Mass. Ag bullies the wrong herder in raw milk case

Brigitte Ruthman

By David Gumpert
Complete Patient

Lots of raw milk drinkers I meet when I’m out speaking before various food and green organizations about the ever-increasing intensity of the crackdown on raw milk and nutrient-dense foods tell me, “Well, if it gets real bad, I can always go out and buy my own cow or goat.” It that’s your fall-back strategy, the story I’m about to tell about the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture’s renewed crackdown on raw milk may make you squirm just a little.

Last we heard from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, its paper pushers were taking the summer off from going after raw milk producers. At least that’s what MDAR’s commissioner, Scott Soares, supposedly told his pals at the Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association in June. The general reading in Massachusetts was that the heat had gotten a little too intense from the May 10 Boston Common demonstration and followup ag hearing opposing the effort to squash buying clubs. Soares’ strong suggestion in his statement to NOFA-MA was that the bureaucrats wanted to wait till after the elections in November, when politicians would be less inclined to respond to constituent complaints.

I assumed the hacks were just enjoying the beautiful summer we’re having in the Northeast, taking afternoons off to go to the beach, maybe kicking their dogs when the bullying urge overcame them. So much for that theory. Seems you can’t keep good bullies down, and the ones over at MDAR have been busy as bees hatching a major new crime-stopping initiative: put a one-milking-cow Massachusetts dairy owned by Brigitte Ruthman out of business. Ruthman’s dairy in the Berkshires, Joshua’s Farm, yesterday received a cease-and-desist letter from MDAR ordering it to discontinue supplying raw milk to three herdshare members.

Now, mind you, there’s nothing in the Massachusetts laws that mentions herdshares. Just as there’s nothing that mentions buying clubs, which have been the MDAR’s other obsession since the first of the year.

Read full post at Complete Patient

One response to “Mass. Ag bullies the wrong herder in raw milk case

  1. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » Mass. Ag bullies the wrong herder in raw milk case | Food Freedom

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