*A Mennonite Farmer is Hauled Away*
PFink at albanylaw.edu
Mon Sep 15 09:08:41 PDT 2008
I appreciate the concerns of Mr. Harms, but it is interesting that he uses the language of those who are complaining (gestapo type raids) without any arms length analysis. Gestapo raids were usually done at night; the people were not given the right to a lawyer, and people who defended them (like Mr. Harms) would often be arrested; usually the person seized was never heard from again or at least disappeared for many years.
Please, Mr. Harms, give us a break. You may not like the Pa. Agriculture Dept. doing its job; you may even believe that individual farmers rather than the department of health or agriculture are fully competent to make decisions about the safety of food. But, surely you can learn enough about the Gestapo to make a distinction between a lawful arrest of someone who is breaking a law that was created by democratic process, and the Gestapo enforcing the laws of Nazi Germany.
It is worth nothing that for months Mr. Nolt openly broke the law (according the story) fully realizing what he was doing and then seems surprised when he is finally arrested. The only failure of law enforcement here is that Mr. Nolt was apparently allowed to break the law for so long. Do you really think this is how the Gestapo operated? Go read some history and find out.
President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law
and Public Policy
Albany Law School
80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, New York 12208-3494
pfink at albanylaw.edu
>>> "Doug Harms" <hippiblue at gmail.com> 9/15/2008 11:54 AM >>>
I think this article is the answer to these Gestapo type raids. They cannot
be tolerated. People should be able to buy and sell at their own risk.
Clearly, if I want to go buy something from a farmer, then I am a big enough
girl now to take care of my self, and I certainly don't need any law to tell
me how to protect myself from food. Considering the bigger picture for
population control by the UN, if drinking raw milk were SO dangerous in
reality, they would be promoting it not prohibiting it. That is the first
clue to me that raw milk must obviously be very beneficial to people. They
do not want people too healthy to overcome all the garbage in processed
foods, and whatever else they've got going on. Below:
Subject: A Mennonite Farmer is Hauled Away
*A Mennonite Farmer is Hauled Away*
On April 25, 2008, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, Mark Nolt, a Wenger
Mennonite (Horse and Buggy Mennonite) dairyman, threatened for months with
arrest for selling raw milk without a permit was removed from his property
by state troopers.
Jonas Stoltzfus, a friend, fellow farmer, and Church of the Brethen, was
asked by Mr. Nolt to speak for him, and said of the raid yesterday - "Six
state troopers and a man with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
trespassed onto his property, and stole $20-25,000 of his product and
Mr. Stoltzfus explained that Mr. Nolt did not have a permit because "he
chose to turn his permit back in because it did not cover all the products
he was selling. He felt he was being dishonest selling stuff that was not
covered by the permit. He is a man of great integrity."
"According to reports from neighbors and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense
Fund, several officials of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
participated in the raid, and while Mark was being transported by police car
to the courthouse, PDA officials confiscated $20,000 to $25,000 worth of
dairy products and production equipment. Neighbors reported the farm had
been closed and that a large group of officials had gathered, with videos
"Mr. Nolt was told that people had gotten sick from eating his food, but no
one ever came forward and no proof was ever offered."
"This is a Gestapo raid," Jonas Stotlzfus said, "complete with state
troopers, raiding a hard-working farmer selling milk to friends and
customers. And his customers ARE his friends." Mr. Nolt
Mr. Stoltzfus said of Mr. Nolt, "he is not going to stop [selling raw milk]
til he is ready to stop. He is the equivalent of that little black lady in
Alabama who wouldn't go to the back of the bus. He is doing the same thing,
he won't go to the back of bus." Mr. Stoltzfus said "she got arrested for
that and so did Mr. Nolt. He ignored [the threat] and kept on selling. He is
a courageous man." Mr. Stoltzfuz said "Mark believes it is his right to
sell, according to the constitution, just like it was Rosa Park's right to
sit wherever she wanted on the bus. Same deal. There is nothing in the
constitution to prevent Mr. Nolt from buying and selling, especially to his
friends," Mr. Stoltzfus said.
