Kentucky co-op members defy government quarantine on their raw milk

Monday, July 11, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: food co-op, raw milk, health news

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(NaturalNews) In what is perhaps the first major demonstration of courageous opposition to government tyranny, members of a Louisville, Ky.-based food cooperative recently put local and state regulatory officials in their place.

After an official from the Louisville Metro Department of Health and Wellness (LMDHW) issued both its own cease-and-desist order, as well as a quarantine order from the Kentucky Department of Health Services, against co-op members obtaining their own raw milk, members defied the order and took their milk anyway, replacing the two orders with their own signed note declaring personal ownership of their rightfully-obtained raw milk.

It all began when an inspector from LMDHW showed up at the co-op meeting spot, which in this case was a church basement. The inspector proceeded to issue the two orders to one of the co-op administrators, as well as to the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF), a lawyer from whom was contacted after the inspector arrived on the scene.

But as members began to arrive to pick up their milk and noticed the orders, they jointly wrote and signed a simple note declaring that both the milk and the cows it came from were their own personal property, and they proceeded to take the milk in defiance of the phony orders.

The incident proves yet again the woeful ignorance of government workers who, in this case, did not even understand the legal role of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concerning food. In their "Notice and order of quarantine / voluntary destruction," officials wrote that the quarantine would remain until "all milk products ... are shown to be in compliance with FDA and state of [Kentucky] food code," even though the FDA has no such food code governing intrastate commerce.

The FDA, of course, is only permitted to regulate interstate commerce, not in-state food transactions like the ones that take place at the Louisville co-op. Not only are the co-op members not actually selling raw milk -- they merely pick up what is already theirs under their legal herd share agreement -- but none of the milk ever crosses state lines during its transaction time. And yet government workers had the audacity to issue a phony quarantine on this milk in the name of complying with made-up FDA guidelines.

In a similar act of courage, Wisconsin farmer Vernon Hershberger last year cut quarantine tape that was placed on his refrigerators by deputies and state inspectors after they decided that he was in violation of state laws concerning raw milk.

Hershberger did not actually sell the milk, but rather distributed it to the legal owners of his cows, which constituted his buying club members. Since deciding to defy that erroneous order, Hershberger has been distributing milk to his buying club members ever since, without any government interference.

These incidents and several others point to a shift in Americans' approach to government tyranny, at least as it concerns raw milk. Honest citizens buying or otherwise obtaining honest food such as raw milk no longer appear willing to just lie down and take government abuse.

Hopefully the incidents also represent a change in the way governments respond to civil disobedience. As individuals increasingly band together and fight back against the abuse, it will send a clear message to Big Brother that "We the People" are in charge, and that they work for us.

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