are beneficial, some are pathogenic. This legislation makes no distinction between the two." [Emphasis mine.]
"Raw milk has coliforms. That is simply its nature. That is why it sours in my refrigerator. The beneficial strains of coliforms, the other beneficial bacteria, and the immunoglobulins are why I pay more for raw milk.
"I know that folks at the statehouse think I’m crazy and uninformed. They visit dairies regularly and know that it is increasingly common to find E. coli 0157:H7 in their cows. I am playing “Russian roulette,” they claim.
"But there is something that humans and cows have in common. When we are living on a diet that God intended for us, our intestines are less likely to be a breeding ground for pathogenic bacteria. When our gut is full of beneficial bacteria, it can fight back when we come into contact with pathogenic bacteria."
(I recommend reading the whole piece, which is intelligent and sensible, something you won't likely find inside Governor Schwarzeneger's office walls.)
There is also David Gumpert's piece at TheCompletePatient.com: "The reality, though, is that it is difficult to educate people about the true nature of coliform bacteria at varying levels. It’s also difficult to change legislation immediately after it's been passed. It’s especially difficult if the legislation was put into effect to accomplish a very serious long-term goal—namely, to deprive as many Americans as possible of the opportunity to obtain raw milk."
I have little more to add to the outcry beyond what I have already said here, but would like to direct your attention to something VERY IMPORTANT: Bonnie Powell, aka "Dairy Queen" at The Ethicurean, and deputy editor of Edible San Francisco, got a call from Collette Cassidy at Claravale Farm (one of the only raw dairies in California), alerting everyone to attend a rally on Wednesday in Sacramento. Assemblywoman Nicole Parra will hold a hearing on AB 1735, and your attendance could make a difference. Read Bonnie's talking points, please.
And if you can carpool and get to Sacramento, you might be part of making history. Failure to overturn this bill will effectively kill raw milk in California.
Michael Ruhlman alerted me to Meadowsweet Farm in Lodi, New York, about an hour and a half southeast of Rochester. Meadowsweet Farm, owned by Steve and Barbara Smith, no longer sells raw milk products to the public, but to members of its LLC, a form of community supported agriculture that allows them to bypass the bureaucracy and mindless, uninformed restrictions that the state of New York would impose on them if they were doing business with the public.
The Smiths write: "Since March 2007, the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets has been trying to pressure us and Meadowsweet Dairy LLC out of business. For example, they have conducted numerous inspections, seized products, ordered the destruction of 260 pounds of raw dairy products, attempted to search our house, issued letters threatening fines and penalties, and have now issued an order requiring us and Meadowsweet Dairy LLC to show cause why the Department of Agriculture and Markets should not shut down the operation and levy fines. That show-cause order is now set for a hearing and a show down looms over whether the State’s police power extends to a group of private citizens who produce and consume their own food of their own choice."
There are two hearings coming up, and the Smiths would love your attendance at those:
January 17, 11 AM
Department of Agriculture and Markets
10B Airline Drive
(Right next to the airport)
January 22, 1:30 PM
Seneca County Court
48 West Williams Street
Please go to the link above and read what they have to say.
• • • • • • • • • • •
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Never confuse movement with action." — Ernest Hemingway
I am really really really busy with work, and the weather's been horrid...but it's getting better and I hope to get out to a real farm real soon.
Thanks for visiting. Go rattle some bars in a government office: it'll feel good.