Here’s an excerpt from the “before it’s news.com” edition of the Max Kane raw milk saga:
Max Kane has been charged with nothing. There is no case being prosecuted against him or anyone else for anything, not even for selling or buying raw milk. Yet, he has been ordered by the state of Wisconsin to inform on his friends. They want him to name people who sell or buy raw milk. He has refused, and for that, he’s been under threat of prison.
Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is in thrall to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), is not pursuing Kane for any crime, though they have been trying to turn him into a criminal. He’s obviously guilty, of course—guilty of drinking raw milk and advocating it. Worse, though, he’s guilty of refusing to give the names of people he knows who also drink raw milk, not to mention the farmers who have the temerity to sell it to them.
In Wisconsin, it’s perfectly legal for farmers to sell directly to consumers in Wisconsin. More and more have been doing just that, and for good reason. People want raw milk. Like Max Kane, they’ve found that it’s health-promoting. The powers-that-be don’t like that. So, they’re going after small family dairies and activists like Max. If Max gives in, they’re apparently planning to go after ordinary people who are guilty of buying a contraband substance: milk in its natural, unpasteurized, state.
How Max Came to Raw Milk Activism
Max was a very sick man suffering from Crohn’s disease, a condition of intestinal tract ulceration, which results in pain and lack of adequate nutrition because an ulcerated alimentary canal cannot adequately absorb nutrients. In his words, he was “wasting away”. Modern medicine could do nothing for him. Like a miracle, Max found raw milk. By the simple act of drinking it, he has returned to health….”
It’s interesting to compare proceedings in the Max Kane case to what is happening to Gawker Media’s Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, which would also seem to be a case in which authorities are looking for disclosure of information in the absence of any charges being laid. But they’re going about it in such a different way that you have to wonder what other factors are playing into the enforcement equation in either case. Here’s an excerpt from the NY Times story:
“Gawker Media said Monday that computers belonging to one of its editors, Jason Chen, were seized from his home on Friday in an apparent investigation into the sale of a next-generation Apple iPhone. Gawker suggested the action violated California’s shield law for journalists.
The technology blog Gizmodo, which Gawker owns, published articles last week about the phone after buying the device for $5,000 from a person who, according to the site, found it at a bar in California last month.
The authorities in San Mateo County are considering criminal charges in connection with the sale of the phone, which Gizmodo returned to Apple last week. Some media writers have said that Gawker Media could find itself in legal trouble if the phone was classified as stolen.
Last week, people familiar with the investigation said charges would most likely be filed against the person or people who sold the prototype iPhone, and possibly the buyer. The people were not authorized by their employers to speak on the record.
According to the warrant, officers had probable cause that Mr. Chen’s home “was used as the means of committing a felony.”
Gawker’s chief operating officer, Gaby Darbyshire, said in a letter to the authorities on Saturday that shield laws protected Mr. Chen and his computers. She said Gawker expected the immediate return of his property….”