Government Forces Natural Skim Milk Sellers to Label Their Milk "Imitation"

It isn't real unless you add to it what government demands you add, says Florida Ag Department


Things are seldom what they seem, skim milk masquerades as….skim milk? Government must act!

Government: we can't live without it, it is operating at peak efficiency without a penny to cut, and it's just the name we give for forcing tradesman to lie about their product.

A story out of Florida, reported by Chicago Tribune, involving those legal paladins of market freedom, the Institute for Justice and a case that has reached a judge after being filed last year, as reported here by Elizabeth Nolan Brown:

The Ocheesee Creamery in the Florida Panhandle produces all-natural skim milk from grass-fed cows with absolutely nothing added, yet the state says they have to call it "imitation."

And while they argue about it, the dairy is dumping hundreds of gallons of skim milk down the drain each week.

Creamery owners Paul and Mary Lou Wesselhoeft were in federal court Wednesday as part of their nearly three-year-old battle with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, which argues that skim milk isn't skim milk unless vitamins are added to it.

But that goes against the all-natural philosophy at the creamery….

"Our customers want an all-natural product. If we call it imitation, they will not buy our product," Mary Lou Wesselhoeft said after the court hearing. "To me it's degrading and a slap in the face because it's pure, unadulterated skim milk."….

The Institute for Justice is suing the state on behalf of the couple.

From the report, the judge in the case seems, rightfully, skeptical of the government's officious and idiotic claims, and its demand, currently being enforced, that creamery just waste the milk rather than sell it without the "imitation" lie on the label.

When I was on the campaign trail with Ron Paul researching my 2012 book Ron Paul's Revolution, it often bemused outside observers how het up Paulites could get out of the right to drink and sell raw milk. These sorts of bringing to bear government force on the choices we can make in selling and consuming food seem minor or laughable to certain elites.

They aren't. They go to the heart of what it means to be free…or what it means to suffer from a state out of control in its reach, its grasp, and its cost.

Seriously, what kind of human in what kind of system could get up in the morning and go to work and enforce a law like this, harming someone's innocent and harmless livelihood, wasting a useful food, in order to make someone say something that's not true? And then take it to court and spend our money defending this outragous use of government time, money, and force?

The topic involved—it's just milk!—makes it seem less evil than it is. But it is evil.

Damon Root on the dairy lobby's bad influence on American law.

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  1. Seriously, fucking seriously, how the hell is even a bureaucrat that fucking imbecilic.

    1. It’s simple. The labelling requirements say that to be labelled as Product X, the contents must contain X, Y and Z in the proscribed proportions. Any deviation from that rule must be labelled Product X. The rules are written so as to preclude thought.

      1. Which pains me, as said rules were made in distant past to prevent bureaucrats from applying regulation based on clan ties/political allegience/baksheesh, as is the norm in shithole countries. Unless you are an anarchist, it’s a sort of thing that drives you to despair

        1. One of the many perks of anarchism is never despairing because you are never wrong about how awful government can get.

          1. Speak for yourself….

      2. No brain means there’s nothing to feel pain when sent feet first through a woodchipper.

    2. If this was in a movie script, it would be rejected as too unbelievable and ridiculous unless the film was a broad comedy.

      1. Do you see any of us laughing?

  2. Shouldn’t they label it “white water” and sell it somewhere other than the dairy case?

    Skim milk is useless.

  3. “Unfortified milk”

    Whew. That was exhausting. I need to lie down for a bit.

    1. Yes, they could have petitioned for alternate labeling – their personal food philosophy is irrelevant (Kraft would certainly love to label their processed cheese as cheese and simply indicate phosphate on the ingredient panel).

      1. Cheese food substitute!

    2. Wouldn’t “defortified milk” be more accurate?


  4. OT – In reading about a senate race, I got to thinking about what the state lines would look like if the Senate were allowed to gerrymander the lines. My search skills were not up to the task of finding work anyone else had done to that end. I found an ‘equal population’ map, but it merely divvied them up into starting blocks from which deviation would surely follow.

    Does anyone know if a map or set of maps for a gerrymandered equal population state set exists?

    1. If we are off-topic, I finished Lucid Blue and it was great. But now I’m pissed that instead of one set of characters I want more of, there are three. What the hell, man?

      Also, rereading Shadowboy reminded me I never publicly shamed you in front of the commentariat.

      “My Star, it’s full of gods.”

      How did the thunder not smite you when you put that phrase down?!

      1. How did the thunder not smite you when you put that phrase down?!

        *mild spoiler* Because at that moment, the character’s mind had just been damaged by being dragged through a hellscape populated by eldritch abominations. */spoiler*

        Which three character sets?

        1. Our still Not Officially Named hero team from previous books, the Junior Redemptioners, and Omnirunner + ladies. They are all awesome in different ways, and Errol is just a great character.
          Speaking of, please tell me Haephaestus has a monocle collection stashed somewhere.

          1. Speaking of, please tell me Haephaestus has a monocle collection stashed somewhere.

            Well, he is the sole trustee of a trust that owns a major oil company. Though if he does have a collection, it’s just for show, as his vision is excellent (see the part where he’s able to keep track of the scores of all the archers at the qualifer in Heartstrings unaided).

            1. Of course monocles are decorative! Though a gadgeteer should have several with different purposes, as needed.
              He makes an awesome villain, better than even Dr Omicron. I love it when antagonist actualy has good points on the hero, like Nikki Geeler.

              1. Fun Fact – Nikki Greeler started out modeled after the reason commentariat, but I had to tone down her dialogue because it was “unrealistic” Her stepmother was the Jexxie stance, but had to be toned down for the same reason.

                1. *jezzie. sorry ’bout the typoes, this is why I get an editor to proof my work.

