The Politics of Raw Milk in NSW
by sten Sunday, May 15 2011, 11:23am
health related /
The flagrant injustices, appalling application of Law and clear victimisation of market stall vendor, Mr Peter Melov, at the hands of the NSW Food ‘Authority,’ for selling raw cow’s milk products has now drawn the attention of Australia’s mass media – for very valid reasons.
Raw or unpasteurised cow’s milk continues to be sold all over the State/nation labelled as a ‘cosmetic’ product -- exploiting a loophole -- though it is clearly consumed by people who swear by its superior qualities and health giving properties. People complain that the pasteurised variety is difficult to digest, is ‘bowel loosening’ and phlegm producing, a result of essential digestive enzymes being destroyed during the pasteurisation process.
One would think with so many people consuming the ‘dangerous’ (according to the FA) raw milk product the media would be full of stories of milk borne illnesses, food poisonings and other harmful effects, YET not ONE negative story over the two year period I have followed this case is to be found!
During Mr Melov’s prosecution, at the Industrial Court, Sydney’s Downing Centre, for those who may wish to access additional information – the regulator’s own expert micro-biologist witness, refuted claims made by the authority that Mr Melov’s products carried dangerous pathogens, citing instead inadequate storage procedures by the regulator as the cause of any dangerous bacteria occurring!
Nevertheless, the regulator appeared desperate to convict Mr Melov of as many charges and breaches as possible regardless of the cost to the taxpayer – little wonder with so many suppliers legally selling the ‘cosmetic’ product under the Food Authority’s impotent nose!
The extraordinarily wasteful (of taxpayer funds) case brought against Mr Melov and the ease with which retailers continue to sell the ‘cosmetic’ milk, probably accounted for the regulator’s frustration and the uncompromising ‘vigour’ with which the case was pursued; even court officials commented on the unusual length of time for judgement to be passed and the heavy nature of the fines incurred -- total costs and fines imposed by the court on the person of Mr Melov amounted to $183,000! This extremely severe penalty in view of the fact that the regulator could not produce a single witness, person or testimonial that anyone had suffered any ill effects from consuming Mr Melov’s products, leads to the obvious conclusion that the case was politically motivated!
Clearly, resorting to bureaucratic ‘labelling breaches’ in order to convict Mr Melov after the original pursuit of 'dangerous dairy products' FAILED, supports the view that the case brought against Mr Melov was politically motivated.
Perhaps the new Premier of NSW, Mr Barry O’Farrell may see fit to look into the matter and make some much needed adjustments to senior bureaucratic positions in the Food Authority – the Melov case was a legal travesty from start to finish, a 'witch hunt' would not be an inaccurate description. Indeed, the State government overseeing the regulator at the time, was in rapid decline; it subsequently went on to suffer an historic overwhelming defeat at the State elections.
Of interest are recent fines issued by the Food Authority (FA) to Corporate supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths for labelling breaches; these mega-corporations were fined $1540 and $880, respectively, after prior warnings were given – a courtesy not extended to Mr Melov, who copped a $53,000 fine for compounded labelling breaches.
It is interesting to note that the political nature of the case has led to spontaneous COMMUNITY support for Mr Melov. A local paper published a story of a fundraiser event that has since been held at the Bondi Pavillion. The event was so successful and enjoyable that it has become a regular social event.
Federal and State governments like to make much of the Australian tradition of the ‘fair go’ for everyone; however, what is clearly evident in the Melov case is the victimisation and extreme bias he suffered at the hands of the Food Authority and Court. Compare supermarket chain fines and warnings and those received by Mr Melov – ‘fair go,’ my arse!
Whatever else could be said about this case, one thing stands out, the need for a thorough investigation of the regulator to determine whether or not Mr Melov was sacrificed or scapegoated for political reasons. An appeal with perhaps support from local university Law Faculties may be an option which could reveal much.
In any event, the Melov case promises to attract the attention of State government ministers and officials who can ill afford to ignore public concerns relating to the unfair application of Law. Expensive, imported, unpasteurised cheeses consumed by social elites continue to be sold at specialist stores in Sydney without interference from government regulators!
Double standard, anyone?
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Mad Moms to Break Raw Milk Transport Law in Front of FDA Headquarters
by Augie via sal - Journal of Natural Food & Health Thursday, Oct 27 2011, 10:02pm
Under current federal law, it is illegal for an individual to purchase raw milk and carry it into another state. This includes those states where raw milk sales are legal–at retail or on the farm. It’s too bad that both producers and consumers must sneak around and made to feel like real criminals when choosing farm fresh milk–the way the Creator intended. It’s too bad the government, in most states will not allow a person to choose with whom they want to do business and determine if a particular dairy meets their idea of a clean and safe operation. Here is an event worth watching– and with the embedded reporters and videographers on board– the FDA agents could make quite a scene over these mad mamas.
Mothers to Break Raw Milk Transport Law
October 25, 2011
On November 1, a group of mothers will break the law against interstate transport of raw milk, then distribute the raw milk in front of the FDA headquarters in Silver Spring, MD. The FDA has already stated they will have federal enforcement agents present.
Contact: Liz Reitzig, Co-founder Farm Food Freedom Coalition LizReitzig@gmail.com 301.807.5063 http://www.FarmFoodFreedom.org/events.htm
“Don’t Make Us Criminals Over Milk!” Demand Moms
Washington, DC-A group of mothers from across the country who feed their children raw milk will hold a demonstration on November 1 outside the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in Silver Spring, MD to protest the FDA’s crackdown on raw milk production and distribution, arguing that the government’s campaign not only criminalizes raw milk, but criminalizes American citizens who buy and consume it.
Recently the FDA has conducted undercover sting operations and raids against farmers and buying clubs. “Not only are the FDA’s actions a shameful use of force, they are also a serious threat to my freedom and my family’s food supply” says Karine Bouis-Towe, Co-Founder of the Farm Food Freedom Coalition and Grassfed on the Hill, a DC area local food buying club. “Moms everywhere are disgusted by the FDA making us criminals for feeding our families nutritious food just because that food happens to come from a farm in a different state!”
Leaders in the local foods and foods rights movements will join mothers from across the country for their demonstration. Prior to their peaceful demonstration, a caravan of mothers will cross state lines with raw milk and invite the FDA to witness what the agency wrongly considers to be a criminal act. Media are invited to ride along as embedded reporters to report on how the FDA responds to what it wrongly terms a violation of the law.
Under FDA regulations [21 CFR § 1240.61] implemented in 1987, it is illegal for anyone to transport raw milk intended for human consumption across state lines. That includes individuals purchasing it legally in one state and crossing into another state where they live.
Information about farm raids at http://www.FarmFoodFreedom.org
Yours for food freedom,
Deborah Stockton, Executive Director
National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association
Our purpose is to promote and preserve unregulated direct farmer-to-consumer trade that fosters availability of locally grown or home-produced food products.
NICFA opposes any government funded or managed national animal identification system.
Please support this caravan by SHARING this with Facebook and Twitter. .– Augie
Refer to linked site for copyright details.
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