Obama Food Safety Czar Defends Armed Raids on Amish Farmers, Raw Milk Producers

San Francisco Chronicle reporter (and Reason contributing editor) Carolyn Lochhead reports on a disturbing press conference with Michael R. Taylor, the Food and Drug Administration's guy in charge of food safety. That the conference was held at "the Ogilvy Washington public affairs group" doesn't help. What, the FDA's cafeteria wasn't available?

From Lochhead's account:

"We believe we're doing our job," Taylor said at a presentation at the Ogilvy Washington public affairs group. He promised to "keep doing our public health job," and described his agency's campaign against raw milk producers as based on a "public health duty" and "statutory directive."

Our story thus far: In April, Amish farmer Dan Allgyer's Rainbow Acres farm in Pennsylvania was the object of an armed raid by FDA agents and other law enforcement people in search of raw milk products. Allgyer's operation, which sold raw milk products to ultra-willing and ultra-informed customers in the Washington, D.C. area, broke a "technical violation" against selling unpasteurized dairy products. As Lochhead notes, "The agency's actions are likely to put him out of business."

Good job! Lochhead explains how a law change last year makes all the difference - and how the FDA's Taylor is planning to get tough on raw milk sellers without the need for pesky court orders:

Before the new law, the FDA could only impound food when it had credible evidence the food was contaminated or posed a public health hazard. The detention powers are part of what Taylor described as a new agency focus on preventing food poisoning outbreaks rather than responding to them after the fact. Taylor described the new law as giving the agency "farm to table" control over food safety.

Taylor outlined an aggressive approach, saying he would seek a "high rate of compliance" with new food safety rules, touted the agency's "whole new inspection and compliance tool kit," including access to farm records, mandatory recall authority, and enforcement actions that can be accomplished administratively, "without having to go to court."

Lochhead notes that the FDA's Ahab-like obsession with controlling the food supply ("big new regulations are coming down the pike on produce") are running headling into the rise of small farm operations that focus on more expensive methods of production and conservation efforts at legacy farms. So when the organic arugula farmers march on the White House, don't say we didn't see it coming.

Submitted for your approval: The FDA's focus on raw milk and related issues is a massive waste of time and resources. And it exemplifies one of the reasons why people are sick of government.

Read more here.

Reason on raw milk here.

And watch Keep Food Legal founder (and Reason contributor) Baylen Linnekin talk about raw milk and the outrageous Allgyer raid with Judge Napolitano on Freedom Watch.

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  • WTF||

    I think Lobster Girl has just been replaced. What was the article about, again?

  • MNG||

    +1, Lobster who?
    humunahumuna

  • Restoras||

    ^^^THIS!!!

  • Doc S.||

    Hey Nick, Check out this opp over at CNN

    http://us.cnn.com/2011/OPINION.....?hpt=hp_t2

    "one good place to start would be to completely ban the sale of raw milk and juice"

    lol

  •  ||

    I think Lobster Girl has just been replaced

    Which is strange, as LG's milk factory was obviously a result of science and not "natural" like her replacement.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Hugh Jackman is alright, I guess.

  • proegg antichicken||

    that's the only picture that loads for me. meh, I've seen lobster girl.

  • ||

    But she has no nipples!

  • Matrix||

    Armed raids on the Amish. Again, how can anyone deny we are living in a police state?

  • Restoras||

    Hey, don't f*%# with the Amish or you're likely to be facing a mob armed with pitchforks, spades, and hoes and sovered in straw hat body armor!

  • MNG||

    As frightening as that image is the whole pacifisicm strategy their military has followed makes them so much less fearsome.

    But they will ring a bell and everyone from miles around will come and stare at you like in Witness.

  • Rich||

    Not to mention they might throw (shudder) *raw milk* at you!

  • MNG||

    It could get in your eyes!

  • ||

    ZEEE GOGGLES, ZEY....Oh, Hey, Zey actually work.

  • OO||

    waterboard tha aim-ish traitors till they fess-up to the conspiracy

  • ||

    waterboard tha aim-ish traitors till they fess-up to the conspiracy

    Beards. Check
    Strange Clothing. Check
    Anachronistic Lifestyle. Check

    Shit, OO might be on to something. It's time to crackdown on those Al-Amish sleeper cells.

  • Mohammed Stotzfus||

    Curses, they're on to us!

  • MNG||

    That's a little much, laws are going to ultimately be enforced by armed police. In a minarchist state anarchists will wake up to headlines about drifters being arrested by armed police for trespassing on the fields of landowners and they will get on their blogs and say "Can anyone deny we are living in a police state?"

  • Restoras||

    Not so much your little much. I don't think being armed with anything aside from a court order and the prospect of a fine is required for this absurd statute to be enforced.

    Blue is the new brown.

  • DJF||

    In my minimalist state the police will be armed with shrubbery.

    On serious situations and only with a warrant signed by 3 judges the SWAT team will be authorized to say “Nee”.

  • MNG||

    "In my minimalist state the police will be armed with shrubbery."

    Why not raw milk?

  • DJF||

    Silly, they will drink the raw milk to wash down the donuts. Shrubbery on the other hand will be kept for years with careful watering and pruning plus they create decorative borders around crime scenes.

