The August 3, 2011 shakedown of the Rawesome food cooperative in Venice, California, in spite of the tragic outcome, has produced one positive result. The ruthless raid on the part of miscellaneous government agencies has sparked a wave of unprecedented discord over the question – How can government dictate what we choose to eat when we each have unique standards for good nutrition?
This federalista blitzkrieg came at a time when raw milk alarmism had reached an all-time high. The folks who wish to banish raw milk can’t leave the issue alone, and instead they have ramped up a cacophonous crusade against one of nature’s natural glories. Day after day, articles and news bits appear in the mainstream media, full of fear mongering and panic-producing propaganda in regards to the safety of raw milk.
A July 2011 article on Dairyherd.com has some interesting survey results on comparative raw milk regulations on a state-by-state basis. To summarize, thirty states allow consumers to transact with raw milk producers while twenty states prohibit that act of freedom. And don’t forget that federal laws prevent the sale of any raw milk over state lines. The fed’s response to the good white stuff moving over state lines is to send in armed soldiers in full battle gear to seize and destroy.
Thirteen mini-regimes across the U.S. allow the sale of raw milk on the farm where it was produced, while four of those thirteen allow only "incidental occurrences," which, of course, cannot be defined. After all, it is the use of arbitrary laws with a host of potential interpretations that enables the feds to conduct their criminal operations that consist of seizing product and regulating small producers out of business. Incidental occurrences is defined as "occasional sales, not as a regular course of business; no advertising." Surely, the feds can interpret "occasional" and "regular" and "advertising" in a whole host of capricious ways.
Four of those thirteen states only allow raw goat milk while Kentucky and Rhode Island – now get this – require a prescription from a physician! Of course, you can interpret that to mean raw milk must be medicinal (ask Moms who remedy their child’s allergies with raw milk), but then again, there’s no such thing as a Big Milk Pharma that exists as a corporate arm of the state to keep its products available for the masses. Lastly, eleven states allow raw milk to be sold in retail stores outside of the farm.
Several of the states that allow the sale of raw milk for human consumption have various twists and turns in their laws that make it very difficult to get the milk from the farm to the consumer. This essentially limits, or in some cases prevents, the sale of the product. However, imaginative entrepreneurs whose businesses are stifled by the government’s totalitarian decrees have conceived the idea of herd shares, and this allows folks to jump through aboveboard hoops to buy a "piece" of a herd and get their raw milk. Though this is a costly administrative burden for both buyer and seller, any time that people can conjure up visionary ways to skirt the laws of the regime, freedom has taken a small step forward.