I live in Jackson County, Oregon, where local people recently passed a GMO crop ban initiative that made national news. Here’s what happened:
Over two years ago, a local organic seed grower discovered that Syngenta, a Switzerland-based corporation, had for a number of years leased many small tracts of local land for GMO beet seed production, distributed so widely that no pollen-free place was left for related organic seed production. Syngenta’s move into the valley had been so covert that hardly anyone knew about it.
A “GMO-Free Jackson County” group gathered signatures to put an initiative on the ballot. The state legislature responded by taking away local rights, allowing only state control of GMO farm issues. Jackson County was exempted because they had already qualified for the ballot. A large number of farms and businesses joined the effort with “Our Family Farms Coalition.” Our local WAPF chapter added support.
Opposition was fierce, with large donations from Monsanto, Syngenta, nationwide farm bureaus and sugar and food industries, using local farm bureaus and “Good Neighbors Farmers PAC.” Most local government officials and news editors vigorously opposed the measure, repeating arguments identical to agribusiness propaganda, and claiming that the conflict could be resolved if farmers would be “good neighbors.” Scientists from Oregon State University and the University of California at Davis assured the public that every aspect of GMO science had been thoroughly tested and found to be absolutely safe, and that any fear of contamination of organic crops was unfounded.
A Portland publicity firm had plenty of money for TV spots, multiple mailings to voters and phone calls from Nevada. Voters were told that enforcement of the measure would cost so much that law enforcement budgets would be decimated and teams of enforcement agents would be inspecting local farms and gardens.
With a very high voter turnout, the initiative passed with 66 percent in favor of banning GMO crops. Neighboring Josephine County passed a similar ban with a 56 percent margin, in spite of the state takeover.
David versus Goliath, or the mouse that roared? What I see is a massive increase in public awareness that GMO is not safe.
If the FDA had not conspired with agribusiness to decree GMO safe, the industry would have been required to do adequate testing. Glyphosate and Bt crops of soy, corn, beets and alfalfa would not pass real tests.
Oregon is now gathering signatures for a statewide labeling requirement. We will win again. A band of local volunteers with tremendous effort can be an effective force.
See the website www.ourfamilyfarmscoalition. org or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HARMFUL TO HUMAN HEALTH?
I didn’t renew because I started investigating more about health and found that arachidonic acid [found in foods like butter and liver] is very harmful to human health, causing inflammation down to a molecular level.
Chris Masterjohn replies: There are two problems with the idea that arachidonic acid is inflammatory. The first is that inflammation is important, and should not be viewed as a bad thing. The second is that arachdionic acid is not “pro-inflammatory” or “anti-inflammatory,” but is rather a raw material that our bodies use to regulate the process of inflammation.
Inflammation protects us from infection and cleans up damage within our bodies. Inflammation is one of the reasons we are all alive. Our bodies regulate the initiation of inflammation and regulate the resolution of inflammation. We do not want a diet and lifestyle that are “pro-inflammatory,” nor do we want them to be “anti-inflammatory.” We want to assist our bodies’ attempts to properly target inflammation, initiate it when needed, and resolve it when needed, by giving them all the raw materials they need to execute and regulate these processes.
Arachidonic acid is a raw material that our bodies use to communicate about inflammation. When we need to initiate inflammation, our bodies use arachidonic acid to make the signal. When we want to resolve inflammation, our bodies use arachidonic acid to make the signal. In our guts, our immune systems use arachidonic acid in a very special way: there it forms a critical part of the signals that train our immune systems to tolerate the foods we eat instead of mounting attacks against these foods. Interfering with arachidonic acid metabolism by using “anti-inflammatory” drugs has been shown to contribute to food intolerances and autoimmune diseases by interfering with these signals.
In order to understand arachidonic acid in its proper context, we need to move beyond terms like “pro-inflammatory” and “anti-inflammatory” and instead think of supporting homeostasis. One part of supporting homeostasis is providing our bodies with all the nutrients they need, and arachidonic acid is one of them.
