Missouri judge upholds order to destroy Morningland Dairy’s raw milk cheese

From David E. Gumpert at the Complete Patient blog:

“A few weeks ago I asked in a post whether a Missouri judge might be willing to explore new directions suggested by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund before condemning $250,000 worth of Morningland Dairy raw cow’s and goat’s milk cheeses.

The county judge, David Dunlap, has just issued his decision, and the answer is an emphatic “No.” Indeed, the judge came at the entire matter differently than had been presented by either the state or the FTCLDF, in upholding the state’s push to destroy Morningland’s cheese.

The state had argued that because some samples of Morningland’s cheese contained listeria monocytogenes and staph aureus, the cheese should be considered “adulterated” and the entire inventory should be condemned. This despite the fact that there hadn’t been any illnesses from cheese previously sold.

The FTCLDF had argued that the state should provide detailed information about the nature of the contamination (such as the amount of listeria monocytogenes, and whether it was from a pathogenic subtype), and it challenged the assumption that the presence of bacteria constituted adulteration.

Judge Dunlap rejected the notion that the state had to provide detailed information. “At the time of condemnation [last summer], the Milk Board knew only that two small samples of defendant’s cow cheese in California were alleged to contain unspecified quantities of the potentially pathogenic bacteria listeria monocytogenes and staph aureus. No evidentiary warrant existed for a global conclusion that the entire inventory of over 20,000 pounds–comprising many varieties of both cow and goat cheese produced on various dates over a period of many months–was similarly tainted. In this uncontested case, however, substantial evidence is not required, and agency discretion is broad…”

Read it all on the Complete Patient blog.


Filed under News

8 responses to “Missouri judge upholds order to destroy Morningland Dairy’s raw milk cheese

  1. Michael schmidt

    This can justify an act of civil disobedience.
    This can justify a consumer revolt.
    If that cheese is not saved or rescued we might as well dig our own grave.
    This us exactly what I mean when I am talking about coming out and supporting each other.

  2. Mary Falk

    Did Morning Land Dairy pull their own samples of the cheese and have it run through a certified lab in order to prove that the batches of cheese were safe?
    Did ANYONE address the issue that even IF the cheese had been contaminated that after aging it a certain amount of time (dependent on the cheese,temperature etc) that the cheese could then be rendered safe?


    To all you city people that have never milked a cow with mastitis, on the farm we gave the milk to the chickens, calves, cats, and pigs and never had any sick. If it was a little in the milk, it was filtered and it was part of our breakfast. Yes, the Somatic Cell Count (SCC) is beneficial to health.

    I wonder why the FDA does not take samples of cheese from big stores when a package goes moldy, and then condemn all the years supply from the milk plant. Thank God most of the time common sense prevails. The Judge took a test of a sample from hundreds of miles away from the plant and that is how far he is from common sense. Not one person got sick !

    • Janeen

      Our long-time grass-based holistic dairy mentor told us – Drinking milk with mastitis won’t hurt anything – it’s just like eating your scabs! Just strain the milk and it’s fine to drink.

      We don’t give any mastitis milk to customers but we have drank it ourselves and it tasted as good as any of our milk and no one got sick. It’s just immunizations with out the mercury!

      (Our stint with dealing with it this year was due to chilled udders and frozen teat ends in the beginning of december- lesson well learned – Jerseys are PANSIES – must keep in barn or sew udder jackets for each cow – Apple Cider Vinegar worked very well for all but one cow, that we ended up drying up)

      He also told us that he hasn’t had mastitis for years and years ( he’s zero grain) – get your grass,soil, minerals etc ticking just right and it sustains life in perfect balance.

  4. Janeen

    Yes Micheal – That ruling is BS!!!!
    Why can’t EVERYONE be invited to “STORM THE FARM, STEAL THE CHEESE”!!! (leaving $100 bills behind) and have a WINE & CHEESE PARTY right in front of the legislature!

    Oh I hope they get some balls and do SOMETHING!!!

  5. Max Kane

    The consumers need to support an all out revolt. Government has no power to tell free people what to eat. A person’s diet is their privacy. Once we give up privacy we, by our own action, have enslaved ourselves. Only free people have privacy……slaves do not.

    • Janeen

      Max I totally agree with you!! – why doesn’t david g. think people are mad enough? is this true? are people, in general, not willing to stand up against this?? I can’t hardly believe this… surely someone could get people together and and say NO YOUR NOT TAKING THIS CHEESE.
      Is it just that Morningland people are not “mark mcaffe” enough types??
      are people just to busy?? or to scared?? what do you think is the root of this inability to stand up for what’s right??

  6. Dennis Wright

    The judge needs to be investigated for links to monied interests to which he is likely beholden. Then if and when that is discovered he needs to be exposed and perhaps a recall of his position be suggested.

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