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Monday, July 26, 2010

Milk and Tea: Raw Dairy Producers Test Tea Party Principles

Mr. Kelley brings to my attention two alarming articles from Grist. Apparently there is a widespread, federally coordinated effort to raid dairies producing and selling raw milk.

Now you can take sides in the debate over whether raw milk you want raw milk on your kids' Wheaties. Just as important as the health debate is the economic debate, summarized neatly in Grist:

Clearly, we are moving closer to judicial consideration of how far consumer rights extend when it comes to consumers opting out of the factory food system and arranging for private access to the nutritionally-dense foods of their choice [David Gumpert, "Want Raw Milk? Lease a Farm—and Hire a Lawyer," Grist, 2010.07.22].

Monsanto and the other giants of the ag-industrial complex have already driven most independent family farms into bankruptcy or subservience to the corporate will.

But what still gets me is that the professed conservatives and teabaggers among us who rage against the nanny state and government intrusion in our lives don't seem to even notice the real government oppression of independent dairy operators. They were silent about South Dakota's effort to ban raw milk (an effort that failed, although producers had to settle for a compromise with our state Ag Department). Ranch blogger Troy Hadrick even turned on his fellow producers, taking the Big Ag line and supporting restrictions on raw milk even while whining about tighter federal requirements to test for E. coli in slaughterhouses.

Tea Party, the raw milk issue is tailor-made for your movement. You have local, state, and federal officials conducting searches and seizing property and vital computer data from independent farmers. You have bureaucrats taking away the freedom of producers and consumers to engage in commerce. You even have government collusion, with the feds helping smaller agencies do their meddling. This issue is crying out for grassroots activists who want to advocate for pioneer-style self-sufficiency and market freedom. (And I'll bet the Founding Fathers drank raw milk while writing the Constitution.)

Let's add some milk to that tea: conservatives, check out the South Dakota Alliance for Raw Milk, and prove your conservative cred by standing up for independent producers and consumers who don't want to get gobbled up by the big corporate ag machine.


  1. I agree with you 100%, Diary farms have the right to sell Raw milk. I have seen this issue brought up many times on some of the "tea party" e-mail letters I subscribe too. Just because the Tea Party folks don't carry "Raw Milk Freedom" signs don't assume that they are unaware of this issue.

  2. Well then let's see some more open advocacy. This is a practical issue where the conservative movement can work with folks on both sides of the usual political aisle and make a real difference in the lives of their neighbors.


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