THERAPEUTIC SEA WATER
I want to take this opportunity to share something with you. A friend just sent me a video filmed by a Spanish activist, Alicia Ninou, which was just subtitled into English, and which covers, among other issues, the use of sea water for therapeutic purposes. Spain is probably the world’s leading country on the use of therapeutic sea water.
This is the link: https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=vL4WrJ9GYTs. The main theme of this video is a new medical policy that is currently being applied in Nicaragua. They are using alternative medicine therapies as part of their public health program, which is very impressive indeed. One of the therapies they use is based on taking sea water orally. This subject is discussed in depth from minute 6:20 to minute 20:20.
THE MILK DIET
A few months back, I was with my mom in the attic of her home in St. Paul (the one I grew up in) and we were putting away Christmas decorations, when I looked over at a shelf on the wall and saw some old letters that were stacked on top of each other. I pulled one of the letters out of the middle and saw it dated 1941 and that it was written to my mother’s parents (Mr. & Mrs. H. A. Peterson) from my mother’s maternal grandfather, Dr. Grant Simpson Van Horn.
Grant was a doctor in Batavia, Ohio up until the early 1940s. This letter that I randomly selected must have been meant for my eyes to see! It is dated October 20, 1941 and here is what it said:
“Dear Folks, Yours at hand and thanks for invitation to be with you Sunday. Will try to come down about the usual time unless something prevents. Have a confinement at Elk-lick overdue and it might come just as we wanted to get away. I am not feeling at all well & have decided on a milk diet. If that don’t help, I am lost. Was up every hour from 9 on and am feeling like I have not been having enough nitrogenous food & am turning to milk diet as cannot eat or chew tough meat with store teeth. Love to all, G.S.V (Dr G. S. Van Horn, Batavia, Ohio)”
Well, sadly for my great-grandfather, he was at the last stage of prostate cancer at the time of this letter and passed away just a few short weeks later.
Finding this letter was no accident. I truly believe this letter was meant for me to find, hidden between all the other letters and antique items in my mother’s attic. To learn that my great-grandfather understood the importance and healing ability of the raw milk diet means more to me than words can express. I feel so blessed to have found such a gem amongst the many treasures in the attic, especially because of my diligence with the Raw Milk Campaign I am working on so hard here in Minnesota. Perhaps I’ll bring this letter along with my raw dairy petition when I get my meeting with our governor, and prove to him that the milk diet was real, and relied upon for healing!
Diane Smith, chapter leader
White Bear Lake Area, Minnesota
My husband and I just became parents in March when our WAPF baby Evangeline arrived. We have both been eating a very healthy diet prior to and during my pregnancy and Evie is a very healthy girl.
What concerns us is the fact that parents-in-law, my parents, some relatives and friends have been making remarks about Evie getting treats from them here and there—such as purple cupcakes, Doritos, Coke. . . you name it. We are afraid that even though they all know our beliefs, they are going to sneak things in and possibly pressure her to eat them. We hope that Evie is going to refuse them due to the fact that her taste buds are going to tell her the truth. We understand we cannot avoid everything 100 percent but . . .
My question is, is there a special Wise Traditions issue or any like-minded resources that discuss a similar topic? I wonder how other WAPF parents deal with this, especially the ones that send pictures of their babies to the Healthy Baby Gallery. My mother-inlaw is convinced that cereal is the way to go for a baby even though I gave her some WAPF flyers, etc. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Anna Simpson NTP, MA
Editor’s Response: My own advice would be to make it very clear to family members that you don’t want junk food given to your children. Bring healthy alternatives to family gatherings and don’t accept invitations from these family members to watch the child during mealtimes or for sleepovers. We invite comments and other ideas from our readers. The Nourishing Our Children Facebook page often has discussions on this topic. See www.facebook.com/groups/ nourishedchildren/.