Stoltzfus commented that Mr Sheridan of the Pennsylvania Department of
Agriculture (Stoltzfus does not have the spelling and believes he is with
the licensing division) used to work for Dean Foods and Hershey Foods, big
corporate operations, and that Sheridan was "jealous that farmers make a
better product" and called the raid by Mr. Sheridan "a vendetta."
This case is similar to that involving Meadowsweet Dairy LLC in New York, in
that both Pennsylvania and New York allow raw milk sales, but adamantly
oppose the sale of other raw dairy products.
Mr. Nolt was doing things the way his community has for generations, selling
milk straight from his cows to those he knows.
Mr. Nolt contends that the regulations have not been approved by the
legislature and shouldn't apply to him because he is selling directly to
consumers, via private contracts that are outside the purview of the state,
making a privilege out of a right he believes he has - the right to private
The permitting issue, ostensibly for food safety, is contradicted by a look
both at raw milk itself and at its competition, corporate milk - pasteurized
and often from cows injected with rBGH.
Four issues stand out:
1. INDEPENDENCE of farmer and customers
Raw milk: Farmer sell raw milk from their own cows, to neighbors and friends
at a price farmers set themselves, paid by people who value their product,
without a middleman.
A growing number of people prefer raw milk (unpasteurized milk), considering
it not only safe but healthier than pasteurized milk because it is still
rich in pro-biotics not killed off by pasteurization. l
Farming communities have consumed raw milk for generations. The exchange
between farmers and neighbors play a central part in the web of relations
sustaining those communities. Yet raw milk is banned in many states.
Corporate milk: Dairy farmers sell their milk to milk "producers" who
pasteurize it, may add things to it, bottle it, distribute it, often at
great distances. Dairy farmers must accept a price set by others, in a large
competitive market. Nothing in the process promotes local farming
"...The system of influence and control..is highly skewed in favor of the
corporate and financial system." - Vincente Navarro, (Professor of Health
and Social Policy, John Hopkins U.).
"[For years, m]illions [in California] consumed commercial raw milk, ... not
a single incidence was reported. During the same period, there were many
instances of contamination in pasteurized milk, some of which resulted in
death. [I]f we withdrew ... every food type responsible for a case of food
poisoning, there would be virtually nothing left to eat. But only raw milk
has been singled out for general removal from the food supply.
"... the bacteria in raw milk is the healthy bacteria of lactic-acid
fermentation while the bacteria in pasteurized milk is the bacteria of
spoilage. ... Both raw and pasteurized milk contain E. coli, normally a
benign microorganism. The most likely source of the new strains of virulent
E. coli is genetically engineered soy, fed to cows in large commercial
dairies. If there is any type of milk likely to harbor these virulent
breeds, it is commercial pasteurized milk. ... Children fed raw milk have
more resistance to TB, scurvy, flu, diphtheria, pneumonia, asthma, allergic
skin problems and tooth decay. In addition, their growth and calcium
absorption was superior." (In California, there is currently an effort to
ban raw milk.
"Four distinct groups of bacteria survive pasteurization....the strep of
pasteurized milk are the most frequent cause of rheumatic fever --the most
deadly disease of childhood.'" - USDA
During the Clinton administration, a new study was released "conclud[ing]
that milk from cows injected with [genetically engineered bovine growth
hormone - rBGH) increases risks of breast and colon cancers in humans.
"rBGH poses an even greater risk to human health than ever considered,"
warned Samuel Epstein M.D., Professor of Environmental Medicine .... "The
FDA and Monsanto have a lot to answer for. Given the cancer risks, and other
health concerns, why is rBGH milk still on the market?"
Since 1986, independent scientists have expressed concern about the lack of
research on rBGH milk.
Michael Colby, Executive Director of Food and Water said, "Monsanto 's
claims that rBGH is perfectly safe have been proven dead wrong today ....
Only Monsanto is benefiting from this drug. It's time for dairy companies to
side with consumers by adopting a policy that they will not allow rBGH,
under any circumstances, to be used by their farmers."
Epstein said: "The entire nation is currently being subjected to a
large-scale adulteration of an age-old dietary staple by a poorly
characterized and unlabeled biotechnology product which is very different
than natural milk."