                  1. God I adored Birdstrike’s SJW mother, and how Haephaestus dealt with her!

                    1. I’m glad someone put together the pieces without me have to be too overt about who she was. I was worried people wouldn’t realize that was Lazar’s mother.

                    2. Actually, the more I think on it, I wasn’t that subtle about it.

                      I had originally drafted a fragment of a story called ‘Visiting Day’ set before ‘Lucid Blue’ wherein Lazar has a chat with Lindenbaum and really rants about her. It detracted from the story I was trying to tell, so it was referenced tangentially instead.

        2. This thread made me look you up on Goodreads. SIgh. Yet another pull on my book money…

    2. Here is one. I’ve seen others around.

      1. Why bother? Make all representatives “at large” with voting strength equal to the number of proxies granted them by others. And make proxie transfer instantaneous (possible with computers these days) so that if someone fucks up he’ll instantly discover he represents no one but himself.

  5. It would seem to be common sense that “imitation milk” is milk made from non-dairy products. They could have at least have come up with an alternative label that would have been acceptable, I think.

    And for that matter, the dairy could have used the “imitation milk” label to their advantage by adding additional material explaining the government’s reasoning for requiring the label. Turn a weakness into a strength, and shame the Florida Ag Department for their lunacy.

    1. Or, you know, just let them sell the shit without any label except “skim milk”.

      And WTF is going to read a treatise on government policy on the side of a milk carton?

      1. I’d read it. I tend to read food packaging and it’s usually very disappointing.

  6. HotAir had an article about this, with bonus bureaucratic buffoonery:

    The story of the Wesselhoefts reminded me of the closing of Il Mondo Vecchio in Colorado in 2012? an “Old-World-style salumeria” similarly dedicated to natural processes. The FDA was having none of that, requiring that these sausage-makers, adored by Denver foodies, add nitrates, nitrites and preservatives to their meats.

    Il Mondo Vecchio owner Mark DeNittis explained in 2012 before shutting his doors:

    “In August, the USDA imposed additional requirements on Il Mondo Vecchio’s production methods. After two months of sharing information and collaboration back and forth between Il Mondo Vecchio and the USDA as well as various attempts to modify the production methods,” the owners announced, “Il Mondo Vecchio has determined that the impact of the regulatory requirements on dry cured sausage products was detrimental to the quality of the product and therefore, Mark and Gennaro are forced to close the[ir] doors.”

    1. DeNittis’ sausage never made anyone sick, and the USDA didn’t even take issue with its safety? only the process by which it was produced, under regulations set up for the kinds of large-scale operations for which many Americans enjoy having alternatives. Alternatives like Il Mondo Vecchio and Ocheesee Creamery, which fight an uphill battle to exist in the first place, as all small businesses do, and then run the risk of being quickly and capriciously crushed by a change of mood or interpretation by the state. And, we all lose.

  7. They should call it “malk”.


  9. You know who else strictly enforced labeling requirements?

    1. A good Datacenter Network Manager?

    2. The Anal Retentive Chef?

  10. Sell Miak. Where’s Ernest when you need him?

  11. It’s not about making sure consumers are well informed. It sure as hell isn’t about giving people an opportunity to be successful and happy. It’s about following the rules. Why do the rules exist? Irrelevant. They must be followed, because they are the rules, and that is what you do — you follow rules.

    Chances that the rules were written by industry lobbyists with the express intent of preventing upstarts from encroaching on entrenched market interests? 99%. But that does not matter. What matters is the rules. You can’t have rulers without rules.

    1. The tl;dr expression you’re hunting for is “regulatory capture”.

  12. I can’t get too worked up about labeling requirements that require things to be accurately and consistently labeled. This, however seems to be a requirement to inaccurately label something. Is it really too fucking hard to look at the label to see if it has vitamin A in it?

  13. So the government says that raw milk isn’t milk, it’s de facto a controlled substance. And these people’s skim milk isn’t milk because they didn’t put any additives in their product. So milk isn’t milk until after it’s out of the cow and has been processed according to government approved methods. Just like a piece of timber isn’t really wood until you cut it into certain government approved dimensions and treat it with polyurethane.

    I’m not sure how bureaucratic stupidity made it onto the books. But something tells me it has to do with the Commerce Clause and the eternal specter of Franklin Roosevelt.

    1. You might have to go back to TR for that one.

      1. You mean Teddy Roosevelt or Total Recall?

  14. Does their process remove vitamins from the skim milk that are left behind in other processes? If so, then it seems reasonable to distinguish this from our current standard skim milk.

    1. Doesn’t current, standard skim milk say “vitamins A&D” on the label?

      And yes, skimming the cream off takes away a lot of nutrients.

    2. I can’t believe I anyone thinks any part of this story sounds “reasonable”.

      We’re doomed.

      1. Tulpa thinks it is reasonable.

        1. Tupla is a badge-heavy fuck that is eventually going to end up like Jared.

      2. Depends on how they skim the milk. If they are using a nonstandard process then it isn’t what we now call “skim milk”. It might be “stripped milk” or “cheese byproduct”.

        If truly the only difference is that they haven’t added in vitamin A and D then … Fck it.

  15. Why are they throwing it away? Skim milk is useful for fattening pigs.

  16. “There’s no such thing as soy milk. It’s soy juice. But they couldn’t sell soy juice, so they called it soy milk. Because anytime you say soy juice, you actually… start to gag. And they put Soy Milk in with my Moo-Cow fuck milk, and it doesn’t belong there, because we all know there’s no such thing as Soy milk ’cause there’s no soy titty, is there?”

  17. Udder madness.

  18. I really would like to comment about this story, but I just can’t. fucking. believe…

  19. The “skim” is what the government is doing.

    Imitation freedom.

  20. Change “weasel” to “Florida Ag Employee”

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