We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, September 25. 2011
Insty found this one: Is Your Choice Of Food A Fundamental Right? The author rightly comments "Sometimes I think I’ve woken up in a surreal alternate reality."
Indeed, our government's views increasingly resemble self-satire. Who are these a-holes? Here's another one:
I guess you can store them right next to your secret stash of incandescent bulbs, your stash of salt, your guns, your Bibles, your tobacco, your home-grown medical pot, and your gold coins.
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Me thinks the good judge got a little carried away, but then again, he probably was pissed off by the FCLDF - they are part of the "raw milk" movement crusaders and are very annoying people.
What this is a battle between the production dairies and the "organic" dairies. Its about pasteurization if you want to put it down one issue although there are some peripheral issues. It also involves licensing to operate a ""food establishment" - the FCLDE on behalf of the farmers involved filed for summary judgment - they got what they wanted and it didn't go in their favor.
The author is obfuscating a little. Read the source document and you'll see that the judge may have actually made some sense. The judge's argument is not that an individual has the right to own a cow and drink the raw milk, but rather the right to operate a dairy and sell the raw milk. Big difference. And frankly I don't understand the legal relationship between Roe Vs Wade and raw milk either. :>)
Interesting none the less.
According to my reading of the judge's opinion, which is the source document that's linked to in the original article, the plaintiffs in both cases are caught in a bureaucratic Catch-22. The plaintiffs are involved in a closed co-op arrangement, which is subject to the milk producing laws of the state. Contrary to what the judge is said to have written later on, his opinion clearly accepts the validity of Wisconsin state law that allows owners of milk producing cows to consume unpasteurized milk from their own cows, as long as the milk is nether sold nor distributed to other consumers. However, to do so, they must have a milk producer's license. But the state, which is the defendant in the case, says that to be granted a milk producer's license, the plaintiff's dairy farm must be run FOR PROFIT, i.e., a business engaged in the sale of milk to the public.
So the plaintiffs are caught in a bureaucratic contradiction: they CAN legally consume raw milk if they produce it from their own cows and refrain from distributing the milk to the public. At the same time, to produce the milk, they must have a valid license, which the state will only grant them if their farm is a for-profit business (not a closed or private co-operative) that sells milk to the public....in which case, the milk must be pasteurized!
The plaintiffs in the combined Wisconsin raw milk cases were looking for legal loopholes allowing them to distribute raw milk. Grassway Organics Farm Store LLC. and Nourished by Nature LLC. set up a members only store and a co-op respectively, which was represented by Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund as an issue of personal consumption.
QUOTE Judge Patrick J. Fiedler:
Plaintiffs' arguments are wholly without merit. The DATCPts interpretation of Wis. Stat. § 97.24(2) does not affect or interfere with a fundamental right and therefore is not subject to strict scrutiny. While the Plaintiffs have recited a plethora of cases involving a variety of constitutional rights no case cited stands for the propositions that the Plaintiffs have asserted herein. Arguments unsupported by references to legal authority will not be considered. Post v. 22 Schwall, 157 Wis. 2d 652, 657, 460 N.W.2d 794 (Ct. App. 1990). Plaintiffs' arguments are nothing more than an attempt to misconstrue the issues in this case. They do not simply own a cow that they board at a farm. Instead, Plaintiffs operate a dairy farm. If Plaintiffs want to continue to operate their dairy farm then they must do so in a way that complies with the laws of Wisconsin.
There are public health issues involved in this matter:
QUOTE Judge Patrick J. Fiedler:
Since August 13,2009,35 individuals from 24 households, from the Walworth, Waukesha and Racine Counties area received treatment and medical care from local health providers such as clinics and hospitals. Individuals were diagnosed with Campylobachter jejuni infection that was confirmed by laboratory tests. All 35 of those patients indicated that they recently consumed unpasteurized raw milk. 30 of these individuals identified Respondent's dairy farm [Zinniker Farm, Inc.] as the source of the unpasteurized raw milk they consumed.
It's also understandable that a state known as "America's Dairyland" would have an interest in protecting its reputation as milk producing state, providing only family safe consumables to market.