I went to Lincoln, Nebraska last week and rented a room with a WAPF family (hotels were full for the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder event that weekend). I had an incredible time. WAPF education has gone far and deep into America and has helped entire families become healthy, mentally well-adjusted and give birth to children free from chronic, lifelong problems. It was shocking for me to see the difference between WAPF nourished children and non-WAPF nourished children. We all owe the Foundation a great debt of gratitude.
I did not know Nebraska lets its farmers sell raw milk on their farms. I went to four different farms in the four days I was there and drank some of the best Jersey milk I’ve ever tasted. I think I overdosed on milk, pastured eggs and fine cheeses! All the farmers’ wives had heard of WAPF, fed their children along the same principles, and the children that I met were simply bursting with life, health, curiosity and intelligence.
Also, I met farmers Charuth and Kevin Loth who make goat milk and cheese. They want to create a fund to purchase a one-hundred-sixty-acre adjacent lot for about one million dollars, where they want to set up a farmerowned community—before the land gets consumed by McMansions. Do you have any thoughts on these matters? Land trusts? Non-profit grants? Farm loans? What’s a good structure? Any ideas? If so, do pass them along to me. There is a somewhat similar threehundred- acre intentional community of fifty first-generation farmers here in Sebastopol. It’s very cool, and they are just starting. I think two of the farmers bought this land outright several years ago. They are still figuring out leasing arrangements, revenue sharing, etc.
VITAMIN D LEVELS
Chris Masterjohn has made so many valuable contributions to our understanding of how food and health intersect—I have great respect and gratitude for him. But his article, “Beyond Cholesterol: Fat-Soluble Vitamins in the Prevention of Heart Disease,” left me uneasy about his conclusions on optimal serum 25(OH)D levels. I am not a scientist, only an avid reader and thinker about food and health, so please forgive my layman’s vocabulary and lack of clarity.
I think that what Masterjohn really wanted us to take away from the article was that we don’t know exactly what the connections between serum 25(OH) D levels and heart disease are, and we need to ensure that we are getting A, K and D together, through food sources. I agree.
But at the same time, he makes this statement: “. . . people with vitamin D status higher than 40 ng/ml. have a higher risk of heart disease.” As evidence for this statement, he apparently relies on two citations—the animal study by Taura, Taura, Kamio and Kummerow (citation 16) and the chart in Figure 2. I don’t think these two pieces of evidence are strong enough to support such a definitive statement.
The animal study showed calcification and lesions in coronary arteries (similar to that seen in humans) in pigs who were supplemented with vitamin D. But the pathology was found only in pigs who had been supplemented with 31,250 IU or more per kilogram of feed. I don’t know how much feed pigs consume but my guess is it is some major fraction of a kilogram per day, making their supplementation level much higher than most humans would take. Their serum 25(OH)D levels were apparently never measured.
The other piece of evidence was the chart shown as Figure 2. At first blush, it seems to support the premise—the rate of major cardiac and cerebrovascular events is lowest for a 25(OH)D level of 20-40, and is higher for the >40 group.
But this study was not done on a general population—the subjects were cardiac surgery patients. Could it be that lower vitamin D levels were part of what got these people into the study group in the first place—and that if they had higher 25(OH)D levels and still wound up as cardiac surgery patients, that there were other underlying factors that undermined their health and increased their risk? In addition, what we are really looking for is—where does the right hand side of the U-shaped curve begin? But how can we tell, when everything over 40 is lumped together in a single band? What if everybody from 40 to 60 were fine, but then at over 60, the incidence of events jumped sharply? That could be depicted with the same graph.
As I mentioned above, I agree with Chris’s basic message about vitamin D. But the simplified statement, especially as it is highlighted in a side bar, is likely to send people running to the lab and panicking about their 25(OH)D levels if they are over 40. Based on the evidence presented in the article, I’m not sure that is warranted. We need more research on this question.
San Jose, California
Chris Masterjohn replies: Thank you for voicing your concerns about my article.
