Breaking News - RAW MILK RALLY STILL ON! Anti-raw milk crusader Scott Soares, the Massachusetts commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, issued a statement late Friday that said MDAR was removing proposed language that would have created a "prohibition of the purchase of raw milk anywhere but on the farm."
Unfortunately, the statement also says, "A Milk Dealer is defined within the Milk Control Laws as anyone in the business of receiving, purchasing, pasteurizing, bottling, processing, distributing or otherwise handling milk. This is still the case, and MDAR will take such steps to enforce violations as they become aware of them."
When read along with Soares statements to the media, it's obvious that this is really bad news.The Republican reported Friday:
Agriculture commissioner Scott J. Soares says it's always been illegal for individuals to distribute raw milk and the proposed regulation would clarify that.
"The clubs have essentially been operating as illegal milk dealers and milk distributors," Soares said.
Soares knows that his original plan to outlaw raw milk buying clubs is too controversial to succeed, so he's just going to imagine the law already is what he would have changed it to.
Worse than that, Soares is expressly shutting off public input and debate. The MDAR statement says that no one may testify at Monday's hearing on the issue of whether buying clubs should be allowed to continue to exist!
We can't back down now. It is more urgent than ever that raw milk consumers and farmers attend Monday's rally and hearing!
CALL TO ACTION:
Raw milk enthusiasts and dairy farmers are bringing a cow to Boston Common for a "Raw Milk Drink-In" and gathering at the State House for a press conference in advance of a 10 am hearing at the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR).
The raw milk rally comes as the MDAR attempts to restrict the delivery of raw milk to thousands of consumers throughout Massachusetts. Earlier this year, the MDAR issued a cease and desist order to four raw milk buying club drivers who were delivering the milk to customers to urban and suburban areas of the state.
Who: Raw milk cow, farmers and consumers.
What: "Raw Milk Drink In" and press conference.
8 am Cow & "Raw Milk Drink-In," Boston Common
9:20 am Press Conference, State House
10 am Public Hearing, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
2 pm Cow leaves Boston Common
Where: Boston Common - Adjacent to Brewer Fountain, then State House
Raw Milk Aficionados at the Rally:
Doug Stephan, Raw Milk Dairy Farmer, Owner Eastleigh Farm in Framingham, MA (bringing the cow)
Max Kane, a Wisconsin buying club owner who is currently fighting contempt of court charge brought by the WI Dept of Agriculture for his refusal to reveal his sources of Raw Milk
Mark McAfee, the owner of Organic Pastures Dairy Co., the largest raw dairy in the country, based in California
Winton Pitcoff, Raw Milk Network Coordinator, Northeast Organic Farming Association-Massachusetts
David Gumpert, author of The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America's Emerging Battle Over Food Rights
The proposed law is just the latest in an organized assault against small farmers and unprocessed foods in America. Over three million Americans now prefer organic raw milk and raw milk dairy products over pasteurized milk because of its superior nutrition and disease fighting qualities and because it comes from small, local producers who pasture their dairy cows, rather than keeping them confined all day and all year in dairy feedlots on huge, disease-ridden factory farms.
The FDA claims there are health risks associated with unpasteurized milk, but there have been no reported cases of raw milk-related illnesses in Massachusetts in over ten years.
We don't need a 'new solution.' Up until this proposed ban, everything has been fine. If there's any change to Massachusetts regulations, it should be a change to make it easier-not harder-for us to get the healthy organic raw milk and dairy products we want. This law would deny us our right to choose what we eat and drink.
If you can't attend the raw milk "drink-in" and hearing, please submit written comments here:
MDAR Tries 11th-Hour Switcheroo to Stifle Raw Milk Debate: In this Circus, the Show Must Go On
Fight Over Raw Milk Moves East, Amid Charges of Collusion with Big Dairy
Alex Beam, Globe Columnist, "The Raw Story: Drinkers of Unprocessed Milk Don’t Want the Government to Put Them Out to Pasture"
Northeast Organic Farming Association, MA Raw Milk Network:
Organic Consumers Association's Raw Milk Resource Page: