raw milk farmer facing trial for producing real food . . . his crime?

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  1. sannyasinman profile image60
    sannyasinmanposted 9 years ago
    1. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      That's crazy.
      I didn't read all the links,  but it sure sounds like the guy is being hassled and persecuted unduly by the Government.......

      (and there's often a "but" in issues like this)
      it's possible that the FDA etc. are simply making sure there's no health hazard to anyone.  I know it says that the farmer only distributes raw milk to a group of members in the "buy club" who are aware that the milk isn't pasteurized..........but wonder what would happen if a child of theirs,  or even someone else's who they allowed to drink the milk, got sick?

      I used to want to buy raw milk;  I remembered it as a kid and how good it was!    But.......sometime ago I happened to have the opportunity to have a glass of it  (don't ask me where, 'cause I ain't tellin'!)  LOL.
      But it didn't taste any better than the milk I usually buy from the supermarket!    I dunno if my memory was just wrong,  or if the cow's milk I had as a kid WAS better, or what.
      Anyway, these days I prefer it sterilized, pasteurized.........

    2. Quilligrapher profile image76
      Quilligrapherposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I think everyone should read this article, Sannyasinman, particularly the first sentence, “Just a few days remain before Amish raw milk farmer Vernon Hershberger of Wisconsin faces a corrupt legal system with an ingrown vendetta against the production and distribution of real food.” {1} If you believe the first sentence then all that follows it will probably sound logical to you.

      However, I do not believe that sentence and I have reasons not to. I have read the real live stories of families who drank contaminated raw milk and experienced severe illness. Their stories underscore the potential risks from raw milk. They describe why raw milk was appealing as a health food, and the unexpected consequences when they unfortunately purchased raw milk that contained dangerous bacteria. {2}

      Everyone should have a clear understanding of the dangers that have lead to the regulations that protect our food supply and safeguard our children.
      {1} http://www.naturalnews.com/040380_Verno … orism.html
      {2} http://realrawmilkfacts.com/real-life-stories

      1. sannyasinman profile image60
        sannyasinmanposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Everyone should have the right to eat and drink whatever they choose. This is a fundamnental, inaliable right.
        In the case of raw milk, there are "raw milk clubs", whose members understand the enormous health benefits of raw milk from pasture-raised, grass fed cows, and ask the farmer specifically to provide it for them. These are private members clubs. There is no sale to the general pubic, no claims made by the farmer, but even these are being harassed and shut down by an overprotective government which wants minute detailed control over everyones lives.

        You say raw milk is a health danger¿ They sell it in vending machines in the street in France!

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          "This is a fundamnental, inaliable right [eating or drinking anything you wish]"

          Where did you get that idea?  You may not ingest:
          Any protected animal species
          Any of a long list of proscribed drugs; cocaine, LSD, marijuana (in most states) and many more
          Any prescription drug, unless you have a special license (prescription) to do so.
          Any of a long list of imported plant species denied entry to the US.

          But, in any case, this suit is not about not drinking raw milk - you can do that whenever you choose to milk your own cow.  The suit is about selling raw milk and that again is just one of a very long list of things you are not allowed to sell in this country.

  2. sannyasinman profile image60
    sannyasinmanposted 9 years ago

    Why Quilligrapher, you made no attempt to destroy and ridicule my last post. Now why would that be?
    You do disappoint me. I expect better of you.

    Here is a link to get you started.  Please try to ridicule and invalidate this as quickly as possible - before someone beats you to it and deprives you of the pleasure!

    Street Vending Machines in France Dispense Raw Milk 24 Hours a Day
    http://inhabitat.com/french-vending-mac … urs-a-day/

    For those who dont speak French (perhaps you Quilligrapher) "Lait cru" means "raw milk"

  3. sannyasinman profile image60
    sannyasinmanposted 9 years ago

    Poor Wilderness, any excuse to pick an argument . . .

    Inalienable (excuse my original spelling)
    Definition: not transferable to another or capable of being repudiated: inalienable rights.

    Raw Milk sale: The man is not offering anything for sale, this is the point  .
    "Vernon has been operating a private food club that distributes raw, unpasteurized milk and other goods from his farm to local shareholders, a setup that does not require, and actually prohibits, the uninvited involvement and interference of state and local governments."

    Raw Milk Safety . .
    Street Vending Machines in France Dispense Raw Milk 24 Hours a Day
    http://inhabitat.com/french-vending-mac … urs-a-day/

    So there you have it, but I know you won’t let it drop there. You will find something, anything as a reason to continue so that you win the argument and have the last word. Won’t you?
    Care to prove me wrong?

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Sure.  You don't want to talk about it, I won't press. 

      You have a nice day.

  4. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 9 years ago

    Historically raw milk killed a lot of people, mainly kids.  With widespread distribution this will probably happen again.  I wouldn't care if this was about adults and their own health, but I worry about raw milk being given to young children.

    Camylobaster (2013) http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodbo … aUiEZxIGrU

    Listeria (2013)  http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2013/l … -raw-milk/

    Salmonella (2013) http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/new … 81291.html

  5. Uninvited Writer profile image78
    Uninvited Writerposted 9 years ago

    Here is an informative article from the Wall Street Journal

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 … 15120.html

    "While pregnant women, children and the elderly are especially vulnerable, many victims of outbreaks around the country in recent years have been healthy young adults.

    Kalee Prue, a 29-year old Connecticut mother of one, says she believed in the benefits of raw milk but became ill soon after drinking some purchased at a Whole Foods in Connecticut linked to the E. coli outbreak.

