cross posted from the Maine Tenth amendment Center

As reported yesterday by the Maine Tenth Amendment Center, the State has made good on its April 6th promise to prosecute farmers in towns that have passed a Food Sovereignty Ordinance. Walter Whitcomb, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, has not backed down.

“It was not done as a statement. There were people who contacted our inspectors from that area, believe it or not, who were concerned that this might be a potential health problem,” Whitcomb told the Bangor Daily News. To his credit however, according to the same article, he acknowledges this is viewed as a larger “turf war.” No matter how many times Whitcomb stands by the summons against Brown, the fact still remains that this is a “turf war.” If it were not, then the letter would’ve never been sent to the municipalities who have passed or who were actively considering the ordinance.

A food safety risk? The summons lists some issues relating to Brown’s operations, based off of government tests of the product. The fact still remains however, that there are no cases of illnesses linked to the products, we just have the government’s word. And for those of you keeping score, the bigger corporations have developed an immunity to intervention from our great defenders in government. While many people get sick from E. Coli and Salmonella every year from disgusting factory conditions or general neglect in operations, the outrage seems to be calmed by a simple recall. And yet, nobody has become sick from Brown’s raw products, and he’s the next big threat.

Perhaps the big threat is Dan Brown. Perhaps the big threat does lie in each of the five towns that have passed the Food Sovereignty Ordinance. To maintain control, one cannot allow non-compliance to persist, as any Federal agency will tell you. Unfortunately, despite the change of leadership in Augusta, they still take pages from the Federal playbook.

Whitcomb didn’t stop there however, as he has implied an agenda is at work to undermine public safety. “It’s become a popularity contest versus human health,” Whitcomb is quoted as stating. Again, where is the human health problem? No illnesses have been reported in connection to Brown’s products.

Whitcomb did tell the Bangor Daily News that individuals had reported health concerns to the State. While perhaps there is a cause for concern, nobody was forced to purchase Brown’s product. It has become a big story over the last year that Blue Hill was among the five towns in a growing movement in defense of local agriculture, in direct defiance of Federal and State regulations. If any individual had any reservations, they reserve the right to not purchase the product. This is the nature of a free market economy, which many newcomers in Augusta have regularly attacked the previous Administration and opposing party for oppressing.

Contrary to the charge that this is a popularity contest with an agenda to undermine public safety, this is actually a movement to help local agriculture to prosper. The Republicans that now dominate Augusta have claimed that regulations have hurt the economy and that constant interference has injured otherwise prosperous businesses. It’s been often said that Democrats are the anti-business party. It appears to be however, that like in all other matters, the opposition to freedom is a bipartisan agreement among establishments.

So, as Whitcomb does observe, this is a turf war. The problem is, it shouldn’t be. Nobody has been forced to purchase Brown’s products, thus, there is no issue that the State should intervene in. If one has reservations, the simple answer is not to purchase it. We’re all responsible adults capable of making our own decisions. Beyond this, those who have decided to purchase Brown’s products have not gotten ill. So despite the claims from the State that there is a health safety risk, the facts would suggest otherwise.

Instead, the health risk that should be investigated is pasteurized milk, which studies continue to show it may not be all it’s cracked up to be. A Natural News article cited a report that found a “toxic chemical cocktail of 20 painkillers, antibiotics, and growth hormones” in pasteurized milk. The article then continues, “In addition to containing drug-related chemicals such as niflumic acid, mefenamic acid and ketoprofen, the milk studied was found to contain the hormone 17-beta-estradiol. A form of the sex hormone oestrogen, the hormone was detected at three millionths of a gram in every kilogram of milk. Compared to niflumic acid, which was detected at less than one millionth of a gram per kilogram of milk, 17-beta-estradiol was found to have a much larger presence in the milk studied. Similar to the estrogen-mimicking bisphenol A (BPA), which has been found in a majority of plastic water bottles and food cans worldwide, 17-beta-estradiol can negatively impact the male hormonal balance in a way that can lead to unknown long-term consequences.”

The article continues on to state that farmers who do not shoot up their livestock with hormones and feed them chemically-treated produce have a much greater quality in milk, noting “Organic raw milk has been tied to a number of health benefits due to its role as a balanced food rich in vitamins and protein. Raw milk contains all 20 of the standard amino acids, which are considered to be the very building blocks of life.” It continues on to observe “it also contains a significant amount of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that has ties to increased fat loss and to improved metabolic function. The pasteurization process eliminates many of the nutrients that make raw milk a valued health food, virtually destroying the nutritional integrity of the drink.”

What is really the public safety risk, Mr. Whitcomb? Is there really a public safety risk, or just a possibility that the raw milk industry might actually win against the suppliers of chemically-loaded pasteurized milk?  Or that the people might actually disagree with the government and this resistance could present a serious problem for the control every controlling government wishes to maintain?

Stop the “turf war”, it’s a losing battle.

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