Government intrusion into the lives of Americans who prefer raw milk and raw cheese led to the downfall of a family farm that had been in existence for decades. Recently the Missouri Milk Board forced the destruction of $250,000 worth of perfectly good raw cheese at the Morningland Dairy.
Amateur videos shot when representatives from the Missouri Milk Board came to essentially close down the farm, are very hard to watch. It is impossible not to feel overwhelming sympathy for the farming family who saw their livelihood being destroyed.
The entire debacle began in California in 2005. A group of undercover federal agents raided Rawsome Foods in Venice. The small grocery was a private food buying club where raw dairy products were sold. Apparently the powers that be in the federal government consider raw milk and raw cheese far more dangerous and unhealthy than the processed foods laden with artificial ingredients sold at supermarkets around the country.
Beginning in 1949, it has been illegal to sell cheese made from unpasteurized milk unless the cheese had been aged for a minimum of 60 days. The pathogens and bacteria which could be present on the cheese are supposed to no longer be present of harmful after the waiting period. Not all cheesemakers agree with the need for the 60-day waiting period, but the federal government has continually pushed their opinions and frequently voiced facts aside.
The Department of Agriculture feels that threat of E. coli, listeria, and salmonella are just too great to allow Americans the choice but natural raw milk and raw cheese. The Morningland Dairy has been fighting fallout from the Rawsome Foods raid for over five years. Federal agents confiscated thousands of dollars worth of raw milk cheese during the natural foods bust.
The owners of Morningland Dairy maintain that proper storage and transportation procedures were not followed when the raw milk cheese was removed from the California store, causing the food to spoil. After pouring over the lengthy federal guidelines and video footage from the Rawsome Foods raid, I firmly side with the farmers. There is currently no evidence contradicting claims by the Missouri dairy that the cheese was not moved in cooler or on a refrigerated truck. The cheese was then reportedly stores in crates at room-temperature and wasn’t tested until a week later.
As a result of the supposedly tainted cheese, the US Food and Drug Administration and the Missouri Milk Board ordered a total of 50,000 pounds of raw cheese at the Morningland Dairy destroyed. Yep, you read that right, raw artisan cheese that was not even present during the Rawsome Foods raid was also considered tainted.
The Missouri dairy farmer literally begged the FDS and milk board to test the cheese, and even offered to pay for the rather expensive sampling tests – but was denied the right to save his personal property, and ultimately his business. The requests were denied time and time again, and government agents ultimately arrived at the Morningland Dairy to levy the death blow on the 30-year family business. There had never been even one complaint filed against the Missouri dairy in three decades, and not a single illness report from a customer.
A note posted on the Morningland Dairy website reads:
“Please note: Due to unfair and dastardly undermining by the Missouri state authorities, Morningland Dairy has been forced to cease production, recall healthful products, and cease selling our present aged cheese.”
What do you think about the federal government raid on Rawsome Foods and the seizure of the raw milk cheese?