“Back in the fall of 2006, the California Department of Food and Agriculture shut down Organic Pastures Dairy Co. after the state identified six children it said were sickened by E.coli O157:H7. Inspectors invaded the dairy and carried out hundreds of manure and environmental tests. The dairy was only allowed to resume productionsome two weeks later, after its owner, Mark McAfee, called a press conference to protest that the CDFA was dragging its heels in lifting its quarantine–he threatened legal action and consumer protests.
Five years later, and the story has unfolded in amazingly similar fashion. The CDFA shuttered Organic Pastures four weeks ago, after California health authorities connected the dairy with five illnesses from E.coli O157:H7 scattered around the state. Extensive testing of manure samples and the OPDC facilities was carried out.
OPDC says it went about the last four weeks upgrading its dairy facilities and correcting problems identified by the state. When, in recent days, it says it passed the state’s inspection with flying colors, and its private testing of products showed no evidence of pathogen contamination, the state still hadn’t allowed the dairy to re-open.
By early today, having experienced an estimated $500,000 in lost sales, McAfee says, he had had enough. He filed a court action contesting the shutdown, and had called a press conference for this afternoon, at which he planned to urge his army of 60,000 raw milk drinkers to bombard the offices of their legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown with calls and emails. …”