“Alvin Schlangen began his first day in court by rejecting a settlement offer from the prosecutor and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture that would have had him pleading guilty to one misdemeanor, paying $200 court costs, and possibly going to jail. He has previously expressed his commitment to go through with a trial, and prove his innocence of state charges of illegally selling raw milk and other foods.
Much of Monday was spent selecting a jury, and near the end of the day, the state presented its first witnesses. (A more complete report will follow shortly.)
In the meantime, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture came into court fresh from a big grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration–part of its reward for going after farmers like Schlangen so aggressively.
State agriculture and public health departments that play ball with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration do so, in significant measure, to earn money from the feds.
Minnesota, which has been about as loyal an ally as the FDA could ask for in its national assault on private food arrangements, proved that yet again by earning a $600,000 “food safety” grant, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, announced late last week.
That is on top of a $1 million “rapid response grant” the MDA received from the FDA nearly a year ago.
And these are just the payoffs we know about. Many so-called cooperative arrangements between the FDA and state ag and public health agencies aren’t even announced. …”
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