  • Matrix||

    NEE!

  • DJF||

    Hey, none of that!!!!

    Do you have a warrant signed by three independent judges or is your life or someone else’s life in danger, if not then no NEE’s!

  • CoyoteBlue||

    Come see the violence inherent in the system.

  • DJF||

    Bloody Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune’s

  • Dave||

    There is a huge difference between "law enforcement officers who carry sidearms in the usual course of their duties, but keep them holstered while serving a warrant against a suspect who is not suspected of a violent crime, nor believed to be of imminent threat to the officers"

    and what we see above when "law enforcement officers who, with sidearms drawn, or who are now carrying shotguns/rifles rapidly entering a structure and forcing all persons inside to the floor at gunpoint while serving a warrant against a suspect who is not suspected of a violent crime, nor believed to be of imminent threat to the officers"

    One of these looks like what your average person would expect of those who enforce the law. The other looks like something from a police state.

    Yes, in both instances the LEOs are technically carrying arms. Reasonable people who hear 'armed raid' have in their mind the second scenario. I suspect that when the Reason editors and the Judge refer to something as an 'armed raid' that is what they too are referring to.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Dave,

    From the reports I read this case sounds more like your first scenario than your second. The use of "armed raid" seems inflammatory.

    Not that there is any reason for the LEO to be there in the first place.

  • Dave||

    The video I see above with the Judge shows two officers with sidearms drawn serving a warrant at some sort of raw food coop. That looks more like my second scenario, not the first.

  • ||

    Police evicting trespassers for violating the property rights of citizens =/= police raiding farmers for violating nobody's rights.

  • Paranoid||

    Again, how can anyone deny we are living in a police state?

    I know! Even the police are armed!

  • Matrix||

    Why were the police even necessary? Most Health Inspectors are not escorted by the police when they do their normal jobs. They just go in, see a place in violation, and either take a bribe or tell them to shut down.

    I don't believe armed police are necessary with the Amish.

  • Ha Ha||

    They butcher pigs, you know.

  • ||

    first they came for the school bake sales and i did nothing...
    then they came for the Happy Meals and i thought oh well...
    then they came for the raw milk from the Amish and i thought shit, what's next frozen eclair bars...

  • ||

    Overtime..gotta keep the cops happy

  • Restoras||

    Huh. I woke up this morning and all of a sudden I live in a police state. How in hell did we allow this to happen?

  • J[o]h[nn]y L[o][n]gt[o]rs[o]||

    I just gave myself a waiver.

  • MNG||

    OK, also +1

  • rather||

    You know J[o]h[nn]y meant he just jerked off. Or, was +1 for his technique?

  • J[o]h[nn]y L[o][n]gt[o]rs[o]||

    +1 was an offer from MNG to join me, I think........shudder.....

  • ||

    I respect your need for self-pleasure.

  • MNG||

    It was clever, in part for tying in another thread

  • Rich||

    Taylor described the new law as giving the agency "farm to table" control over food safety.

    With all due respect, that seems awfully limited. For example, what protects consumers after the food has reached the table?

  • mr simple||

    We need farm to mouth control over the food supply! No, too limited. Farm to colon control!

  • DJF||

    With armed SWAT teams standing by to inspect the process at any point.

  • Brett L||

    Vivisection? I'm agin it.

  • ||

    Anarchist!

  • Matrix||

    We have to make sure the final consumer is storing and handling it properly, plus we have to make sure that they cook it thoroughly and use approved ingredients. And they need to chew 26 times per bite.

    Plus, we need armed SWAT teams to go after people growing vegetables in their backyards. They need FDA approved Big Agra foods only.

  • sloopyinca||

    Before you laugh, remember this: General Electric makes both refrigerators and ranges.

  • Sparky||

    But Michelle said the backyard gardens were a good thing. Bitch is settin' me up.

  • Skr||

    You joke, but I there was a douchebag over at boingboing unironically arguing that home gardens should be licensed and inspected because the food might potentially end up being sold.

  • Skr||

    Note to self: don't comment before morning coffee.

  • ||

    You can always depend on Boing Boing for unironic statist cheerleading. Nice folks, but don't ever put them in charge of anything.

  • ||

    "Plus, we need armed SWAT teams to go after people growing vegetables in their backyards"

    And also people not growing vegetables in their backyards. Commerce clause and all that.

  • WTF||

    [...]enforcement actions that can be accomplished administratively, "without having to go to court."

    Sure, we're not living in a police state at all.

  • Froggy||

    Ribbit, even I went a-courtin'.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    The truly alarming aspect of this is that the guy is bragging about it.

    Shouldn't they be covering this fact up as much as they can?

    It's like someone bragging about how easily they can pick up 12 year olds at the park.

  • Matrix||

    That's the thing, though. The government is getting more bold with its BS. They just throw it right in our faces and laugh at us as we take it without fighting back. Sure, we complain, but how does that stop them?

  • ||

    "and laugh at us as we take it without fighting back. "

    There's a reason people don't fight back. They want the government to be pro-active in prevention. The general public as become big on "we can't let this happen again" when something bad happens.