Your first extract confirms what I said but says nothing more: the judge pierces the corporate veil of the closed co-op and asserts the defendants are operating a dairy farm. Fine, no problem with that.
Top of page 4 of the original opinion: the co-op distributes raw milk ONLY to members of the co-op and DOES NOT sell it to the public. The former activity is permitted by law, see 2nd paragraph of judge's opinion, page 19: "the statute clearly allows owners of the entity holding the milk producer license to obtain ungraded raw milk for their personal use." No one claims that anyone OTHER than co-op members received any of the raw milk. Fine, no problema.
However, the farms are not run for profit and thus, according to the state, cannot qualify for a milk producer's license, see last paragraph, page 6, "investments must be for the main purpose of holding a milk producer license and using milking animals to produce milk FOR SALE OR DISTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC." But, of course, selling raw milk to the public is illegal, see top of page 8. Also, 2nd paragraph on page 9: "for an ownership interest to qualify as a bona fide ownership in the milk producer, the ownership interest must have been acquired with an expectation of financial profit."
Aye, that's the rub. The co-op is non-profit, hence the state refuses it a milk producer's license, hence the co-op cannot distribute raw milk to its members. That's a Catch 22.
Your 2nd extract is arguably good science, but by law would not apply if the milk is distributed only to members of the co-op. However, by this juncture in his opinion the judge has decided in favor of the state's regulatory position regarding the business status and licensing requirement of the closed co-op, which---as I wrote---puts the co-op in the position of having to sell milk to the public in order to get a license. This esoteric legal point then allows the judge to argue public consumer health issues that he couldn't otherwise apply to a closed co-op.
QED. That's a legal Catch-22.
Sorry, I didn't intend to post a comment specifically in reply to you, AC. I don't disagree that there's a catch-22 in the law. It's within the purview of the judge to render a decision based on that snafu.
As I stated in my first comment, the plaintiffs appear to have been trying to create a legal entity, I assume to manage liability, by which they could distribute raw milk to their to share holders. Their legal gambit obviously failed. I imagine it didn't help their case in persuading the judge the raw milk was for personal use when the name of the defense fund was 'Farm-to-Consumer'. I agree with Tom the judge was probably incensed by their efforts.
The co-op should have arranged to sell pasteurized milk to the public, run the operation as a business and distributed raw milk to owner/members. Then they could be licensed, indemnified and Campylobachter Jejuni infected to their hearts content.
BTW, from what I've read, there is a simple way for any enterprising company to get around the upcoming ban on 100W incandescent light bulbs, and that is for the company to produce a 105W or a 95W bulb, which would NOT be subject to the ban. Apparently the federal law is very specific in its application. So, there you go, GE and Phillips & Friends: until Congress under a Republican House passes a new bill (not likely), you are free to fight a guerilla war in the name of Free Enterprise by manufacturing a 101W incandescent light bulb. The 100W incandescent light bulb is dead. Long live the 101W.
Walgreens already has, with a 57 watt and 71. Of course, they're now $.50 where the others were $.25.
Well, the Judge may be right, if you consider where he's coming from.
More precisely, there isn't explicit State or Constitutional language that denies the power to governments to regulate the consumption of your home-grown foodstuffs; or grants powers to the governments to explicitly secure your right to consume the fruits of your labor; and there's plenty of government powers and laws to regulate land usage (e.g. the cultivation and consumption of hemp).
To summarize, you have the natural right, but it is not secured by a written Constitution and laws, so Judges cannot help you because it is invisible to them.
He could of said it better. His opinion cheapened the respect of Law by the People. Jerk.
Just how does the fractional ownership game work? I pay a fee (to own a portion of a cow) and then I pay a maintenance fee (when I get some of "my" product).
When I or my kid gets sick from drinking my product, I would NEVER consider bringing suit against my fellow owners! Yah,right! especially not the fellow who is housing "my" cow.
And it would never reflect poorly on the whole industry (which is regulated and not supposed to be selling out the back door anyway).