The phrase you quote, “people with vitamin D status higher than 40 ng/ml have a higher risk of heart disease,” is part of a sentence explaining why many people might find this surprising. The initial statement of this fact is found two sentences prior to this, where Figure 2 is clearly provided as a reference. Figure 2, in turn, clearly cites the human study justifying this statement and the legend explains the data in more detail. You are correct that the figure does not show where the risk begins increasing. The paper from which these data are drawn provides a figure (Figure 2 in that paper, not in my article) that attempts to estimate this, and it shows that the risk of heart disease in those patients was lowest at approximately 28 ng/mL. Perusing the continuous curve from the original research paper leads to the conclusion that although the risk of heart disease begins increasing immediately thereafter, it does not become statistically significantly greater until about 40 ng/mL. I chose to provide my own bar graph derived from one of their tables (Table 2 in that paper, not my article) because the statistical analysis of such a graph is less complicated than the analysis of the continuous curve, because I believe it is simpler and easier for most people to understand than the continuous curve, and because using it does not substantially change any conclusions.
The second paragraph after the phrase you quote from my article makes two important points that moderate the conclusion I drew from these data: one is that vitamin D status this high may be helpful in some people but harmful in others. I cited the specific example of the background diet and its content of vitamins A and K. The second is a point that you make, that the statistical correlation may not represent a causeand- effect relationship.
There could be other contextual factors besides the background diet. As you point out, for example, these are cardiac surgery patients, which means they clearly have other cardiovascular risk factors. Similarly, the Israeli lifeguards with a mean 25(OH)D of just over 50 ng/mL and a 20-fold increase in the risk of kidney stones (referred to in the “Naked Ape” sidebar) also had signs of dehydration and sun damage that may have played a role in their kidney stones. One reasonable conclusion from this is that 25(OH)D over 40 ng/mL may contribute to soft tissue calcification in people with other predisposing risk factors, but not in everyone. This does not make it any less of a concern, because, if this is true, we don’t yet know what all the relevant risk factors are.
Even so, we must keep in mind the consistency between this study and the meta-analysis cited in Figure 1 of my article. The meta-analysis showed that cardiovascular disease bottoms out around 24 ng/mL in the general population, while a great unknown is associated with higher levels of 25(OH) D because of the paucity of data. This finding is very close to the level at which the risk of major cardiovascular events bottoms out in cardiac surgery patients. There is no basis for believing that the risk increases thereafter in the general population like it does in cardiac surgery patients, but there is only a very weak basis for believing that it does not. As described in the last paragraph of the “Naked Ape” sidebar, and as stated more briefly in the second paragraph after the phrase you quote, we do not know if correlations between 25(OH)D and good or bad health outcomes represent cause-and-effect relationships because there are a variety of things besides vitamin D exposure that affect 25(OH)D. Nevertheless, there is a general consistency between the epidemiology and the animal experiments that cannot be ignored. I cited evidence that both dramatic deficiencies and dramatic excesses of vitamin D have been shown to contribute to cardiovascular disease in animals by inducing soft tissue calcification, and I proposed a mechanism to explain this based on the regulation of vitamin K-dependent proteins by vitamins A and D.
You are absolutely correct to suggest that the animal experiments use more extreme changes in vitamin D status than we find associated with cardiovascular disease in humans, but animal experiments are always performed in the context of a genetically homogeneous animal population with homogeneous background diets meant to be nutritionally adequate. In humans, variations in vitamin D status occur in the context of many different genetic variations in nutritional requirements and considerable variations in the status of other nutrients, with the intakes of many other nutrients often inadequate. These variations mean that changes in vitamin D status are more likely to be harmful in some people than others, and more likely to be harmful in humans than in experimental animals.
My article was not intended to produce panic. Panic is very bad for a person’s health, and few situations justify it. In this case, I concluded that “we need to pay more attention to optimizing the nutrient density and nutrient balance of the diet rather than overemphasizing the usefulness and importance of optimizing blood levels of vitamin D.” I do not believe that shifting the emphasis away from optimizing 25(OH)D and towards a more holistic approach to health constitutes a state of panic and I do not believe it is likely to predispose someone towards panic. If anything, I think taking some of the emphasis off of optimizing a specific blood marker is likely to reduce anxiety.
