For Immediate Release Jan. 10, 2012
Contact: John E. Peck, executive director, Family Farm Defenders #608-260-0900
John Kinsman, president, Family Farm Defenders #608-986-3815
Wed. Jan. 11th 12:00 Noon Sauk County Courthouse Steps (515 Oak St. in Baraboo)
Local fresh food advocates will gather and speak out in support of WI farmer, Vernon Herschberger, who must appear in court today for providing healthy unpasteurized dairy products to members of his own buying club.
Speakers will address the real story behind DATCP’s campaign targeting those who produce and enjoy fresh local foods in our state. According to a story by Natural News (8/15/11), DATCP is receiving up to $80,000 per month from the FDA for this ongoing crackdown against raw milk. In addition, FDA officials were flown out to Wisconsin to join DATCP colleagues for surveillance operations of local farmers markets. Similar heavy-handed enforcement operations are targeting other dairy farmers, smallscale food processors, and even urban gardeners and backyard chicken owners across the country.
“The federal government has more important food safety issues to attend to – such as the rampant illegal use of antibiotics in the dairy industry that is contaminating our meat and milk supply. This effort to criminalize small sustainable farmers is but a crude effort to divert public attention away from the far more serious dangers posed by corporate agribusiness and its industrial factory farm practices,” noted John Kinsman, longtime organic dairy farmer and president of Family Farm Defenders.
Kinsman is referring to widespread news reports that U.S. meat and milk exports recently failed European Union standards for drug residues and that Wisconsin is now the worst violator nationwide in terms of drug abuse in the dairy sector. In an article in Agriview (12/15/11), USDA Deputy Secretary, Kathleen Merrigan, was quoted as saying “With millions of Americans contracting foodborne illnesses each year, the USDA is committed to supporting research that improves the safety of our nation’s food supply.” Yet, there has been no serious federal or state action to address these latest revelations about our sordid food/farm system.
“This Big Brother in the Barnyard bullying behavior against small dairy farmers like Vernon Herschberger in WI or Daniel Brown in Maine has got to stop,” noted John Peck, executive director. “Not only is it a violation of food sovereignty but it denies people access to local fresh foods that are much safer and nutritious than those which are imported without much regulation or produced in filthy faraway factory farms.”
Citizens will be asked to contact their elected officials in defense of their right to enjoy local fresh food. Free samples of fresh milk will also be available.