from Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures
December 16, 2007
CALIFORNIA RAW MILK WILL LIVE!
California's raw milk supply will NOT be interrupted in
January, 2008 or beyond!
It will be a happy, healthy New Year indeed! California consumers have spoken loudly against AB 1735's biased, scientifically unsupported restrictions on raw milk. Your passionate voices have been heard.
In the last three weeks, the CA raw milk battle front has been abuzz with tremendous grass roots effort, back stage political activity, and high level meetings. As a result, the course of California raw milk history has been changed.
Here is a brief update of the progress:
Three things protect your raw milk in California:
1.. The Secretary of Agriculture has offered political support. A.G. Kawamura has dedicated himself to safe raw milk for California, declaring that "AB 1735 standards will not act as a de-facto ban on raw milk." Secretary Kawamura made this statement adamantly and repeatedly at a December 20th meeting with Claravale and Organic Pastures dairy representatives. He pledged to review our four-inch stack of documentation entitled “AB 1735: Raw Milk-The Unheard Argument” and promised to work with us to assure raw milk's continued availability.
2.. A new law will be introduced in January reversing AB 1735. An investigation has exposed certain CDFA employees who met without authorization and, using erroneous data, advised staff members of the Assembly Agriculture Committee to place "eight special anti-raw milk words" into AB 1735. All CDFA agency legislative matters and bills must be reviewed and authorized by the governor's office, as required by executive branch and administrative policy and procedure. Instead, highly misleading information was used to rapidly and secretly pass AB 1735 on a "consent item" basis without discussion or open debate. Assemblymen and State Senators who voted for AB 1735 are now very upset that they were misled, and support immediate repeal on procedural grounds. The attorney general's office might step in, having noted an aberrant violation of established process in furtherance of a "biased agenda that is far from being consent item."
3.. A lawsuit is being filed this week in San Benito County. Part of that lawsuit includes an injunction which legally secures raw milk producers against enforcement of AB 1735 standards. This allows more certain protection against AB 1735 until a new law can be passed.
While the raw milk fight is far from over, the safety of the California raw milk supply has been secured with multiple layers of strategic political, legislative, and legal efforts. Hearings will soon be announced as part of the new bill and legislative process that will start in January. Your attendance will be essential to deepen the protections put in place.
Keep Sending a Powerful Message: In order to strengthen our work going forward, we ask that you take pictures of yourself and your family holding raw milk bottles from Claravale and/or OPDC. Write on the picture: "Please support repeal of AB 1735." Then mail them to the Governor's office, your State Assemblymen, and State Senators' offices. The impact of a personal plea with a picture of your family is worth a thousand words.
Congratulations to all who participate in the "grass roots raw milk revolution." Your thousands of letters and calls made all the difference! CA Raw Milk is SAFE from AB 1735 and those that sought to eliminate this sacred healing whole food.
Mark McAfee, Founder OPDC