Agriculture

Wisconsin Judge Rules Against Food Rights

This is the second in a series of articles about raw milk by the Center for Media and Democracy's Food Rights Network. For more about raids on raw milk farmers and eaters, see yesterday's article.


Zinniker Family Farm cows, courtesy of Anthroposophy in AmericaWisconsin dairy farmers are appealing a state judge's ruling that they do not have the right to own a dairy cow or drink the unprocessed milk from their own cows.

Mark and Petra Zinniker, who sought to distribute raw milk to herd shareholders through their private farm store, received a judgment from state Circuit Court Judge Patrick Fiedler ruling against them on all counts in August.

In response, the Zinnikers, their shareholders and their lawyers at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) filed a clarification motion, on which Judge Fiedler filed his decision and order on September 9th.

Raw Milk Raids and Court Cases Enter New Territory

This is the first in a series of articles about raw milk by the Center for Media and Democracy's Food Rights Network.


The nationwide battle over the right to consume foods produced on local farms entered a new phase this summer.

Rawesome Food Club and Healthy Family Farms

In August, the Los Angeles Police Department arrested three individuals -- James Stewart, manager of the private Rawesome Food Club in Venice, Sharon Palmer, owner of Healthy Family Farms, LLC, and her associate Eugenie Bloch -- "on criminal conspiracy charges stemming from the alleged illegal production and sale of unpasteurized goat milk, goat cheese and other products" after "a year-long investigation" during which "investigators made undercover purchases of unpasteurized dairy products."

Food Rights Network Interviews Food & Farm Hero John Kinsman

In the world of food and farming, the contrast between corporate agribusiness "farms" and small, sustainable family farms -- farms that, to adapt a phrase of Michael Pollan's, our grandparents would recognize as food-producing places -- is especially clear. Among the farmers who live and work in these places, the CMD's Food Rights Network is featuring some of the heroes: farmers who are making an incredible difference in the farming community, on our dinner tables and in the world around them.

CMD Urges EPA to More Closely Regulate Nanoscale Materials in Pesticides

DNA modifiedThe Center for Media and Democracy has joined a coalition of environmental, consumer and worker's groups in signing onto a letter of concern about nanotechnology.  The comment, drafted by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), supports the plan of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to obtain information about the presence of nanoscale materials in pesticide products.

ALEC Exposed: Protecting Factory Farms and Sewage Sludge?

As suburbs engulfed the rural landscape in the boom following World War II, many family farmers found themselves with new neighbors who were annoyed by the sound of crowing roosters, the smell of animal manure, or the rumble of farming equipment. In defense of family farming, Massachusetts passed the first "Right to Farm" law in 1979, to protect these farmers against their new suburban neighbors filing illegitimate nuisance lawsuits against them when, in fact, the farms were there first. Since then, every state has passed some kind of protection for family farms, which are pillars of our communities and the backbone of a sensible system of sustainable agriculture.

RELEASE: 

Sally Brown and BioCycle Magazine, Supporters of Growing Food in Sewage Sludge, Call Organic Food Advocates "Ecoterrorists"



CONTACT: John Stauber, Senior Adviser, Food Rights Network
PHONE: (608) 260-9713; (608) 279-4044
EMAIL: FoodRightsNetwork@gmail.com

Sally Brown and BioCycle Magazine, Supporters of Growing Food in Sewage Sludge, Call Organic Food Advocates "Ecoterrorists"

Organic Consumers Association and Food Rights Network Demand Retraction at April 12 BioCycle Conference (Brown Headlining)

SAN DIEGO--Leading organic gardening and food safety advocates who oppose growing food in sewage sludge are attending the national BioCycle magazine conference Tuesday, April 12, 2011 in San Diego to demand an apology and retraction from Sally Brown, a columnist and editorial board member of BioCycle magazine, and from Nora Goldstein, the executive editor of BioCycle.

Whole Foods Market Caves to Monsanto

WholeFoodsMarketAfter 12 years of battling to stop Monsanto's genetically-engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation's organic farmland, the biggest retailers of "natural" and "organic" foods in the U.S., including Whole Foods Market (WFM), Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm, have agreed to stop opposing mass commercialization of GE crops, like Monsanto's controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa.

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Leaked EPA Memos May Explain Massive Bee Die-Off

HoneybeeCMD's guest blogger, Jill Richardson, has done some ground-breaking reporting on the potential cause of the massive bee die-off.  According to Jill's investigation, leaked U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) memos reveal that the agency gave conditional approval to pesticides now in wide use, without requiring adequate proof that they are safe to use around honeybees. In the wake of the new information, beekeepers are starting to blame the country's massive die-off of honeybees on the pesticides. A leaked EPA memo dated November 2, 2010, discusses Bayer CropScience's efforts to legalize use of its pesticide clothianidin on mustard seed and cotton crops. EPA gave conditional approval for the chemical in 2003 and let Bayer start selling it, but told the company that they needed to complete further safety testing by a certain deadline to get full approval. The  additional testing was to assure the chemical was safe to use around honeybees. Bayer failed to do the testing for years, and instead sought and received an extension of the conditional permit to use the chemical. When Bayer finally performed the study, they did it in another country, and on crops that aren't grown much in the U.S. Bayer also used bees that were located on a small patch of treated crops surrounded by thousands of acres on untreated crops -- a design that handed Bayer the result it wanted by making the chemical appear safe to use. EPA deemed the defective study acceptable and gave full registration to clothianidin in 2007. In November, 2010, when Bayer asked to extend use of the pesticide to more types of crops, EPA still did not comment on the inadequacy of Bayer's study. Beekeepers are incensed at this information, and along with others are asking why EPA allows pesticides to go onto the market before they have been adequately safety tested. They also wonder how sound the science around such studies can be when they are performed by the pesticide makers themselves.

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