Shift in Tactics by Government in War on Raw Milk

By David Gumpert

When the current phase of a nearly century-long government campaign to convince American consumers to abandon raw milk launched in 2006, heavy-handed intimidation tactics were the order of the day.

Kentucky farmer Gary Oakes was questioned so intensively by agents from the Ohio Department of Agriculture and U.S. Food and Drug Administration while delivering milk to consumers in a Cinciannati parking lot that spring that he was hospitalized three times for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Michigan farmer Richard Hebron had more than $8,000 of dairy products confiscated in a “sting” operation outside Ann Arbor on Columbus Day weekend of 2006; for five months afterwards, he was threatened with criminal prosecution that might have landed him in jail, before finally being let off with a small fine. And Mennonite farmer Mark Nolt endured three raids on his raw dairy — including confiscation of expensive milk and cheese-making equipment — by state police, FDA, and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture agents during 2007 and 2008.

The fact that the heavy-handed intimidation operations against raw dairies have abated over the last couple years shouldn’t be mistaken for a letup in the federal and state campaign against raw milk, though. Rather, there has been a shift in tactics.

Read full post at Grist

6 responses to “Shift in Tactics by Government in War on Raw Milk

  1. Just wanted to clarify many buying clubs are legal. A buying club is an extension of one buyer picking up milk for him/herself and his/her neighbors. Instead of each buyer individually driving, one person gets it in a “milk carpool,” saving time and gas.

    The key to a legal buying club is that the person picking up the milk is a buyer or an agent of the buyer–not a middleman or distributor. This person must make final legal purchase of milk in the farmer’s state, at which time the milk is transformed from commerce to private property. The person picking up is then in possession of his and/or his neighbor’s property, which may be transported to the buyer’s state.

    Just to clarify: a middleman, or wholesaler, would buy milk from the farmer in the farmer’s state, drive to the buyer’s state, and subsequently resell to buyers (illegal). A distributor would take possession of farmer-owned milk, cross state lines, and subsequently sell to buyers (also illegal).

    Hope this helps.

  2. Samuel Adams, Jr.

    One reason the state keeps winning it’s battle against many of us, is that we see the battle too narrowly.

    It’s the broad fight for Liberty that we must wage – crossing lines of interest, if need be.

    What doe the Tea Parties, the 2nd Amendment marches, the ‘state nullification’ of Obama HellCare have in common with the battle for ‘Raw Milk’ ?

    Plenty !!

    Read the 9th Amendment, it states that our rights are many & indefinite, whereas state powers are few & defined.

    This must be distinctly understood. This is WHY the state hasn’t a fig leaf to hide behind.

    In order to be consistent & win this battle, we must press for total Liberty.

    ANY & ALL state licensure, regulation & control of the actions of private individuals & private sellers, must be eliminated.

    The government agencies have become a means of quashing competition from the small or family producers to the impersonal corporatist empires.

    They won’t be satisfied until there is 0 % market share that is not theirs.

    And the nature of voracious government power – of always looking for new ‘customers’ -(that would be us, at the expense our Lives, Liberties & Property, btw) ensures that the UnConstitutional actions will continue.

    Until then, they must be ignored. If you value Liberty, ignore the State, in every conceivable way.

    Their aggression against our Liberties, their attacks on our families & farms have absolved us from ANY allegiance to most state law – especially those statues that diminish our Unalienalble Rights.

    The Declaration of Independence spells them out.

    Stop waiting for your lying lawyer to tell you this. He won’t – he’s part of the game. His paycheck is bound up in the legal confusion, ergo with judges, court officials, even the cops (not all, but many of them.)

    Cultivate honest Sheriffs, get to know them & encourage them to protect the Constitutional Rights of their consitutents, or vote them out.

    Stop waiting for your Pastor to tell you this – he’s also part of the game – trading your spiritual & political Liberty for ‘peace with Tyrants’.

    Quite the contrast with the Colonial Pastors who preached openly against the King of Britain as a tyrant, huh ?

