As 2007 comes to an end, the Weston A. Price Foundation would like to
express sincere thanks to all its members for their enthusiasm and
support throughout the year. We've achieved many important milestones in
2007, most notably the establishment of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal
Defense Fund. It is also encouraging to observe the increasing
availability of raw milk.
In a December 20, 2007 report, Reuters lists raw milk as the number one health issue in 2008. And as we begin the new year, we can report excellent news on the raw milk front.
OPTIMISM IN CALIFORNIA
We have the following report from Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy:
There will be no interruption of California raw milk availability in January 2008 or beyond!! California raw milk consumer voices have spoken loudly against AB 1735, the sneak-attack anti-raw milk legislation passed earlier this year, and raw milk will be protected in California!
Huge amounts of passionate grass roots effort combined with back stage political activity and high-level meetings have occurred on the California raw milk battlefront in the last three weeks. As a result, the course of California raw milk history has been changed. The credit goes to the consumers....their voices have raged!!
Three things protect your raw milk in California and as a direct result it will continue be sold legally in the future. Consumers get the credit for the grass roots uprising against AB 1735 and its biased, scientifically unsupported and unfounded standards.
1. Support from the Secretary of Agriculture. The Secretary of Agriculture has dedicated himself to safe raw milk for California and declared that "AB 1735 standards will not act as a de-facto ban on raw milk." AG Kawamura, the Secretary of Agriculture, made this statement adamantly and repeatedly at a 2.5-hour meeting held with representatives from Claravale and Organic Pastures (the two raw milk dairies in California) in Sacramento on December 20th. He pledged to review the 4-inch thick bound stack of documentation that was delivered to him titled "AB 1735... Raw Milk--The Unheard Argument" and work with us to ensure that raw milk would continue to flow uninterrupted. (That document includes our most up-to-date version of the Raw Milk PowerPoint presentation and our Rebuttal to the FDA PowerPoint presentation against raw milk, both posted at realmilk.com.)
2. A new law will be introduced in January reversing AB 1735. After an investigation it was revealed and admitted that certain California Department of Farm and Agriculture (CDFA) employees met with staff members of the Assembly Agriculture Committee to place "eight special anti-raw milk words" into AB 1735. These CDFA employees intentionally misled the legislature using erroneous and false data. In addition, these CDFA employees had not been authorized to meet with the legislature. The governor's office is supposed to review and authorize all CDFA agency legislative matters and bills. This was not done as required by executive branch and administrative policy and procedure. Instead, highly misleading information was used to pass rapidly and secretly AB 1735 on a "consent item" basis without discussion or open debate. Assemblymen and state Senators who voted for AB 1735 are now very upset that they were misled, and they support immediate repeal on procedural grounds. The attorney general's office may eventually get involved because of this aberrant violation of established process in furtherance of a "biased agenda that is far from being consent item."
3. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is filing a lawsuit this week in San Benito County. Part of that lawsuit requests an injunction which would legally protect raw milk producers against enforcement of AB 1735 standards. This allows a deeper and more certain protection against AB 1735 until a new law can be passed.
You have spoken and your grass roots voices have been heard loud and clear. Raw milk is here to stay. While the raw milk fight is not completely over (and will not be over any time soon), the safety of the California raw milk supply has been secured with multiple layers of strategic political, legislative and legal efforts. Hearings will be announced as part of the new bill and the legislative process that will start in January. The support and attendance of raw milk consumers will be essential and welcomed. Stay tuned!
Congratulations to the "raw milk grass roots" and the thousands of letters and calls that made all the difference! CA Raw Milk is SAFE from AB 1735 and those that sought to eliminate this sacred healing whole food.
Action to take:
As we go forward....we ask that you take pictures of you and your family holding raw milk bottles from Claravale and/or Organic Pastures and send them to the governor's office and to your state Assemblyman and State Senator offices. Write on the picture, "Please support repeal of AB 1735." A picture of your family is worth a thousand words. Pictures of you and your raw milk food choice can not be denied. They are too personal.
We have won an important raw milk victory in Georgia. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) followed North Carolina's lead and proposed a rule amendment to the Georgia Feed Laws to require the addition of food coloring to raw milk for animal consumption "which will render the milk charcoal gray in color" (the sale of raw milk for human consumption is illegal in the state).
Opponents of the rule forced a public hearing on the proposed change by sending far more than the required 25 letters (under the Georgia Administrative Procedures Act) to GDA asking for an oral hearing. The opposition to the rule surprised the agency. One GDA employee commented that an agency generally receives only 5-10 comments on any rule change. On the proposed rule requiring the dye, comments in opposition ran into the hundreds. The committee voted to nix the proposal-an important victory. Thanks to WAPF chapter leaders Alison Tyler and Lynn Razaitis, along with Alice Rolls, director of Georgia Organics, for spearheading this success.
WISE TRADITIONS 2008
It's not too soon to start planning for our ninth annual conference, to be held at the Hyatt San Francisco Airport in Burlingame, California, just south of the San Francisco Airport, November 7-10. The theme this year is "Life in its Fullness." Speakers will explore the connection between nutrition and mental and emotional health. We'll be posting details on our website as plans materialize.
SHOPPING GUIDE MAILING
Our traditional year-end Shopping Guide and funding appeal is in the mail-later than we had planned due to a printing glitch. The success of this mailing determines the type of projects we can take on in the coming year. Please remember the Weston A. Price Foundation in your end-of-year giving.
The staff and board of directors of the Weston A. Price Foundation join me in wishing you vibrant health in the year to come.
Sally Fallon, President