“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week showed a rare soft side to consumers, by stepping back from enforcement on demonstrators of its ban on interstate raw milk shipments.
It’s important that all involved in fighting for food rights appreciate that that show of softness was almost certainly a temporary tactic. For now and the foreseeable future, the FDA is, at its heart, insatiable and hard as nails when it comes to its key agenda item of ridding the U.S. of raw milk and raw milk cheese. And while there may be a tiny bit of conciliation shown consumers, to please the politicians, the focus remains on harassing and penalizing producers. The case of Kelli and Anthony Estrella makes the case stronger than I ever could.
The FDA has in the last six weeks sought to personally make the Estrellas defendants in a case the agency filed in federal court a year ago in connection with allegedly contaminated cheese being sold to the public by the Estralla dairy. The FDA has already put them out of business for more than a year. The Estrellas’ crime warranting the new action is, according to the FDA, ““on-going violative and defiant behavior.”
What sort of defiant behavior? According to the FDA’s motion, “while the seized cheese was in the custody of this Court, and without the permission of this Court or the
knowledge or supervision of FDA, the Proposed Defendants fed the seized cheese to pigs.”
For that outrage, the FDA apparently wants the Estrellas to be permanently prohibited from selling raw milk cheese, and possibly to be penalized via substantial fines, if it wins its case.
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has taken on defense of the Estrellas. Its briefopposing the federal motion to add the Estrellas to the case (originally, just the Estrella cheese had been named), provides this background of the complex case: ..”