David Gumpert isn’t the only one who sees the Vernon Herschberger case as a bellwether. From Margo Redmond in the Baraboo News Republic:
“…The Wisconsin Farm Bureau is an advocate of corporate farming. Two years ago I spoke with Jeff Lyons — now second in command at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection — while he was assigned to the raw milk issue at the Bureau. I asked him if the Bureau represented the interests of big and small farmers. He replied that small family farms need to become corporate farms, as that is the only realistic kind of farming today.
I could tell he considered me silly for saying I missed seeing cows grazing on Wisconsin grass. But it is practical to prefer milk from truly contented cows that graze on grass because it nourishes them and, in turn, us. I do not apologize for using animal products and even eating them, but I believe they are owed, in return, a natural, decent life.
They do not get it in a corporate dairy. There they live out three to five years of their 15-year natural life span in small spaces in huge barns, where they are given feed for which their digestive systems are not designed. There they are pumped full of hormones to make them over-produce milk and antibiotics to counteract the sickness that visits them in their confined pens. What we put in the cow goes into the milk that goes into us.
Then, when we pasteurize it, we kill most of the pro-biotics (good bacteria) that promote health (and control bad bacteria), as well as vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Most nutrients on store milk labels are synthetic additives.
No wonder raw milk demand is growing, along with suppression of it.
The Hershberger trial is bigger than Hershberger. It’s about how free we really are in a free society to do our own thing as long as it doesn’t harm our neighbor. From the other side, it’s about how much market share can be grabbed and how much food choice can be controlled under pretext of protecting public health.
Bureaucrats in regulatory agencies like DATCP make rules — without public input — that are treated like laws. Violation of these rules is not the big crime they would have us think it is. And we should exercise our freedom to overturn such regulations and refuse to enforce them even if the facts show that they have been violated.
A factor in the 1933 repeal of prohibition was the refusal of people to convict neighbors for selling or consuming alcohol. The bad law of prohibition eroded respect for the law generally.
It is an equally bad law that bans sale of raw milk after decades in which an earlier DATCP administration permitted it on a limited basis.
To defend their bad law, DATCP, under auspices of the Department of Justice, is ready to put a good man and the father of 10 children in jail.”