I believe that you and I are in strong agreement that these studies raise many unanswered questions and that more research is needed, and I appreciate your critical feedback.
I just received my Spring Wise Traditions and read the piece about GMO mosquitoes. I wanted to give you more information to add to what you already have.
In February I was a guest and panel member for a day-long local food and sustainability workshop at Valencia College in Orlando. In the evening they included Jeffrey Smith via Skype to join our discussions. He was in the Florida Keys working with local government officials there concerning these GMO mosquitoes which Oxitec, the British biotech company that developed the insects, would like to release into the Florida Keys as part of a test.
The short version of the story is that Jeffrey Smith discovered the GE gene that makes the mosquitoes sterile is unstable outside of the laboratory setting. Exposure to tetracycline causes the gene to fail and offspring to survive instead of die. Tetracycline, it turns out, is found anywhere there are factory-farmed chickens including bowls of dog food (made from factory farmed chicken) left outside in the neighborhoods where the GE mosquitoes are released.
I give more details in my blog article including Jeffrey’s thoughts and comments from University of Florida scientists. Here is the link: http://wellfedfamily.net/?p=490
On another subject, I’ve been thinking a lot about the sacred foods detailed in Dr. Price’s work, and the great effort made by the traditional populations to obtain certain nutrient-dense foods, and how this would have applied to the ancient Israelites of the Old Testament. I realized that the sacrificial laws given by God to the Israelites include a way for us to deduce the nutrient-dense (and therefore sacred) foods of these ancient people. Particularly with animals set apart for sacrifice we see specific mention of liver, kidneys and the internal fat surrounding these organs plus the very fatty parts of the meat such as the tail and the thigh.
The very idea of sacrifice means giving up something precious, something you would normally keep for yourself, and giving it up would create great hardship for you. So to have the command given to give up the internal organs and fatty portions and burn it completely—not getting to eat any of it—for the Lord seems to be God’s way of highlighting the very crucial part these items would play in the nutrition and health of His people. Giving these valuable things to God meant their hearts were obedient and focused outwardly rather than selfishly. I wrote an article here http://wellfedfamily.net/?p=823#comments.
Thanks for all you do to promote good food, farming and health!
Saltamonte Springs, Florida
RAW MILK IN AUSTRALIA
Greetings from Australia! Despite a recent drawn-out court case where the judge ruled against raw milk sales, we continue to have clear access to real milk from a couple of dairies near Adelaide. These dairying families rely entirely upon the discerning people who buy directly from the farm as their sole means of income.
The court case involved a farming family named Tyler, who did things a bit differently, in that they offered not only cow-share opportunities, but they delivered the milk in 1.5 litre bottles (about 3 pints) to designated pick-up points in shops (with refrigeration cabinets, obviously) around the city. That use of shops was what drew attention of the food inspectors and led to the prosecution.
Not written in the judgment is a comment by the judge, saying “I grew up on fresh, raw milk, as did my parents and all the generations before me—and I am satisfied that there is no harm to be had by people using fresh, clean raw milk.”
The dairy farm I patronize has been selling directly to consumers for more than forty years now─with no health scares ever!
SENEFF ON CANCER
The recent issue`s cancer article, by Stephanie Seneff, is one of the best, most, informative articles I`ve read in years! If only MDs would read it, too. I`ve read Dr. Price`s take on cancer, even some works by Otto Warburg, and this piece ranks amongst them!
ON KOMBUCHA AND MORNING SICKNESS
Some people are saying we shouldn’t drink kombucha. Our family has been using kombucha daily for at least two years without any problems to our teeth, that is, until I accidentally started not fermenting it enough and added too much sugar. I started to get tooth decay again and I couldn’t figure out what the problem was—although I hadn’t been taking cod liver oil or eating liver much, I must admit. Then my husband started to complain of feeling sore and stiff again like the “old days” (before we changed from the Standard American Diet to the WAPF diet). I had previously dreamed that the kombucha was “poisoned,” which didn’t make sense at first.
