Being Illegal Just Makes It Taste Even Better

14 04 2008

Read this article yesterday: More Farmers Selling Raw Milk, Even if it’s Illegal

Mmmmm, we love our raw milk that we pick up from our old farmer friend every week. We don’t have our own cow yet so we buy from him. He milks about 6 cows and sells to regulars. He cares about the health of his cows and his customers.

The lawsuit seems quite ridiculous:

Testing at the dairy farm near Fresno, Calif., did not detect the strain of E. coli that sickened the children, but a government report said the dairy was likely responsible.

Well it sounds like the agency that does the testing uses the same methodology as the agency that searches for weapons of mass destruction. Send in the smart bombs!

On the other hand, I don’t know anything about the particular dairy getting sued, but I do know that there are many large “organic” farms that I would not buy from or support. If a dairy selling raw milk copies the factory dairy model, it does indeed magnify the inherent risks and somewhere along the line the producer needs to be accountable for what he sells. You just can’t keep cows from eating green grass, and industrialize your processes so that every germ that every cow has goes into the bulk tank, without compromising safety and common sense. It is not right to reduce the risk of harming your customers to merely a factor in your company’s budget which affects projected legal costs. When accountability becomes artificially separated from ownership via legal limitations on liability, we get mega-corporate farms that have no incentive except that of maximizing profit by reducing the costs of production and passing as many risks as possible on to the buyer.

Raw milk producers have been targeted by the federal government and traditional dairies concerned about losing their market share, McAfee said. Both sides plan to produce experts and evidence during an April 15 joint hearing at the California capitol that McAfee called “the showdown at the raw milk corral.”

And that in a nutshell is how American “capitalism” works. The government and businesses hash out legal restrictions on competition. Republicans want to limit the government’s role in that and maximize corporate fascism. Their “conservative” supporters say -get the government off our backs and let us be sickened and ripped off by corporate interests! Democrats want to do the reverse. There is no winner in that argument, only losers.

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