SUPPORT MORNINGLAND DAIRY!
HELP STOP DESTRUCTION OF RAW CHEESE INVENTORY
Read November 9, 2010 Action Alert
October 22, 2010
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has agreed to represent Joe and Denise Dixon, owners of the Morningland Dairy of the Ozarks, LLC, in their struggles with the State of Missouri Milk Board. The Milk Board has threatened to seek a Court Order ordering the destruction of the Dixons' entire supply of cheese, cut and whole, which was produced from February to August 2010.
The case against the Dixons stems from the FDA's and State of California's raid on Rawsome Foods in California. At that time, a California representative obtained a piece of cheese sold to Rawsome by the Dixons and had it sampled. The result came back positive for Listeria yet the validity of the sampling collection procedure and its handling is questionable. California then contacted the Missouri Milk Board, which then conducted an inspection of the Dixons' facility.
The Milk Board has obtained some sample results that also allege the presence of Listeria monocytogenes yet neither California nor the Milk Board can identify the specific sub strain of Listeria monocytogenes that was allegedly detected. Nor can California or the Milk Board identify the number of Listeria monocytogenes organisms that were allegedly present. Consequently, without any evidence that the Dixons' cheese can make anybody sick--indeed, there is no evidence that anyone has become sick from consuming the Dixons' cheese--the Milk Board wishes to destroy the Dixons' entire cheese inventory valued at one quarter million dollars--based on these suspect sample results. Talk about guilt by association! Such an action would destroy a wonderful family business and farm.
The Legal Defense Fund is communicating with the Missouri Attorney General's office to discuss a possible resolution of this matter short of destroying the Dixons' entire inventory. If necessary, the Fund would enter an appearance and secure expert testimony to defend the Dixons from the Milk Board's unwarranted and irrational attempt to destroy what is most likely healthy food.
ACTION TO TAKE
Supporters of the Dixons and of food rights everywhere should contact the Governor's office and the Missouri Milk Board expressing their outrage at the prospect of destroying the Dixons' cheese.
OFFICE OF GOVERNOR JAY NIXON
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone: (573) 751-3222
STATE MILK BOARD
1616 Missouri Boulevard
PO Box 630
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Fax: (573) 751-2527
If you live in Missouri, please contact your elected representatives. To find your representative and senator, go to http://www.senate.mo.gov/llookup/leg_lookup.aspx
-- Morningland Dairy has provided nutritious cheese for over thirty years with a superlative safety record.
-- The state of Missouri has not proven that the cheese is contaminated.
-- The proposed destruction of cheese would put a viable family farm out of business.
-- The idea of destroying so much nutritious food when so many people are malnourished is obscene.
By Doreen Hannes
Posted at: http://hartkeisonline.com/2010/10/11/family-farm-ordered-to-destroy-50000-pounds-of-cheese/#more-7430
Morningland Dairy is the latest attempt by the FDA to fulfill the Healthy People 2020 objective to kill raw dairy. Morningland is owned by Joseph and Denise Dixon, who operate the cheese plant and make raw cheese from cows kept right on the property and managed by one of their eldest daughters. They have 12 children, 4 who still live at home, and they have been actively engaged in real food for decades. They were caught up in the Rawesome Raid dragnet and many believe the questionable California Department of Food and Agriculture tests on their cheese are the legal justification for the multi-agency guns drawn raid at Rawesome.
In the thirty years of Morningland Dairy operations, NO ONE has become ill from consuming their products. Yet they have been ordered by the Missouri Milk Board to destroy ALL of their cheese without actual tests being performed on the cheese stock. This is nearly 50,000 pounds of cheese, or approximately $250,000.
Since the Milk Board and the FDA showed up at Morningland on August 26th, they have been embargoed from shipping or making any product. They dumped their milk for nearly six weeks before being approved to send it into homogenized, pasteurized distribution. All the while, they have had to pay the bill to keep the dairy and cheese plant operable.
On September 24th, the Milk Board verbally ordered Morningland to destroy their product. Morningland asked that this order be put in writing. One week later the order was hand delivered to General Manager/owner, Joseph Dixon. The order states that in three business days the Milk Board would contact them with when and how the cheese was to be destroyed.
Morningland dared to publish a written objection to committing suicide, a rebuttal and proposed remedy. They rebutted many of the stated facts in the 10-page order, Destroy Orders: Morningland Dairy. The Morningland Dairy then offered a reasonable, logical, scientifically sound remedy to destruction on the afternoon of October 6th.
The next morning, they were served with a restraining order and preliminary injunction by the Attorney General's office of Missouri. They were to be in court the very next day. In sum, they were ordered to destroy their wealth on Friday, asked for logic and justice on Wednesday, notified they were being sued on Thursday and ordered to be in court on Friday.
At 4:50pm on Thursday, the Attorney General's office called and canceled court because one or two of their witnesses couldn't attend. Never mind that a family-run dairy and cheese plant with nine families making a living through it should have to mount a legal defense against destruction in one day. It's another raid using Gestapo legal tactics that fit the MO of the FDA and their minions.or sub agents, if you prefer.
As many in the real food movement know, the FDA has a mission. They have blatantly stated that you have no right to consume foods of your choice, and the FDA Plant and Dairy head has a documented Howard Hughes-like fear of raw dairy. They are happy to use their resources to protect you from consuming things that don't make any one ill. They've reduced science to superstition. If they get more power through S.510, they will regulate the family farm and real food to death and give you Cheez Whiz and Twinkies as government approved food.
To fight for your right to choose what you want to eat, Morningland must be able to go on the offense. They are willing to sacrifice everything they have worked for to stand for your ability to eat real food.
Friends of Morningland have put up a website, http://uncheeseparty.wordpress.com/. They are asking supporters to sponsor a cheese to help the family out financially. Your contribution can help save this fine pasture-based farm and dairy.