In 2007 - when Mark Nolt was first arrested for selling raw milk (natural
milk) - a citizens' petition to the FDA on rBGH milk showed 30 scientific
journals indicating an up-to-7-fold increased risk of breast cancer, and an
increased risk of colon and prostate cancern.
Raw milk is sold primarily through word of mouth.
Corporate milk is promoted through large, expensive ad campaigns.
The California Milk Processor Board is now targeting teens:
"Goodby, Silverstein and Partners created a page on MySpace to promote White
Gold and the Calcium Twins, a team of new fictitious characters turned rock
stars who spread their love of and devotion to milk through music. TV spots,
print ads and PR will also support the promotion.
"The Milk Processor Education Program ... is funded by the nation's milk
processors ... committed to increasing fluid milk consumption."
Raw milk is just milk. Those who buy it know that and seek it out for that
On the corporate side, Monsanto continues pushing bans on labeling
rBGH-milk. Customers usually do not know they are consuming rBGH milk.
During its approval process,
"FDA scientist, Dr Richard Burroughs concluded ... Monsanto was manipulating
the [test] figures. In 1989 he was sacked after complaining to Congress ...
To deal with the ... controversy Monsanto assembled ...PR companies ... of
which [BURSON-MARSTELLER] was one."
During the Clinton administration, Monsanto employees were appointed to run
the FDA. Monsanto's rBGH - the first genetically engineered product ever,
"[In]1994, people at the FDA [wrote] an anonymous letter to ... Congress,
[fearing] retribution ... The basis of our concern is that Dr. Margaret
Miller ... wrote the FDA's opinion on why milk from [rbGH]-treated cows
should not be labeled. However, before coming to the FDA, Dr. Margaret
Miller was working for the Monsanto company as a researcher on [rbGH]."
In 1996, there was a press conference on rBGH's medical risks. "Given the
potential health impacts of consumption of milk and other dairy products
derived from rBGH treated cows, all such products at a minimum be labeled so
that consumers are aware of what they are purchasing and consuming. More
prudently the FDA approval of rBGH should be withdrawn until the agency
performs adequate long term testing ..."
"... Wisconsin, Minnesota, California and Vermont attempted to enforce
labelling of milk produced with, and containing, this hormone. Their efforts
were thwarted by Burson-Marsteller acting on behalf of these companies."
Burson-Marsteller has been a long-term (now campaign) advisor to Hillary
Clinton, through its CEO, Mark Penn. And Monsanto's effort to ban labeling
of the milk continues today.
Banning of labeling of rBGH milk in effect puts millions of Americans into a
human experiment with genetic engineering, exposing them to greatly
increased risk of cancers. The Nuremberg Code makes clear that experimental
subjects must give informed consent.
Mr. Stoltzfus added up losses for Mark Nolt: "Trepass on private property,
private personal merchandise stolen, being deprived of a significant amount
of hard work he and his family put together. He is being deprived of the
opportunity to market his product now, they are throwing it away. It's a
Mr. Nolt did not have a permit. He has twice lost thousands of dollars of
work or material, and faces jail.
Monsanto sells rBGH-milk associated with cancers, Clinton hired Monsanto
employees which approved their own genetically engineered product, Hillary
Clinton has been silent up to today about the risk rBGH poses to women, PR
firms strongly push the milk on all ages. None face jail or fines for
altered facts, for PR campaigns encouraging even children to drink
rBGH-milk, or for banning labeling of it, which has put the entire US
population at medical risk for years. Monsanto, the Clintons,
Burson-Marsteller and Goodby, Silverstein and Partners are all making
Mr. Nolt, released after being taken off by state troopers, refused to
accept a ride from them. He started walking. Friends gave him a lift home.
Linn Cohen-Cole can be reached at: lcohencole at gmail.com
The authentic human being is one of us who instinctively knows what he
should not do, and, in addition, he will balk at doing it. He will refuse to
do it, even if this brings down dread consequences to him and to those whom
he loves. This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people;
they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this
resistance. Their deeds may be small, and almost always unnoticed, unmarked
by history. Their names are not remembered, nor did these authentic humans
expect their names to be remembered. I see their authenticity in an odd way:
not in their willingness to perform great heroic deeds but in their quiet
refusals. In essence, they cannot be compelled to be what they are not.
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