  • Jim||

    Bingo. Every time there's a food illness outbreak, there are cries of "Why didn't someone stop this! Why isn't the FDA doing it's job!"

    Freedom is scary and entails both careful thought, hard choices, and risk. Frankly people are happier living in a police state, as long as too many dissidents don't disappear at a time.

  • AblueSilkworm||

    "Freedom is scary and entails both careful thought, hard choices, and risk. Frankly people are happier living in a police state, as long as too many dissidents don't disappear at a time."

    Not the first time that has occured to me, but still, that really hurts to read.

  • ||

    The FDA's focus on raw milk and related issues is a massive waste of time and resources. And it exemplifies one of the reasons why people are sick of government.

    Pasteurize the FDA?

  • Matrix||

    Boil 'em, roast 'em, fry 'em in a pan!

  • Sparky||

    Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew.

  • ||

    That's taters, Precious!

  • MNG||

    "The FDA's focus on raw milk and related issues is a massive waste of time and resources. And it exemplifies one of the reasons why people are sick of government."

    Well, but this is part of new laws and regs that the public clamored for in the wake of several highly publicized events where tainted food was sold and made people very sick.

  • ||

    When you say "the public clamored" for this, do you mean the public or do you mean a special interest group? I honestly don't remember hearing all this "clamor" and I follow the news reasonably closely (as disgusting as that can be).

    And why the hell is all of that violence necessary? And the circumvention of due process? Is the public clamoring for that too?

  • MNG||

    I think people were pretty up in arms after some of the tainted food incidents and wanted "something done."

    As for due process and violence, clamoring publics don't have time for such concerns!

  • ||

    I think people were pretty up in arms after some of the tainted food incidents and wanted "something done."

    I've little doubt that Naderites and such were up in arms, but they ALWAYS want more government intervention in EVERYTHING. You said "the public"; I interpret the word as meaning more than lefty advocacy groups or rent-seekers looking for an advantage.

  • MNG||

    I think the actual public was scared shitless by the incidents and wanted "something done", yes.

  • ||

    You think, eh? Well, shit, that proves it.

  • MNG||

    I don't know what to tell you. It was all over the news, people I talked to expressed that sentiment. WTF do you want polling data or something?

  • ||

    Insert Pauline Kael reference here.

  • Faux MNG||

    Everyone I know wanted something done!

  • Chinny Chin Chin||


    summary of 2008 poll

    I'll post the results of the "Should FDA have SWAT?" poll when the googler finds it for me.

  • ||

    A "poll" by a special interest group; yeah, that always clinches it for me.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    Apologies. I now realize Consumer Reports betrayed their part in the vast left-wing conspiracy in 2009.

  • ||

    LOL, did you even look at the website you linked to? They're plainly advocating for government regulation and even have a link for taking action.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    I did, in fact. Especially the part that reads "The Consumer Reports poll shows...."

    Which is why I referenced that organization in my previous post.

  • ||

    Dude, what do you think the Tea Party is ALL ABOUT?! They want untainted milk for their tea. Try to keep up, jeez.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    "Well, but this is part of new laws and regs that the politicians clamored for in the wake of several highly publicized events where tainted food was sold and made people very sick."

    FTFY

  • John Dutton Frost||

    armed response from raided farmer & kin is inevitable. you can't destroy their hard earned wealth and life's work that would have been passed down to their children while bailing out the crony capitalists. and the producers know all about that shit.

  • Matrix||

    Well, it's easy to pick on someone who can't/won't fight back. It's called being a Bully.

  • ||

    That's not milk on Rebecca Ronijn's lip.

  • Restoras||

    Too soon!

  • RR's Friend||

    I know. I just couldn't control myself.

  • Otto||

    Rebecca Ronijn

    She's a lordless samurai?

  • MNG||

    Have health inspectors traditionally had to go to court to confiscate/shut down operations found to be in violation in the past?

    I can see some troubling aspects to this other than the heavy-handedness described in the article. Is there any chance for review of the agencies decision/actions? And by review I mean by someone outside of the agency of course.

  • Eric Holder||

    Is there any chance for review of the agencies decision/actions? And by review I mean by someone outside of the agency of course.

    No.

  • ||

    Have health inspectors traditionally had to go to court to confiscate/shut down operations found to be in violation in the past?

    Yes but

    Before the new law, the FDA could only impound food when it had credible evidence the food was contaminated or posed a public health hazard.

  • MNG||

    What is the standard they can impound on now? I doubt it is just their whim.

  • WTF||

    I doubt it is just their whim.

    However, it may de facto be the case.

  • MNG||

    I imagine they have a category of products and practices that have been found in the past to be credible health threats and that now they can move to impound things in this category before there is reason the product is causing harm.

    Getting things before they harm people is a pretty big goal of regulations, it is what differentiates them from after-the-fact strategies.

    But the potential for abuse seems tremondous.

  • ||

    Same standard, they just don't have to prove it to a judge.

    It is funny MNG, you have a cow over the NSA or FBI being able to tap people's phones without going to a judge. But you think it is okay for the FDA to confiscate people's property and shut down their businesses without going to a judge.