    She was eventually diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can be caused when an E. coli infection produces toxic substances that destroy red-blood cells and damage the kidneys. She has undergone blood transfusions and is at risk for long-term kidney complications that may require a transplant. Her attorney, William Marler, says she has incurred over $230,000 in medical bills, and he is in discussions with Whole Foods to see if the matter can be resolved without a suit.

    Ms. Prue, for her part, says even if there are healthy properties in raw milk, "there are other ways to get the benefits that raw milk has to offer, and it just isn't worth the risk."

  6. wilderness profile image95
    wildernessposted 9 years ago

    Sorry, Sanny, but this case is fascinating - it has more twists and turns than the O J Simpson affair!

    Although the OP says the trial was about selling raw milk it wasn't.  Hershberger was on trial for failing to have a retail food establishment license, operating a dairy farm as a milk producer without a license, operating a dairy plant without a license and failing to comply with a stop business order.

    It goes back to 2007, when Hershberger began to get in trouble for selling raw milk, a crime in his state of Wisconsin, and has continued on and off since then.  At one point state inspectors, on what Hershberger thought was an inspection of his cattle, threw blue dye in a 2,000 gallon vat of milk.  Hershberger has claimed his religion (Amish) allowed the sale because to proceed with proper filings would cause him stress and he must lead a placid life.  Lately, Hershberger started selling "shares" in his farm because Wisconsin law permits owners to consume raw milk.  Unfortunately, Wisconsin law specifically addresses this ploy and says that sham ownership "investments" do not qualify buyers as owners.  Still, Hershberger opened a store, complete with cash register, receipts, and price list, while claiming he wasn't selling anything.

    During the trial the judge insisted that the subject of raw milk was strictly forbidden in the courtroom, much to the chagrin of the defense.  Nevertheless, in the end the jury found Hershberger guilty only of violating the stop business order when he cut the tape and re-opened the store.  It carries a potential penalty of 1 year and $10,000.

    I would love to have been a fly on the wall in those jury deliberations!  How in the world do you look at the contents of that store, including price list and cash register, and decide he isn't selling?  How did the jury decide he didn't have a retail food establishment?  He milked his cows, collected and bottled the raw milk for sale - how is not operating a dairy?  It makes you wonder how competent the prosecutors were in picking a jury.  I suppose now the next surprise twist will be the judge overturning the jury verdict! big_smile

    Unfortunately, it still leaves the real question of requiring govt. inspection and pasteurization of milk up in the air.  Lawmakers will change the laws, closing whatever loophole the jury used for an innocent verdict.  Hershberger will re-open the store, and the state will be back, making another case against him.  This one has settled exactly nothing.

    This is a question that will end up far higher than the court where this was held.  Does the government have the right to be mommy and daddy to adults?  If they have the legal right, will we allow it to continue or learn to take some responsibility ourselves?  Personally I'd like to see an end to this - allow farmers to sell whatever they want (within reasonable ecological concerns) but stamp every package with a giant NOT USDA and allow citizens to make their own call.  Psycheskinner has a very good point with children, and it is a large concern, but we allow parents to make nearly every other call on the raising of their kids - let them have this one too.  There are even valid concerns that current antibiotic usage and other factors are actually causing harm in our quest for cheap food - in some ways untreated food is superior to treated.

    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/tag/verno … aVF8JxvCYF

    http://watchdog.org/86835/raw-milk-tria … r-charges/

    http://watchdog.org/85764/wi-raw-milk-t … od-safety/

  7. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 9 years ago

    So... we are meant to support someone who just decided to start a farm but couldn't be bothered doing any paperwork.  I am astounded anyone would drink the milk of a person who  puts their ease and leisure over doing something properly. It would make me wonder about their attention to veterinary care and hygiene.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Almost.  He didn't do the paperwork because it would mean he couldn't sell raw milk.  Rather than do that, he tried an end run around the intent of the law by declaring everyone paying $35 a year to be a part owner in his farm.  That way they can buy raw milk from him and he doesn't have to do paperwork at all.

      Apparently the jury decided that although the customers were not part owners under the law he still wasn't running a public sales outlet when he took money for his products.  More convoluted and twisted than a boa catching dinner!

  8. kaiyan717 profile image86
    kaiyan717posted 9 years ago

    The article itself is super one sided.  The laws are made in each state, so if Wisconsin laws prohibits the sale of raw milk, then he is breaking the law.  When looking in to homesteading I was dismayed to find West Virginia does not allow the sale of raw milk, as many other states don't.  So if I want raw milk, I can consume what I raise, however I cannot break the law and make money off of it.  It may sound radical, however if he doesn't like the state laws, there are 49 others to choose from, many allow the sale of unpasturized milk.  Raw milk has many health benefits, however the lack of pasturization can cause illness if not handled properly.  The farmer can legally serve the milk and products to himself, family and unpaying house guest, anything else is illegal in Wisconsin.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, the link in the OP was really one sided.  Worse, it insinuated the trial of this farmer was about selling raw milk; it wasn't.  His desire to sell raw milk eventually led to being tried on 4 different charges, but none of them was for selling raw milk.

      In this case the farmer is Amish - he would have to leave his religious community to sell what he wanted to.  The Amish have had this problem for years - when we visited several decades ago we were told that they don't use electricity.  Except in their barns where it is necessary for pasteurization - the law is the law and if they want to sell milk they must pasteurize.


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