CA Gov. Vetos SB 201

Just who in the world does Governor Schwarzenegger think he is? What right does that man have to tell me what I can or cannot eat?

Fight for Raw Milk in California

I grew up across the street from a dairy farm. Where every few days, I walked across the street with my large mouth 2-gallon jug to purchase fresh milk with the creme on top. Back then we called it “milk.” Today we can’t call it milk because everyone would mistake it for the new and improved inedible dead substitute excuse for milk they sell from every “authorized” retailer in the state.

Does Arnold really think he has the authority to mandate that we drink dead milk, not fit for animal consumption? The gut wrenching affects should be your first clue. Before the close of the legislative session our illustrious leader saw fit to Veto SB 201 a bill written in order to combat standards that were quietly passed in AB 1735 last session.

The way things are going in California; soon we’ll all be forced to live in large communes on small tracks of land allocated to the family unit, where we will grow large gardens, spend the summer canning and raise our own livestock.

CREMA  (California Real Milk Association) is leading the fight again this highly discriminator act that one could almost call arrogance. They issued the following statement:

Read the Governor’s veto statement

Read Senator Florez’ statement to the press

SB 201 Vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger

Our fight for raw milk in CA continues…

Despite our hundreds of calls and letters and overwhelming bipartisan support of the Legislature, our bill was vetoed by the Governor. Politics were at play as the Governor ignored testimony from UC Davis and other scientific experts that HACCP  plans and increased pathogen testing are a better way to regulate raw milk than coliform  limits. Instead, the Governor succumbed to pressure from the CDFA and other parties who would like to regulate raw milk out of business.

What’s next?

Senator Florez  will continue this fight when the new legislative session begins in January. California’s two raw milk dairies will press forward with their joint lawsuit against the CDFA’s  current standard while trying their best to continue operations under difficult conditions. (One dairy has already seen a significant increase in harassment by inspectors in the last week.) They ask for your continued patience and support if there are disruptions in supply.

As consumers, we can continue this fight to save our milk in CA by doing the following:

  1. Consider making a donation to the Farm-To-Consumer-Legal Defense Fund. This arm of the Weston A. Price Foundation is providing legal representation to the two California dairies and is crucial to fighting the current standards in AB 1735 so we can still find the milk on store shelves. For more info and to donate click here.
  2. Call your lawmakers and tell them how you feel. They listened and responded to us by passing SB 201 out of the Legislature with only four no votes. We need them to be just as responsive when we take this up again in January.
  3. Call the Governor’s office and tell him how you feel. Tell him the CDFA is wrong and to read the testimony from the hearings or watch it on our video.
  4. Continue telling your store managers how important raw milk is to you. We had strong vocal support from major raw milk retailers at our hearings and behind the scenes. If you are a Whole Foods customer, let them know you want them to keep fighting for us. Their political clout will continue to be critical going forward.
  5. Write letters to editors, post on blogs, and tell your friends about the significant health benefits of raw milk. More enthusiastic consumers means more voices in our lawmakers ears.

We Californians have made huge strides in leading the nationwide effort to assure raw milk safety and consumer choice! Let’s be proud of our progress as we press forward in this campaign for nature’s most perfect food!

137 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004

If you haven’t discovered the benefits of drinking raw, natural milk, your family is really missing out. A google search will provide plenty of information both fact and fiction but don’t let that prevent you from exploring your options. Our family was amazed at what we discoved and we are reaping the health benefits from making the switch.

While I admit we aren’t big milk drinkers, we do like a little on our cereal occasionally and you can’t beat milk for dunking oreo cookies. Despite recent campaigns telling consumers otherwise, milk is not necessary to a healthy body but if you are going to drink it, it should be the real deal.

Got Milk? REAL Milk?

TX: HB 461 Animal ID

Buffalo at Frontier Buffalo Ranch, Snelling, CA

Frontier Buffalo Ranch

Testimony before the House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock

Texas HB 461, Committee Substitute, relating to prohibiting mandatory participation in an animal identification system.

My name is Judith McGeary, and I am the Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance. FARFA supports the committee substitute of HB 461. We strongly believe that the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) should not be a mandatory program in Texas, nor should anyone be coerced into it.

The proponents of NAIS have provided only general claims that NAIS is necessary for animal health. They have provided no scientific studies supporting the design of NAIS, particularly their claims that the program requires 100% participation to be effective for disease control.

Supporters of NAIS argue that small facilities are as susceptible to disease as are large facilities, but this is wholly unsupported by scientific evidence or practical experience. Basic epidemiological principles establish that disease is most likely to occur, spread rapidly, and mutate to higher pathogenic forms in high-density populations.

Small, low-density operations, while not immune to disease, pose a lower risk. The level of risk also varies based on the different species of animals and different diseases. Horses, chickens, pigs, goats, llamas, bison, and elk each pose different issues than do cattle. An effective disease control program would not simply treat all “livestock animals” and all diseases the same.

Neither the USDA nor the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has done a cost analysis, but it is clear that the costs will far exceed the $2-3 per animal that is frequently quoted.

That estimate addresses only the basic tag, not the labor costs to the animal owners, the costs of establishing and maintaining databases, the cost of the equipment for scanning the tags, nor the ongoing costs of reporting. Estimates of costs of similar programs in other countries range from $37 per animal to $69 per animal. These are just averages – depending on the number of animals and the number of movements that need to be reported, costs for some individuals will be even higher. Texas has approximately 14 million cattle, 1 million sheep, 1 million goats, and 1 million horses. NAIS could cost Texas animal owners, consumers, and taxpayers hundreds of millions, or even over a billion, dollars.

Fenced Buffalo at Frontier Buffalo Ranch, Snelling, CA

Frontier Buffalo Ranch

Costs are not merely monetary. The plans for NAIS have not addressed individuals’ concerns over the government intrusion into their privacy and the burden on property rights. Never before in the history of our country has a person had to report to the state and federal government simply because he or she owns animals. The later stages of the program would require people to report a long list of events to a government-accessible database. Animals do not move themselves, so such reporting translates into reporting the owners’ movements and activities.

What will we get in return for these costs? On a practical level, there will almost certainly be significant technological problems. The Australian version of NAIS, for cattle, has suffered from repeated problems with the databases, including 11 million phantom cattle.

An Australian cattleman told FARFA that, in the year since their electronic tracking program was implemented, he has never gotten completely correct information from the database. He has had animals listed in the database that were not his; he has been unable to find animals that he owns that should have been in the database; and the factual information about the animals has frequently been incorrect. Australia has approximately 27 million cattle, compared with the approximately 100 million cattle in the US and the 14 million cattle in Texas alone. Moreover, NAIS would include dozens of other species as well.

Ox at Frontier Buffalo Ranch, Snelling, CA

Frontier Buffalo Ranch

If the Australian databases have had such significant problems, what can we expect from NAIS if it is implemented here?

We already have mechanisms for tracking animals. The government should be able to show clear benefits to be gained before proposing a new, expensive and intrusive program.

Some of the proponents of NAIS have argued that USDA will implement NAIS if the states don’t do it. But USDA has stated that NAIS is, and will remain, voluntary at the federal level. Moreover, even if USDA were to change its mind, it lacks statutory authority to mandate NAIS. There have been multiple bills introduced in Congress to provide such authority, but none have passed. These repeated failures to adopt legislation indicate that Congress may never actually do so.

And should NAIS ever be made mandatory at any level, it will most likely be challenged in the courts on multiple constitutional grounds. There is a growing public outcry against NAIS across the country, making it less and less likely that national action will ever be taken. Ten other states have proposed bills that would limit NAIS to a voluntary program or abolish it completely. There is no reason for Texas to make decisions based on what the federal government might possibly due in the future – we need to make decisions about what is best for Texas.

Looking at the specific provisions of the Committee substitute of HB 461, FARFA supports the provisions for full disclosure, the right to withdraw, and the non-discrimination clause. These provisions are critical to creating a truly voluntary program. Participation based on false information, lack of informed consent, and an inability to withdraw from the program is not voluntary. Similarly, for those who have been told that they must register or else they cannot participate in 4-H, sell at a local sales barn, or do other animal-related activities, the program is not truly voluntary.

There are many more cost-effective and less intrusive means to address livestock diseases. I urge you to vote in favor of HB 461, and allow Texans to choose to spend their money and their time on measures that will truly improve animal health.

Judith McGeary
Executive Director, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
8308 Sassman Road
Austin, TX 78747

This article was originally posted to Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance on February 27, 2007. Reposted here with permission.

Related Articles

Benefits of Milk?

Raw Milk and Raw Eggs – – Can You Safely Eat Them?

