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FDA Saves US from Amish Threat

Those dangerous and disorderly Amish were finally brought to justice by the Food and Drug Administration after a federal sting exposed a vile black market operation that the poor souls still trapped in a previous century were engaged in. The contraband that they have been smuggling between Pennsylvania and Maryland is now safely under the control of the Federal Family, and no longer shall we have to worry about the terror coming from Rainbow Acres Farm, as wretched a hive of scum and villainy as Tijuana and Bora Bora. Yes, that's right, the same people who alerted us to the dastardly job-stealing ways of ATMs, who kept us safe by arming criminal cartels with weapons that they could use to overthrow the Mexican government and shoot at border agents with, who gave us nicely-infected trailers after Hurricane Katrina and improved our healthcare by making it more expensive--- they have now come to the rescue once again! The Federal Family has used our tax dollars wisely in a year-long sting operation and subsequently saved us from the terrors of... milk.

Unpasteurized milk, according to the FDA, is capable of carrying harmful bacteria-- much like dirt, most produce, pets, and small children are. Because of this, the federal government has banned interstate sales of raw milk (I think you're still able to bring small children across state lines, though; still awaiting a response from Health and Human Services on that one). The Amish folks at Rainbow Acres in Pennsylvania had dared to sell milk to people in Maryland who like their food to be au natural. An even more grievous offense was that they dared to sell the raw milk in jugs without labels. The shame! Thank the god of Bureaucracy that we have the Federal Family there to be at our side and prevent us from seeking to drink milk that has not been processed. It almost makes you question how humanity got along drinking milk without the FDA for the past several thousand years. Maybe now these Amish types will learn their lesson and plug in an iPod so that they can listen to podcasts of Obama warning them about how the Internet is taking away their jobs and way of life.
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Discussions - 9 Comments

Great piece. You gave the FDA just what it deserves. Keep it up!

Please change the CAPCHA. It's undecipherable at times. It took three times!

I don't know. Food safety is a big deal, and one of the few things I really want government to do. If you think about this issue 100 years ago, lots of people died because of adulteration. Perhaps it appears unworthy and small compared to meat processing, etc., but I'm not so quick to judge this.

I can see that. But milk is milk. Yeah, if it were being mass-manufactured and sold, probably safer to go with pasteurized (the larger the market, the larger the chance of incidents). But a single little farm catering to a small population that prefers raw milk should not be such an issue. Members of my family run farms in Ireland, and when I visit I usually have the milk they just collected that morning. I personally think it tastes funny, but there's nothing wrong with it. If I had to choose between pasteurized and unpasteurized, I'd go with the former-- but that ought to be a choice, not a compulsion.

I experienced a similar kind of irritation last summer while visiting south-eastern Colorado with my in-laws. My father-in-law grew up on a goat farm near Trinidad where his Italian immigrant family was known for a divine kind of cheese that cannot be described and must be made from fresh, non-pasteurized goat cheese. You cannot purchase this cheese anywhere else but in south-eastern Colorado for exactly the reasons you mention in this piece. So we had to stock up our ice-box and bring home as much as we could eat before it would expire. You can't order it or have it shipped. Ridiculous.

My older set of kids drank unpateurized, unhomogenizied milk for about four years when friends lived next to a nearby Amish dairy farm. From the cow to my door by friendly delivery took a couple of hours, just long enough for the milk to cool and separate. I skimmed the cream for butter. I made simple cheeses. It was great stuff. At first my kids thought the milk tasted funny, and then they didn't and were disgusted by "store" milk when we could no longer get the fresh stuff.

We were evading state minimum prices. But I have friends who are true believers in the benefits of truly fresh milk. I don't know how they manage to get it these days. I know for a while "personal use" was allowed in Ohio. People rented cows or bought cows from farmers as a way to work around the law; they paid the farmer to milk their cow for them and picked up their milk as it was convenient. Now, I think, even this is illegal.

I love the Internet. Look at this: http://www.realmilk.com/happening.html a state by state breakdown of the laws concerning raw milk at "RealMilk.com. My friends must be buying claiming to use the milk for pets.

California is really crazy in this matter. No real surprise, I suppose. Raw milk appears to be nominally legal there through private buying clubs -- or not -- the whole thing sems confused.

Yes, the question is how anyone survived eating anything before government was regulating our foods. Here is an old article you might like on allergies and hygiene: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070905174501.htm

Sure, it's easy to criticize this kind of regulation, and it's also easy to see that we may be over-protecting ourselves. On the other hand, infant/child mortality used to be 25% -check out any old cemetery. Check out the noble families of Europe during the Middle Ages -- even the elites often died in their 40s and 50s.

Nope, I'll take the regulation in this instance. Have any of you ever seen a series called "Filthy Cities" on the History Channel. In one episode, they demonstrate the making of sausage in NYC in the 1890s. Things used like borax to kill the odor of decaying meat.

Just sayin'.

I suppose one obvious difference between an Amish farm and an Armour meat packing plant is that the producers on a farm are also the consumers. Jacob Bontrager of Burton, OH, is not only careful with his products to keep his customers, but also to keep his numerous children in good health. A raw milk operation is necessarily small.

As to the sausage makes, I'd rather buy from the local stores than from national brands. If the locals make a bad product, everyone knows it, the local newspapers report what the local health department finds, we avoid the store, the store goes out of business. Local pressure can shut a bad operator down.

Why is this the state's business, much less the business of the federal government? I don't have a problem with national standards for healthful food, but not when they are obviously written to protect the big producers from competition. And when federal agencies of government are more ready to enforce state laws against small producers than the state or local governments (they are NOT federal laws, for crying out loud) then something is really out of whack.

Hmmm...the federal government does not enforce state and local laws.

Perhaps you are correct. My source for that bit is given to hyperbole, probably misunderstanding the role of the FDA in the raids on farms and local co-ops.

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