“It’s our way of the highway. That’s essentially been the position of New York’s Department of Agriculture & Markets over the last nearly five years, when New York raw dairy farmers have questioned the agency’s testing procedures for listeria in raw milk.
Ag & Markets has, during that time, shuttered half a dozen or so dairies for days on the basis of having supposedly found listeria in raw milk. In a couple cases where dairies have had private tests of split samples they’ve held in reserve that disputed the state’s findings, the response was always the same: Our test is the only one that counts. End of discussion.
Now, Ag & Markets will have to pull back the veil on its testing procedures. That’s because a state judge has ruled that lawyers from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, representing dairy owner Chuck Phippen, can cross examine state lab workers. Continue reading