The dairy association seems bent of getting out their message that everyone needs milk. The number of commercials extolling the benefits of milk are seemingly endless. After contemplating the growing number of choices available in dairy case at my local grocer, it appears the message is being heard loud and clear.

The choices seem limitless; from organic milk, low-fat milk, kefir milk, soymilk, goats milk and more. How’s a mother to choose?

Growing up near Shelby, Ohio I remember getting our milk fresh from the farm, in glass gallon jars, and skimming off the cream to make our own butter. I never gave a second thought in those days wondering where my milk came from.

Since my son came into the world, it’s been a different story. I’m constantly considering where our food and drink comes from in an attempt to provide him with healthy choices. Parents have a great deal to worry and the list gets longer each day. The more I learn, the more I come to realize just how little I know.

In fact, just last year I stumbled across information on raw milk. Never having heard the term, of course I was interested and took the time to investigate it. Little did I know that I had grown up drinking what is now referred to as “raw milk”. We certainly didn’t call it that when I was young; it was simply “milk”.

After learning more about raw milk many things became clear to me. For instance, when our family moved to Citrus Heights, I became painfully aware of the effects of asthma. Since no one in my family had a history of asthma, I had to learn how to live with it. I discovered that a growing percentage of people especially children develop asthma, who live in the California Valley.

The treatment for asthma starts with inhalers and normally graduates to breathing treatments. In most cases the use of inhalers becomes a lifelong ordeal. Knowing I did not want to end up tied to an inhaler my entire life; I avoided using it as much as possible and moved out of the valley as soon as we could. Of course, I kept reading.

After moving to the mountains fortunately my asthma cleared right up all on it’s own. I haven’t used an inhaler in about five years. I’m thankful I didn’t become dependent on an inhaler.

Many parents don’t have the option of moving their children to the mountains and out of the valley. But there is an alternative.

In his article entitled, “Keeping Your House Clean Puts Asthma Sufferers at Risk,” Dr. Mercola had this recommendation:

Replacing commercial milk with raw milk from grass-fed cows is also usually well tolerated and highly health promoting. There is simply no reason to ever drink or consume regular pasteurized milk products. They almost invariably will cause the asthma to worsen. The only acceptable milk products would be raw unpasteurized milk. That may seem impossible to get but there are two ways one can obtain it.

In another article titled, “Why You Don’t Want to Drink Pasteurized Milk,” Dr. Mercola had this to say:

There is no substitute for clean, raw milk as a food, so far as children are concerned. Science has not yet succeeded in providing, in the pasteurized variety, those essential qualities that are the only real foundation for a healthy child.

Unfortunately, many grossly distorted statements are current regarding our milk supply. If we are to believe the protagonists of the Pasteurization-of-all-milk-at-all costs Party, raw milk is as good, or rather as bad, as rat poison–although as the Minister of Agriculture recently stated, “the human race existed long before Pasteur was heard of.”

On Organic Pastures (where I get my milk) website I found…

Natural organic raw milk has in it vitally important living things. These include the following: beneficial bacteria, enzymes (including lipase, protease, and other), lactase forming bacteria, and many enzyme based pathogen-killing systems. The common practice of pasteurization inactivates or dramatically reduces the effects of these important active (living) elements. As a result, you may be lactose intolerant when drinking pasteurized milk, but not lactose intolerant when you drink raw milk. This is because lactase enzymes are being formed when you digest raw milk. That is why we say; “only living milk brings life.”

They go on answer an all-important question…

What happens to bacteria in pasteurized milk after pasteurization?

After pasteurization, bacteria found naturally in milk are killed. During the high temperature heating process, cell bodies of these bacteria are ruptured and their contents are spilled, releasing histamines. This causes many milk drinkers to suffer allergic reactions. Almost all of these same consumers can drink raw milk and not have allergies. The high levels of bacteria permitted in milk intended for pasteurization are still found in pasteurized milk; they are just dead and not removed by the process.

You will find a great deal of information and some very good reasons to provide only raw milk products for your family to drink on the Organic Pastures website.

If you haven’t heard of drinking raw milk or if someone in your family suffers from allergies, asthma, lactose intolerance, you owe it to your family members to get more information on the benefits of raw milk.

My husband and I who both suffer from lactose intolerance have both discovered that we don’t have any problem drinking raw milk and it tastes so much better than that fake stuff they are peddling on television.

Try some raw milk, then drop me a note and let me know what you think.

Additional Information: