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FDA Declares War Against Raw Milk

Despite the low opinion that most have of government in general, many of its agencies actually make a concerted effort to serve the interests of the public. However, there are other agencies that act quite differently. These government bodies, which exist primarily to serve powerful special interests, are known for their arrogance, heavy-handed tactics, and willingness to ignore the Constitution if it should happen to get in the way of their agenda.  Without any question, one of the worst of these agencies is the federal Food and Drug Administration.

Ostensibly created to protect the health and welfare of the American people, the FDA functions as an extension of pharmaceutical companies and agribusiness, approving dangerous drugs that damage the health of millions while allowing big agriculture to introduce genetically-engineered crops and food products into the food supply without adequate safety testing. Despite the FDA’s supposed dedication to public health, small farmers and sellers of natural substances such as vitamins and herbal remedies do not receive the same kind of support from the bureaucrats at the FDA – instead, small-scale producers and merchants are treated as a hostile enemy by this gang of government thugs, presumably because they are seen as a threat by the big money interests that the FDA so slavishly serves and protects.

Raw Milk in the Crosshairs

One of the groups that has drawn the enmity of this corporate front group disguised as a government regulatory body are the sellers and producers of raw milk. Despite the fact that over 10 million Americans now regularly drink it, the FDA has declared raw milk unsafe because it has not been put through the pasteurization process (bursts of high heat that kill living organisms in milk claimed to present a threat to human health) before being sold to the public. Thanks to effective lobbying on the part of agribusiness, the sale of raw milk – which is exclusively produced on small, family-style farms – has been outlawed in several states while being subject to significant restrictions in others. At the present time, only ten states allow raw milk to be sold by retailers, while a few more allow consumers to purchase it directly from dairy farms.

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which reserves all powers not specifically delegated to federal or state governments to the states and the people respectively, clearly indicates that states should have the right to regulate the commercial sale of foods within their borders, and that citizens should be free to use their power and influence to try and change any policies or decisions they disagree with at that level. But the FDA has refused to leave the issue of raw milk sales to the states or to the judgment of the people. In their infinite wisdom, the FDA has banned all interstate trade in raw milk, and they have used this edict along with the other restrictions in place in forty out of fifty states as an excuse to declare all-out war on producers and consumers of this health-promoting product.

Singing the Fourth Amendment Blues

While it may be hard to believe, the FDA has actually conducted armed raids against farms suspected of selling raw milk illegally. One recent (2010) target was Pennsylvania Amish farmer Dan Allgyer, who is now in the process of being put out of business permanently for selling raw milk to undercover FDA agents and shipping across state lines to Maryland, where raw milk is illegal. Yes, you read that right – the FDA actually used undercover agents to run a sting operation against an Amish farmer who was selling raw milk to consumers just across the Pennsylvania border. This plan was, of course, necessary because the Amish are known far and wide for their prolific criminal activities. In 2010 and 2011, the FDA carried out two raids against a private raw milk buying club in California called Rawesome Foods, essentially holding workers and customers hostage for hours while they confiscated all of Rawesome’s computer and written records (twice), in violation of Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures. Raw milk is legal in California, but this has not stopped the FDA from routinely raiding raw milk suppliers and sellers in the state, always on the pretext that these businesses are intentionally selling milk across state lines.

Gestapo tactics against raw milk suppliers have been going on since 2006, when the FDA decided to begin its current ongoing campaign against a product that is legal in the majority of states. As bad as things have been, however, they are only going to get worse now that the Food Safety Modernization Act has been passed. With this new act in place, from now on the FDA only has to suspect that foods it classifies as dangerous are being sold or used somewhere, and it will then be free to conduct armed raids against people’s business operations or homes without any further due process. The important point here is that the FDA will no longer face any restrictions on its hegemony, and if it wants to trump up phony charges against every raw milk producer in the country, there will be no authority anywhere that can stop them.

Pasteurized Milk is Dead

Pasteurization may make some sense when used on milk produced on factory farms, where cows consume unnatural diets of grain and soy, are pumped full of bovine growth hormone, and get loaded up with antibiotics to treat mammary gland infections (mastitis) that develop because of the unhealthy and stressful lifestyles that are endemic to modern industrial farming.

But this process, which kills every microbe living in milk regardless of whether it is harmful or beneficial, is hardly necessary when milk comes from grass-fed cows allowed to graze outside on open pastureland. This is exactly the liquid that raw milk aficionados are buying, and the kinds of pathogens that thrive in the nutritionally compromised milk produced on factory farms are seldom found in unpasteurized raw milk that comes from healthy grass-fed cows. Because it has not been cooked to death, raw milk is much denser in crucial vitamins and minerals than the pasteurized version, and it also contains significant amounts of good living bacteria that perform important functions such as helping the body digest and absorb raw milk’s abundant nutrients.

Owning Our Bodies for Fun and Profit

Make no mistake about it – the FDA hates raw milk because it is seen as a threat to the power of agribusiness. If the FDA really cared about the health of the American consumer, they would leave raw milk alone and start putting out warnings about pasteurized milk, which in various scientific studies (the ones not paid for by agribusiness interests) has been linked to multiple allergies, asthma, lactose intolerance, skin disorders, arthritis, and anti-social behavior of all types. Bovine growth hormone, which is considered so dangerous to consumers that it is banned in Europe and Canada, has the full support of the FDA and is completely legal in the US, which tells you a lot about where the FDA’s true priorities lie.

The FDA is a rogue government agency intent on handing over total control of the food supply to big agricultural corporations that want to sell us nothing but glorified junk food because that is what keeps their costs of production low. The obsessive quest for obscene profits by agribusiness is why raw milk producers around the country are in a fight for their survival; and it is why small farmers in general, who have been the backbone of the American economy for generations, have now been driven to the point of extinction. Truth be told, the war against raw milk is really just the latest skirmish in a war of gradual attrition that has been going on against independent producers of goods and services for a very long time.

©2011 Off the Grid News

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