    Why do you trust the FDA to not act on a whim but don't trust the FBI?

  • MNG||

    Did you miss this right above your post?

    But the potential for abuse seems tremondous.

  • MNG||

    And this, above?

    I can see some troubling aspects to this other than the heavy-handedness described in the article. Is there any chance for review of the agencies decision/actions? And by review I mean by someone outside of the agency of course.

  • ||

    It is a little late for review after they have already, kicked down your door, shot your dog, and shut you down. They should have to go before a judge before doing that. If agree with that, then admit Taylor is an asshole for wanting such power.

  • MNG||

    I can see some problems with that.

    1. The goal is quickly addressing potential problems, regulations are supposed to prevent the problem. Yes, after-the-fact addressing of the decision to impound has bad consequences, but so does after-the-fact regulation of selling tainted food.

    2. The judge is not a food expert and is just going to defer to the agencies report anyway.

  • ||

    LOL MNG. You are making it too easy this morning.

    I can see a problem with that.

    1. The goal is to quickly address the potential terrorist threat. The FBI is supposed to prevent terror attacks not react to them after they have occurred. Yes, after the fact addressing of FBI wiretaps and detentions has bad consequences. But so does after the fact judicial action involving terrorist attacks.

    2. The judge is not a terror expert and may not understand the full nature of the threat stream.

    But this logic is bad here but okay if it is the FDA. Whatever.

  • MNG||

    Judges know a bit more about probable cause than they do e coli.

  • ||

    So if it is in any way a technical subject, that whole "no search without a warrant" thing goes out the window? Got it. And we actually have fewer rights in relation to food than we do in relation to preventing people from blowing up buildings? Got it.

  • MNG||

    We're talking about a criminal investigation vs. a civil regulatory action. The only question in the later would be is there evidence of a health risk, and they are just going to defer to the FDA on that.

  • MNG||

    And Oh look, the FDA went to court!

    http://m.reason.com/26821/show.....65e07ae414

  • ||

    "We're talking about a criminal investigation vs. a civil regulatory action."

    And we are talking about listening to a phone call versus kicking someone's door down, taking away their livelihood and taking all of their stuff. The latter should have even more protection.

    Do you really think calling something a civil action should just allow the feds to do whatever they want with judicial oversight? That doesn't make any sense on about ten levels.

  • ||

    ""Judges know a bit more about probable cause than they do e coli.""

    In either case, the judge "appeals to authority" over the specifics presented. The judge assumes the person's statements on the warrant application knows what they are talking about regardless if the threat is terrorism or e coli.

  • ||

    Why do you trust the FDA to not act on a whim but don't trust the FBI?

    If the FBI would tap the Amish farmers' phones MNG would be cool with that. But those blasted Amish don't have phones! So it's their fault!

    And no agent wants to have to be the one to go undercover as an Amish farmer.

  • MNG||

    It's a bit funny to see you guys trying so hard to generate TEH OUTRAGE when I said on two occasions above I'm also troubled about the same concerns.

  • ||

    I can't speak for anybody else, but I'm not trying to generate anything. I'm just mocking you.

  • T||

    A worthy endeavor. Keep it up!

  • MNG||

    You might want to, I dunno, actually read my posts before you do so, especially the ones in the same subthreat.

  • sarcasmic||

    Guilty until proven innocent.

  • MNG||

    I hope the FDA is at least more careful than John and EES who accused me of insufficient outrage in a subthread where right above them I expressed similar concerns twice. Guess the FDA ain't the only one's that need frequent review.

  • sarcasmic||

    Mmmmmmmmmmm

    bean sprouts

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mung_bean

  • MNG||

    The headline at the WaPo this morning had the expression "Tainted Bean Sprouts" which I thought was pretty funny.

  • WTF||

    The headline at the WaPo this morning had the expression "Tainted Bean Sprouts" .

    Was it another Weiner article?

  • ||

    I hope the FDA is at least more careful

    Hope is not a plan, and certainly not a safeguard against government abuse.

  • Restoras||

    Accountability? Are you mad? This is government bureacracy we're talking about here, pal, there is no such thing as acountability!

  • Pope Jimbo||

    I'm sure the FDA SWAT team is very upset that they weren't called in.

    How are they supposed to get a drink after work, having to look at the notches on the pistols of the Dept. of Ed. SWAT team?

  • WTF||

    Have health inspectors traditionally had to go to court to confiscate/shut down operations found to be in violation in the past?

    They should have - due process and all that inconvenient crap.

  • rather||

    For the ladies?
    Why is he dressed?

  • Brett L||

    Too much body hair.

  • rather||

    If needed, I'd shave his ass but a man can't have too much hair

  • Fredo Mangu-Ward ||

    Dan Allgyer's Rainbow Acres farm in Pennsylvania was the object of an armed raid by FDA agents

    They were training for the cicada farms. True story.

  • ||

    "Taylor described the new law as giving the agency "farm to table" control over food safety."

    So when there is another outbreak can we hold Taylor personally liable since he has "farm to table control over food safety"? That is the problem these assholes get authority but no responsibility. If he wants that kind of authority, he should be criminally liable and doing a perp walk the next time there is an e-coli outbreak.

    But instead the opposite is true. He gets to have all that authority and have no responsibility. Yet, everyone acts surprised when some douchebag like Taylor gets up on TV and says "mistakes were made, we just need more of your money and power over your life".

  • MNG||

    "If he wants that kind of authority, he should be criminally liable and doing a perp walk the next time there is an e-coli outbreak."

    By that logic the police should be charged with murder whenever they fail to stop a murder.

  • ||

    That would certainly be true in any jurisdiction where the police actively interfere with individuals' efforts to defend themselves. If they're going to insist on being the only ones with guns and declare that "the professionals should handle it", then yes they should take the hit when they fail.

  • DJF||

    Shouldn’t they at least be sued for false advertising, they do drive around in vehicles with “Serve and Protect” written on them.

  • ||

    Our sheriff's department replaced "Serve and Protect" with "Professionalism".

  • MNG||

    The New Professionalism?

  • T||

    Much better than the old kind.

  • ||

    No, just the standard-issue.

  • ||

    Pfffft. Go to Kern County, CA. They are the most honest Dept in the country when it comes to decals on their cars.

  • ||

    If the police regulated an industry the way the FDA does the food industry and had the powers the FDA does, perhaps they should be.

    The problem is that no one is ever held responsible. This scheme isn't going to work and there will inevitably be another outbreak. Yet, this asshole gets to claim "we have farm to table control". If a company had "farm to table control", and their food was contaminated, they would get sued. If the government wants that kind of control, they should assume that kind of responsibility. As it is, they just don't give a shit. In fact they have an active incentive to do a bad job regulating since a new outbreak will just allow them to argue for more money and more power, which is what it is all about for them anyway.

  • MNG||

    "The problem is that no one is ever held responsible."

    That should be the person producing the tainted food.

  • ||

    No, it should be the person who is regulating too. Why do we pay these people if we are not going to hold them responsible for failing at their jobs? It is not like the corporate headquarters actually works on the farm. But since they own and thus control the farm they are held responsible. If the Feds really do have "farm to table control", they should assume the same responsibility.

  • MNG||

    I think you are reading way too much into that line.

    If you want to say he should catch hell for not catching outbreaks, ok, but responsibility for the outbreak itself goes to the producer it is linked to.

  • ||

    It is called joint and several liability MNG

  • MNG||

    Er, that's nuts.

  • ||

    Joint and several liability has been a principle of the common law for hundreds of years. If two people contribute to a harm, we don't try to sort out who is responsible for what percentage of the harm. Instead, we declare each fully accountable for the entire harm.

    Since both the regulator and the farm is responsible for the outbreak (the farm for not following the rules and the regulator for not ensuring the farm followed the rules), both the government and the farm should be joint and severally liable.

    I am not kidding. If it were up to me, Taylor would be doing a perp walk the next time there was an e-coli outbreak. But, my guess is that if faced with actually being held responsible for something, he would decide "farm to table control" wasn't such a good idea.

  • MNG||

    "If two people contribute to a harm, we don't try to sort out who is responsible for what percentage of the harm."

    That's why it is nuts. The regulator has not "contributed to the harm." They failed to catch it, that's quite different.

    It would be one thing if they reviewed a situation and known or should have known there was a problem and did nothing, but that's not what you are talking about.

  • MNG||

    By your wacky logic a police chief who fails to stop a murderer is an accomplice to murder.

  • toddb||

    Maybe if he is chief in a city that has strict gun laws preventing me from defending myself, he should be considered an accomplice when his police aren't there to protect me since the city took on full responsibility.

  • ||

    There is nothing crazy about joint and several liability. If a farm produces tainted meat and a grocery store doesn't properly inspect the meat and the meat ends up harming someone, they are both equally responsible for the harm. Here is no different. You just want to give special status to the government it doesn't deserve.

  • MNG||

    If the FDA inspected the very item that caused the harm and passed on it then you might have a point.

  • ||

    Joint and several liability has been a principle of the common law for hundreds of years. If two people contribute to a harm, we don't try to sort out who is responsible for what percentage of the harm. Instead, we declare each fully accountable for the entire harm.

    Since both the regulator and the farm is responsible for the outbreak (the farm for not following the rules and the regulator for not ensuring the farm followed the rules), both the government and the farm should be joint and severally liable.

    I am not kidding. If it were up to me, Taylor would be doing a perp walk the next time there was an e-coli outbreak. But, my guess is that if faced with actually being held responsible for something, he would decide "farm to table control" wasn't such a good idea.

  • MNG||

    I love that you double-posted about joint liability. Very meta.

  • Restoras||

    A+

  • ||

    ""If the Feds really do have "farm to table control", they should assume the same responsibility.""

    Uh, if you are going to hold them responsible, then you can't blame them for being pro-active in prevention.

  • ||

    True. Vic and the reverse is true. If they are going to be proactive, then they should be held responsible. You shouldn't have one without the other. That was my point.

  • ||

    Be careful what you support. If you just making a point, that's one thing. But if you really believe that we should start going after a government agency because they are failing, then that will give them the mind set that they need to crack down harder. I'm pretty sure you're not for a government agency hell bent on not making it's self look bad. They will feel empowered to do everything to prevent it. That brings zero tolerance. I'm pretty sure you're not a fan of that.

  • ||

    I guess I should say that if we have a food safety czar, I would prefer one that doesn't want to crackdown in Godwin like ways.

  • ||

    If the more power he had, the more personal responsibility he assumed, power would become less attractive. Right now there is no downside to getting power. Make power come with responsibility and they will not want as much power.

  • ||

    ""Make power come with responsibility and they will not want as much power.""

    Maybe. Do you have any examples? I think people that want power have little problem with responsibility as long as they get all the tools necessary to do the job. Those tools include strong arm enforcement when necessary.

  • ||

    To put it another way. The food czar's raids on raw milk is necessary for the food czar to uphold his responsibility that no one will get sick from drinking raw milk. The end game that you are defending is more use of these raids, and if someone gets sick from drinking raw milk, the food czar is fired and a new one appointed. Don't you think the new guy will be more forceful than the last to ensure he keeps his job?

  • mr simple||

    Someone said yesterday, it might have been you, that these officials will say they take full responsibility, only to say lets move on and not pay any more attention to this. They don't actually take any of the punishment that comes with responsibility. That word has no meaning anymore. It's like when they were growin up as long as they apologized, they could get away with burning down the house with no punishment.

  • mr simple||

    This would hold only if the police had some comparable control over murderers or weapons or something akin to farm to table control.

  • ||

    so, just start Public School at age 3, switch to 24hour school days, problem solved.

  • ||

    I have a teenage daughter, so I would actually agree with this proposal.

  • Rich||

    Right on, John!

    "I take responsibility."
    "Very well, then, fall on your sword!"

  • ||

    Let's see. The feds will raid your home over student loans, and raw milk. Anyone want to guess what will happen if you refuse to buy health insurance?

  • MNG||

    You'll be forced to drink raw milk and get a student loan?

  • ||

    Under ObamaCare, the feds can punish me for not purchasing health insurance.

  • ||

    And yes, if the mandate stands, I could be forced to purchase raw milk and get a student loan.

  • The Horror||

    Anyone want to guess what will happen if you refuse to purchase raw milk?

  • MNG||

    You'll have to buy health insurance?

  • ||

    you'll be forced to watch those who didn't qualify for student loans pass raw milk through their noses?

  • Restoras||

    Euthanasia.

  • ||

    Angry letter.

  • ||

    "The agency's actions are likely to put him out of business."

    It's plainly obvious the proper mission of a "Food and Drug Administration" is to keep food and drugs off the market.

  • sarcasmic||

    That is how government stimulates the economy and creates jobs - by banning things.

    You see, when the FDA or any other government agency does not allow a product to be produced and sold, despite there being willing consumers, we are made for free.
    We are free from that product, and free from all other things banned by government.

    True freedom comes when everything is banned and we have access to nothing.

  • sarcasmic||

    *more* not for

  • ||

    Why do the police have their guns drawn and aimed during that raid at all? I mean, OK, I know the real reason is that sticking a pistol in somebody's face turns their crank but I'm sure there's some horseshit official excuse, right?

  • ||

    They are "establishing control over the situation and ensuring the safety of the officers........"

  • ||

    Watching this country crucify itself on a cross of officer safety and evidence destruction, I am thoroughly convinced that it will get so, so much worse before it gets better.

  • MNG||

    "evidence destruction"

    That brought a funny image to mind: An Amish guy hastily chugging raw milk as the FDA pounds on the door yelling "Open up, FDA!"

  • mr simple||

    "Quick, churn this into butter!"

  • Otto||

    ...pouring large cisterns of milk down an outhouse seat...

  • MNG||

    +1

  • Tim||

    You English with your guns of the hand...

  • sarcasmic||

    It will not get any better.
    Not gonna happen.
    The natural evolution of government is to complete tyranny, and we're not too far away.
    When the solution to (presumably) unintended consequences of bad legislation is more legislation, the logical conclusion is government interference in every aspect of life.
    Before long we will be living in a completely totalitarian state (some say it's already here) and there won't be a damn thing that anyone can do about it.
    That is because the solution to bad laws is not to repeal them, but to create more of them.

    Ain't life grand?

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    STOP RESISTING!

  • Milquetoast||

    Tying this back to a story from some months ago... what would happen if Stagliano used raw milk in some of his milk fetish pr0n? Armed raid on pr0n studio?

  • Brett L||

    Um, Unless those girls had x-rays recently, I'm pretty sure it was neither pastuerized or irradiated.

  • ||

    Speaking of the Amish, the jailer the next county over, was pictured in the paper today "holding a sample of new dark gray jumpsuits purchased for Amish prisoners to wear."
    Yes, the local jail is preparing for an influx of Amish prisoners.

  • ||

    Are you sure you weren't reading The Onion by mistake? Otherwise, that's pretty ominous.

  • ||

    Nope, the local DA is cracking down on those dastardly Amish who don't put orange safety triangles on the back of their wagons. The Amish have offered to use white reflective triangles, but "IT MUST BE ORANGE!!!!"

  • ||

    And when has their ever been an outbreak from Amish raw milk producers? This is just picking on a small, unfavored group. This is just sinister. Taylor should be no where near power.

  • MNG||

    "And when has their ever been an outbreak from Amish raw milk producers?"

    The point of the new regs was to get at these things before they happened.

  • Matrix||

    Pre-crime! Yes! Minority Report, here we come!

  • ||

    But if there hasn't been an outbreak what reason is there to think there will be one? If I locked you up in the federal supermax, I would probably prevent you from causing any trouble MNG. Do you think that is a good idea?

  • MNG||

    As I said they probably have some standard that finds some situations to be high risk, likely from study of the issue or past incidents. It's not insane to see how raw milk would fall into that btw.

  • Matrix||

    I'm sure more people die from smoking Tobacco each year than the total amount of people who have died drinking raw milk.

  • MNG||

    I imagine the FDA would love to be able to impound tobacco...

  • ||

    For what it's worth (and I realize that's not much), I could die if I drank pasteurized milk. Raw milk is the only milk that's safe for me, and the government prevents me from having this safe alternative.

  • Commerce Clause||

    It's not about safety. It's about control. KNOW YOUR ROLL!!!

  • Commerce Clause||

    ROLE*

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Know your buttermilk biscuit!!!

  • ||

    Because the best regulations are obviously the ones which have the least basis in actual real-world experience.

  • ||

    If the Feds really do have "farm to table control", they should assume the same responsibility.

    That's crazy talk; expecting them be accountable for their actions would unfairly inhibit their ability to do whatever the fuck they want.

  • MNG||

    Except their actions would be failing to catch something they were working to prevent. I don't think anyone thinks watchdogs can catch everything.

  • ||

    IF the watchdogs can't be expected to catch everything, how are the farms supposed to be expected to catch everything? If some ag company had a bunch of inspectors and one of those inspectors missed something and that caused an outbreak, you wouldn't be on here saying "you can't expect them to catch everything". You would be on here wanting their heads. But you give regulators a pass. Bullshit.

  • MNG||

    The producer is there with the product the entire time, that is why they hold them responsible, and even then afaik we still require the producer to be negligent in some way in the production to hold them civilly or criminally liable. The regulator (now) simply has the power to come by and check more, they are not there the entire time.

    If the agency knew or should have known of a problem and passed off on it anyway then perhaps you are approaching something actionable.

  • ||

    But the feds have unlimited regulatory power, the ability to inspect anything anywhere and the ability to terrorize anyone they don't like. That ought to create some responsibility for the harm they fail to prevent.

  • MNG||

    But unless they actually inspected it and passed on it it's nuts to say they were responsible, it's like saying the cop is an accesory to any crime he failed to stop.

  • ||

    ""it's like saying the cop is an accesory to any crime he failed to stop.""

    I'll agree with that. Besides, you don't want a guy with authority and a gun looking at every event as if he will be punished if something happens. That produces a need to control which is a driving force in the militarization of police departments.

  • INFORG||

    but the cop IS responsible for every crime I commit IF I am in his custody the entire time while committing said crimes.

  • ||

    So if something bad doesn't happen, then they win because their foresight and indiscriminate use of armed force clearly prevented it. On the other hand, if something bad does happen, then they win because, hey, it's ridiculous to expect them to be responsible for preventing bad things.

    I like this job!

  • mr simple||

    While I know the encroaching police state got worse under Bush II through the regular channels (police, FBI, etc), it seems like the smaller regulatory agencies have gotten a lot more brazen recently. I guess it's just the iron law at work:
    Me today, you tomorrow

  • sarcasmic||

    Building a police state with legislation is a pain in the ass because legislators can be held accountable for what they write and how they vote.

    It's much better to use regulatory agencies and their power to create regulation with the power of law, because nobody can be held accountable.
    Come election time the guy can honestly say "I didn't write it, nor did I vote for it".

  • Rich||

    Gotta go.

    ML had *better* cover China ratings house says US defaulting.

  • toddb||

    Awesome how the Chinese quote: "Washington had already defaulted on its loans by allowing the dollar to weaken against other currencies -- eroding the wealth of creditors including China" is followed by a couple of paragraphs about the need for Congress to increase the debt ceiling...

  • ||

    The point of the new regs was to get at these things before they happened.

    ----

    Except their actions would be failing to catch something they were working to prevent. I don't think anyone thinks watchdogs can catch everything.

    Keep spinning, Fido, you'll catch your tail one of these days.

  • MNG||

    Er, yes, the goal is to catch things before they harm people, and yes they still are not going to catch everything. Yeah, that's some mighty spin.

  • Tim||

    What if "Old Yeller" had ended with a USDA raid?

  • ||

    the goal is to catch things before they harm people

    Is non-pasteurized milk harmful in every instance? No. Not even close.

    But we're talking about government bureaucrats, and their intentions are good. And if they don't constantly terrorize the public with hobgoblins, people might ask if what they do is really necessary or useful.