So, you do have to be careful of the kombucha if you add too much sugar and are not eating as you should (liver, cod liver oil, high vitamin butter oil, etc). I am also predisposed to tooth decay as I had rheumatoid arthritis (as does my mother), but my RA disappeared thanks to the WAPF diet. However, I was also physiologically stressed due to breastfeeding at the time of the kombucha incident.
You also might be interested in what I learned regarding morning sickness (which I got in spades with our first baby, pre-WAPF wisdom). I found with our second child that even though I drank loads of raw milk I would still get sick. When I started eating raw milk yogurt, I stopped getting morning sickness. As you can imagine, I consumed a lot of it. I also ate raw pineapple when I could get it, which was a nice combination with the yogurt.
When I got lazy and fell behind on the yogurt making, the morning sickness came back. I’m not sure if raw pineapple alone would stave off morning sickness or not, as I’ve heard that it does help prevent it.
Our second and third children are super healthy thanks to the wisdom we received from WAPF. Which brings me to the third tidbit, which is I discovered that if I eat anything that has been sprayed with pesticides or may have GMO in it (even secondary contamination from animals eating GM grains), our baby gets a terrible diaper rash. It looks more like a really bad sunburn. Even a tiny bit of (gasp!) chocolate inflamed it to no end. So, it pays to watch what you eat for your kid’s sake! Our children have excellent eyesight, which is more than I can say for me.
God bless all of you for helping to save children (and adults) from a life of medical misery. Seeing people my age (early forties) who are already failing in health makes me wish that more people would wake up and realize that their food is killing them.
Littleton, West Virginia
MORE ON COCONUT OIL
Regarding letter from Louisa Williams about Clostridium difficile, I had C. diff caused by an antibiotic I was using (confirmed by blood tests, etc.) and discovered that coconut oil halts it in its tracks. I still take a tablespoon daily, unless I need to use it as an antibiotic (which I did for C. diff ).
I also cured a massive abscess under a tooth with a coconut oil and sea salt mouth wash, as well as massaging the oil on the exterior of the jaw bone. It cleared it up within three days. Had I gone to a dentist, he would have prescribed an antibiotic, which I would have needed to take for five to seven days!
Coconut oil is even great for first aid—it seals and heals wounds and leaves no scar! Burns? No problem, just reach for the coconut oil and spread over area—the pain will be gone and there won’t be any blisters.
The husband of one of our parishioners has Alzheimer’s. She has started giving him coconut oil. What a difference after just a few days. He is bright, full of conversation, can now concentrate, and she does not have to tell him more than once to do something. I did warn her that it was not a cure and he would have to keep taking it. Like me, she puts it in his hot drinks.
Dunedin, New Zealand
CELL PHONE DANGERS
I thank Ken Hardy for his letter (Spring 2014) reminding us of the harm of cellphones. A great many people sense intuitively that there is something harmful about our electronic age, and in particular about computers and cellphones. In some fundamental way these tools cheapen life and do us harm. Some intuit further that this mode of living is really an addiction that draws us away from healthy ways of living, and that ultimately carries a very high price.
As Ken Hardy reminds us, in some particulars we WAPF members do not need to intuit; we already know. It has long been said of human missteps that those people who are not part of the solution, are part of the problem. Sometimes a small group of people or even one person can make a great difference. It matters what we do. Chris Masterjohn has reminded us of Weston Price’s humility; perhaps we want to adopt some of it and admit that we can be doing better.
A little story comes to mind of a travel agent talking to a would-be passenger on the Titanic:
“Look, you’ll have a billiards room, squash courts, library and staterooms comparable to none; the appointments are the best anywhere.
“Yes, but the ship is going to the bottom.”
“Oh, let’s not think about that. Live in the present! Look how easy and convenient and comfortable it is.”
Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Apparently this is the year for the global governance agenda, New World Order or The UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda 21, to start taking the land from the rural owners and livestock owners. It is happening here in Washington state, but equally as much in every other state in the USA right now.
