We are please to send you this positive update from Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy on the California raw milk situation. Please send your letters to the governor and California lawmakers as requested and vizualize a complete victory for raw milk in California!
UPDATE ON AB 1735 FOOD FREEDOM FIGHT
SACRAMENTO MEETING BRINGS PROMISING NEWS
Dear Raw Milk Supporters
First of all, the consumer uprising in the face of the “AB1735 Raw Milk Surprise” has been tremendous. Faxes, voicemails, emails and letters are virtually saturating members of the Assembly, CDFA, and the Governor’s office. We are making solid progress thanks to this wonderful support.
Two weeks ago I requested a meeting with CDFA staff and legislative representatives to review elements of AB1735 and present important scientific information not included or reviewed during the “very quiet” legislative process. This information included USDA peer reviewed research, University studies, CDC data, and other essential information missed because no meaningful or representative debate occurred when the bill was passed.
The meeting, held in Sacramento on Monday, October 29th, was well attended by senior Ph.D. staff from CDFA, assembly staff representatives, and Agricultural Committee staff. After about ninety minutes, senior staff at CDFA committed to working with us to find a mutually agreeable solution to the issues.
My key statements included the following: “I have so much compelling information, and so little time to present it. Although we and our consumers are the major stakeholders in AB 1735, we were neither notified of, nor invited to the formal legislative process. This is an outrage, and amounts to legislation without representation.”
I stated my viewpoint that pasteurized dairy products and raw dairy products can and should co-exist. There was complete agreement on this point, yet initial disagreement on what that should look like.
While the CDFA scientists conceded no pathogens have ever been found at OPDC in seven years of testing, they insisted that California raw milk codes be harmonized with FDA codes. I disagreed adamantly. How can our state codes possibly align with those of a federal agency that badly misconstrues the nature of raw milk, using phrases such as “playing Russian Roulette with your life.”
The message got through loud and clear and we now have a firm commitment from CDFA to work together and resolve this issue quickly and effectively.
Our panel (see below) has submitted a five point plan – along with a three inch thick ream of pathogen test data and University research -to the CDFA and the legislative committee. We will meet again very shortly to discuss the proposal and lay the groundwork for resolution.
I have sent a letter to the Governor’s office requesting a meeting as soon as possible. Gov. Schwarzenegger is perhaps the most progressive governor California has ever had regarding health issues. It is doubtful he had any idea that AB1735 contained a hidden surprise that would threaten raw milk. How could he have known? There were no discussions or debate.
It is essential that your voices continue to be heard. Keep pressing your assembly members and the Governor for support. (See www.organicpastures.com/contact_lawmakers.html for contact information.) It appears that a new bill will need to be introduced to overturn elements of AB1735, including additional safeguards to secure the future of sustainable, safe, fresh, delicious, and nutritious raw milk for the years to come.
In California, raw milk is a sacred food. The consumption of raw milk is an intentional act and not done by error or mistake. Consumption of raw milk is a freedom preserved by longstanding California Food and Agriculture Code #35928 (F). This venerable raw milk law makes restriction of California raw milk illegal. Our arguments stand on solid ground.
Even though the CDFA has promised full cooperation, it is still early in this process and many turns lay ahead. Look for updates on this historic showdown, and keep supporting the struggle to protect your fundamental right to eat any whole, unprocessed, natural food of your choosing.
We are very grateful for the CDFA’s solid commitment to work with us, and feel hopeful about the future of raw milk.
Mark McAfee, Founder OPDC
Our expert panel includes:
Jan Krancher, Ph.D. Nutrition – retired county health inspector
Dale Jacobson, D.C. – practices in Nevada City Paul Spiegel, Esq., – raw milk consumer with interest in raw artisan cheeses Rick Jefferies – political consultant and activist Mark McAfee, Founder OPDC – organic farmer, retired paramedic, county health educator Anna Catharina Berge DVM, State of CA – epidemiologist
PS In another secret legislative process earlier this year, you lost your right to buy truly raw almonds at the grocery store. Let this not be the year we also lose raw milk!