  • Stemmy||

    Its harmful in a high number compared to other foods.

  • Ben Kennedy||

    Then they came for the Amish farmers...

  • db||

    I was in Columbus, Ohio on business yesterday, and we took some folks out to lunch at a local cafeteria style barbecue restaurant. On the wall was a photo that gave me pause, and the more I looked at it, the more I despaired.
    You may be famiiar with the kind of high school football promotional poster in which the team is placed in some thematic arrangement (such as all being dressed in formal wear in sort of a James Bond theme with some sort of textual comment on the team's general suavity, or dressed as construction workers with a comment like "soandso HS Football 2011: Building on Excellence" or some such puffery.

    The photo I saw was as such: the entire team dressed in black BDU style pants, arrayed among the local SWAT team's equipment and vehicles. At least onee team member wielded a battering ram, and other things like riot shields were displayed in a threatening manner by various players. I did not notice any holding weapons, but i didnt have very long to scrutinize the photo.

    What struck me most about the picture was the motto:
    "Suchandsuch High School Football 2010: No Shame. No Mercy."

    Just where are we going as a society when we promote both high school sports teams an police forces with such concepts?

    If anyone has seen this photo and knows where to find it online, please post a link here--I can't find it on a cursory Google search, and didn't think to photograph it when I saw it.

  • Johnny Cosmos||

    I live in Columbus, mostly. I try to stay in my basement and not venture out there too much. Do you know what high school it is? If not, maybe the name and/or location of the restaurant might be some help.

  • ||

    No Shame. No Mercy.

    What the fucking fuck?

  • ||

    That's scary. I'm not sure I'd want that slogan for SEAL Team Six, much less for a sports teams or a police unit.

  • Kristen||

    That pic of RDJ shows how much The Jacket knows about what the ladies like.

  • ChrisO||

    If you need to get that picture of Rebecca Romijn out of your head and get back to work, simply repeat the mantra "John Stamos was there first" over and over.

  • toddb||

    As usual, the government displays horrible lack of efficiency with all these SWAT teams spread out across agencies. What they need is to have one big consolidated Dept. of Public Information and Safety (if it doesn't already exist). Then you have these guys select citizens at random and conduct pre-dawn, armed SWAT raids...full treatment - shoot pets, punch grandma, handcuff dad in his underwear face-down on the front lawn, bust up the house.

    When it's over, the agent hands the citizen a stack of information pamphlets and directs him to canvass the neighborhood educating the neighbors about the importance of obeying the authoritay.

    This would be a much more efficient method of getting the message out to the prols regarding the expected response to any transgressions.

  • FDA Agent Dan Dority||

    Do not put unauthorized cinnamon on the Goddamn meetin’ table. That’s all the fuck we need.

    I had best not come out of this Goddamn kitchen and find Goddamn cinnamon on the fucking meeting table!

  • Johnny Cosmos||

    That's a very old Rebecca Romijn ( ex- STAMOOOOOOOOOOOS) pic, isn't it? Some of you guys need to get out ( or stay in, jacking it to mags and the net) more.

  • ||

    Isn't Bar Rafeli the prefered method of taking your talent to South Beach or graning yourself a waiver these days?

  • Michael||

    Anybody happen across this yet?

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINIO.....?hpt=he_c2

    Slavish appeal to authority, disingenuous equivocation, author with tantalizingly punchable face.....this article has it all. Enjoy.

  • ||

    Worth noting that in most of the rest of the world, raw milk is legal and widely consumed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_milk#Legal_status

    In Europe





    French Roquefort, a famous blue cheese, which is required by European law to be made from raw sheep's milk.
    According to the regulations in the European Union all raw milk products are legal and considered safe for human consumption, and can be sold without any price, variety or quantity restrictions. However, the European countries are free to add certain requirements, usually special sanitary regulations and frequent quality tests (at least once per month) are mandatory.[8]

    [edit] France

    Raw milk and especially raw milk cheeses are considered the standard for high quality dairy products. Many French cuisine traditionalists consider pasteurized cheeses almost a sacrilege. Many traditional French cheeses have solely been made from raw milk for hundreds of years.[9]

    [edit] Germany

    In Germany, raw milk is commonly called Vorzugsmilch.[10] It is sold widely in all health food stores, large supermarkets, gourmet delis and delicatessen sections of department stores, and in most of the German predecessors of health food stores called Reformhaus. Raw milk is legally sold in the entire country, and the same goes for raw milk cheeses, which are especially sought out and promoted by the health food and slow food movements.[11]
  • Stemmy||

    Also worth noting that more people in France get sick from raw milk.

  • Stemmy||

    Never has there been such a collection of idiots as those who post on the Internet in favor of raw milk.

  • ||

    She must be the replacement they hired after it was discovered that California's Happy Cows were only happy because they'd wandered into somebody's weed patch.

  • scarpe Nike Store||

    is good

  • ||

    Several dairy cows were arrested yesterday for producing an illicit substance from their mammary glands. The Feds cracked down on Bessie in the same manner that they tackled the meth lab down the street on Friday.

  • ||

    just doing his job - didnt the f'ing nazis have the same lame ass excuse

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