I have always said that the Agenda 21 plan was just going to be “theory” until the rubber actually met the road. It would all seem fine until it came time for them to start taking people’s property and rights away in order to satisfy the Wildlands Project portion of Agenda 21. (If you don’t know about the UN guidelines for the Wildlands Project, pick up a copy of my book called The Perils of Sustainable Development). At that point, I figured the wolf would be forced to shed his sheep’s clothing and reveal who he truly was to the people; a predator waiting for the right moment to attack. That moment is coming to Washington on July 1st.
According to our legislative representatives, the governor of Washington has said he wants Washington be the shining beacon to the rest of the world on how to be green. This means that our regulations in Washington would have to be more intrusive and more demanding than anyone else’s in the entire world. There’s an economy-crushing statement if I have ever read one. That is a global governance ideal, and not an American reflection. Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it say that we are to comply and submit to the sustainable development eco-governance regulations system of the United Nations—nowhere.
That is called “foreign governance” and requires a ratified treaty at the U.S. Senate level. If you might recall, we rejected the idea of “foreign governance” a few years back when we ran the British right out of our country! We didn’t want it then and we don’t want it now. When the governor or anybody else suggests that we need to be in compliance with “sustainable development,” that is what they are referring to: the global ecogovernance regulations system called sustainable development. So July 1st is fast approaching. The Washington landowners and livestock owners have tried unsuccessfully for the past eight years to pass bills in the legislature that would benefit the landowners and protect their private property rights and livestock ownership.
Almost every single attempt has failed, as we have been fighting against federal grants that are used to sway our politicians in the opposite direction. Now is the year we have been dreading and fighting to prevent—the year that the servant (government agencies) has become the tyrant and has morphed into some unruly agency that is now master and commander of the people, attempting to take people’s private property through unconstitutional regulations and foreign dictates, and acting outside its legal boundaries provided for by the state and U.S. constitutions.
On July 1st, the Washington state Department of Ecology (DoE) can establish their own 75′-100′ buffer zones around water areas and sub-irrigated areas on private property where livestock might be present. This single move will wipe out most livestock owners and crush our local economies, as the land they seek to regulate around these waterways is the best grazing land that people have available to feed their animals. It will wipe out many cattlemen because the cattle─that you and I eat—the best and healthiest meat in the world—require grass. The best grass and grazing is exactly where the DoE wants to stop all grazing. Do you agree that livestock owners should not be allowed to feed their animals? Do you agree that we don’t need a local healthy food supply? Nobody in his right mind would ever agree to either of those things.
“Seventy-five to one hundred feet beyond the highest watermarks” means that a farmer could have his entire land boundaries within that watermark— some people have several thousand acres that exist within these watermarks, all of which they have bought and paid for at full asking price, and all of which they pay taxes on. Yet they are being told to give it up without due process of the law, which is a repeated requirement in both the state and U.S. constitutions, and they are also being told they must give it up without any form of a buyout transaction either. The DoE will offer a person a couple dollars per acre per year, even though the farmer had to pay full price. They are never presented with a legitimate buyout offer reflecting the current land values, and loss of revenue from legitimate livestock business transactions. Instead they honestly think people should just more or less give their land and their businesses to the agency at a total loss to themselves, and yet still pay full taxes on it as well.
In history, the only time I have seen anybody demand land for free is when a country invades and conquers another country in a war.
So I ask you, when did an agency that was first established to serve the people and handle huge issues like industrial pollution on a mega scale slither into their current position of being our private property rights master, telling us to give them our private land without even having to go through both state and U.S. constitutional guidelines of due process?
“Due process” is guaranteed in both constitutions and simply cannot be trumped with the Revised Code of Washington—it’s not even legally possible. Typically those kinds of practices are left to dictatorships and communist countries, and they have absolutely no place in our nation. So we must refuse to submit to anything that opposes our “due process of law” guarantee, which is repeated many times throughout both the state and U.S. constitutions.
This sounds like a good case for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.