Mountain View, MO – Morningland Dairy was put out of business by the Missouri Milk Board. A battle over raw cheese, which began in 2005, ended with approximately $250,000 worth of cheese being hauled off the property earlier this week.
The owners of the family business first became involved in the raw cheese controversy in 2005, Natural News reports. A group of undercover agents converged upon the California-based Rawesome Foods. The Venice private food buying club was investigated for selling raw cheese to health-conscious club members.
Since 1949, the government has banned the sale of cheese comprised from unpasteurized milk, unless the cheese had been aged at least 60 days. The 60-day raw milk cheese ban was reportedly designed to protect consumers from bacteria and pathogens, About notes. The food regulation agencies reportedly feel that salmonella, listeria, and E. coli are prevented from forming after 60-days due to the salts and acids in raw milk cheese. Some cheesemakers disagree with the need for a 60-day waiting period. Such cheesemakers and dairy farmers feel that raw milk cheese is healthier and more flavorful than commercially processed cheeses.
Jump forward five years, and the Morningland Dairy becomes the focal point of the raw foods fight. Armed government officials raided Rawesome Foods and confiscated fresh-from-the-farm products valued at several thousand dollars. Among the items taken by the local, state, and federal agents were raw milk cheese products produced by the Morningland Dairy.
Raw foods and Morningland Dairy supporters maintain that government officials did not follow the agency’s confiscation guidelines when removing the cheese. The raw milk cheese was allegedly not transported in refrigerated trucks or ice coolers but in room-temperature crates. The cheese was reportedly not tested until a week later.
Morningland Dairy owners firmly believe that the raw milk cheese did not contain any harmful bacteria when it was stored. When the Missouri Milk Board became involved in the matter, the US Food and Drug Administration did as well. A total of 50,000 pounds of raw artisan cheese worth more than $250,000 ordered destroyed. None of the cheese has reportedly ever tested positive for bacteria.
The Missouri dairy farmers attempted to point out that the cheese taken from the California raw foods club had not been stored properly, making the test results inaccurate. The Morningland Dairy practically begged the governmental agencies involved to allow them to pay for independent tests on cheese samples from every batch currently in their inventory.
The pleas to allow such tests were tantamount to keeping the family business from going under. No such tests were ever approved. Supporters of the Morningland Dairy and raw foods were on hand with video cameras when the Missouri Milk Board arrived to seize the cheese, putting the longstanding family farm out of business.
The Missouri family farm had been in business for 30 years, Information Libertarian notes. The dairy had not had a single complaint or illness report filed against throughout the history of the business.
A message on the Missouri dairy’s website reads:
“Please note: Due to unfair and dastardly undermining by the Missouri state authorities, Morningland Dairy has been forced to cease production, recall healthful products, and cease selling our present aged cheese.”
Do you think the governmental agencies involved were unfair to the Morningland Dairy?
[Image via: Morningland Dairy website]