    King George III called them the ‘black regiment’, he so feared them.


    It’s our voluntarily submission, that makes their phony authority scam work – if they become universally ignored or laughed at – as was, say, prohibition, the law is repealed.

    A merry heart maketh good like medicine (herbal) …Proverbs 17:22

    I claim this quote:

    The proper answer to tyrannical Kings isn’t a bullet or a bomb, it’s a belly laugh !

    Have fun, y’all win Liberty with Truth & good humor.

    Honor Christ the King, author of our Liberties, and he’ll send these fools packing……

    Samuel Adams, Jr.

    As my Committee’s of Correspondence said in 1775:

    “No King, but King Jesus”

  3. Samuel Adams, Jr.


    Thank you, Rady.

    Do I assume you edit this fine blog ?

    (Sorry, I just read about – you sure do…..keep it up….)

    It’s a forgotten concept in our day, but freedom & Liberty are much more expansive than we tend to recognize.

    Today’s ‘big brother’ mindset thinks, I only have the freedom ‘government’ allows me.

    Ergo, if not expressly permitted by civil government sanction, then freedom of action is denied. Hogwash !

    As long as we don’t break Natural & Moral law….then we’re free to do many things, even outside the pale of our own or others ‘in the box’ thinking.

    I guess an application would / could be: if they don’t allow me, by government ‘permission’, to drink raw cow or goat’s milk, then I can’t.

    What we’ve learned is that it isn’t much better to use ‘group think’ (collectivism ?), as the largest part of the people harbor many misconceptions about organic / raw milk – thinking it dangerous, when it’s actually better for them.

    I will take a look at the article you wrote. Dr. Kevorkian is quite making a valid point in citing the forgotten 9th amendment, which needs explication in our day.

    Though I doubt I can find in that cornucopia of rights the permission to end my own existence, yet who knows what other rights may be seen in that light ?

    Samuel Adams, Jr.

    • Good comments, Samuel… and thanks for the kudos.

      I think about this idea more and more lately (freedom) because of the mindset you mention. Even beyond that misconception that freedom is granted, most people here in the States are so bludgeoned by Big Bro that if you speak of this in public, some will actually look away, look around… as if they’re waiting for the thought police to come and arrest such heretics.

      But underneath, I think most folks really do believe in their right to freedom – to do whatever. Look at the Census. I just heard that Big Bro is saying a third of the US didn’t respond, as compared to ten years ago when, also, a third didn’t respond.

      Now given all the unconstitutional laws that have been passed in the past ten years, do you believe that the same number of people answered the census this time as last? Of course not. I think folks really are awake.

      A little background – I investigated the 2004 elxn in Ohio, being part of a team of over a hundred ordinary citizens who did that. The numbers did not jive. Then I spent the next three years auditing four more elections. I testified in court; our methods were sound. We proved the number of official votes did not match the number of voter signatures. The courts didn’t care. They let the official results stand.

      I also did a heck of a lot of research on electronic voting systems. In a nutshell, the experts repeatedly told elxn officials that electronic systems cannot be made secure. (Just look at how rampant is identity theft.) Secretaries of State did not care; they bought the expensive bogus systems anyway.

      We wrote about this – hundreds of us; several books were published and films made. The public still votes.

      I thought for sure that our fraudulent elxns would be the line in the sand for most people. It’s not.

      But what I have found here – in this field of food freedom – is that this is where the line is for most of us. Don’t control our food when we know the source. That packaged factory crap should be criminalized.

      This is where political ideology becomes irrelevant. Our right as creatures of the earth to eat of the earth is so ingrained in all of us, probably instinctually, that all of us agree on this. Religion doesn’t matter, nor skin color, nor income level.

      That’s very exciting to me. Food will be where the people finally rise up. I sincerely believe this might be the line in the sand where all differences are put aside and we join hands across the political landscape to defeat the elites who threaten our very survival with their reach to control our food sources.

      Only if folks understood that water is much more important… but that’s for another blog site.


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