UPDATE on Another FDA Cheese Bust on Family Food Ministry: Award-winning Artisan Raw Cheese Producer in Washington State

UPDATE 10/25/2010

As reported here (below) Saturday, FDA busted another artisan-cheese family food ministry in Washington state. The children have calmed down now four days after their direct dealings with the FDA agents when they locked up all the award-winning cheese at Estrella Family Creamery–while Anthony and Kelly Estrella, the parents, were known by the intruders to be away at the farmers market. All because a few isolated samples of cheese never offered to the public did not pass non-detect (zero) of a microorganism that is found all over your skin: a “standard” that will shut down any cheese maker nationwide.

According to the Estrella’s, there had been a pathogen detected last Spring and rectified as is industry-standard worldwide. But this time FDA just suspects “all of the batches cheese” might contain a sub-type of Listeria, something allowed in European cheeses. (Low levels of Listeria may be found any cheese, according to this report. So the crux of the whole deal in Washington and some other states is a zero-dectection limit with a zero-tolerance which is an impossibility to achieve—even in the cleanest of cheese operations, not whether it is detected.)

In my telephone conversation with them tonight, they said they expect the state Department of Agriculture and the Health Department to inspect and get involved. A lawsuit against FDA is pending and a fundraiser is in the making to help them make it through this escalating ordeal, Anthony explained. They said there has been an outpouring from everywhere on how people can help. The cows need to be kept fed, but the cheese is locked up—they have not produced cheese for 8 weeks–their marginal source of income to support their home-schooled children and the 80-head cowherd. They are most frugal: their newest vehicle they drive to their home-church fellowship is 10 years old—besides maintaining their older farm equipment. Yet the Estrallas were able to adopt a number of African (Liberian) children. There are no employees, only family members run the operation–which included a recent voluntary upgrade of the cheese house exceeding standards anywhere. The farm may not survive—their customers are livid- denying them food needed for their health—for such a ridiculous action.

I know FDAs rationale for these actions are to test out the new federal food safety and health agenda. They are not only causing the Italian Gold Medal and other award-winning cheese to be stopped, but affecting the health of their neighbors, family and friends who depend on it– as hundreds have testified in this and other cases– and squashing their ministry to which the Estrallas believe is their calling from the Creator of the natural milk and cheese they produce.

Should the Estralla’s, or other real farm food producers offering the goods at a farmers market or farm store, with a stack of permits already, meet every requirement– it would not be good enough. The cheese (or eggs or meat or custard pie) must be in a commercial refrigerator– dry ice is not good enough, or the labeling is not correct. But if they get it just right–then agents from another enforcing agency will say the product is not on the “approved source list”. But the folks selling the contaminated Supermarket milk and dairy that makes 20% of people sick, offer it at a much cheaper price with the mass-scale economics and government subsidies. This is why Estrella cheese is $15-20 a pound and milk is $10 a gallon– to make a modest income.

This is not the only food ministry raided in the past two years. There are 50 some other articles in our arsenal at our Family Farm Enforcement and Regulatory Actions portfolio.

More details on the fundraiser will be posted here this week, so be sure to subscribe to get it, complete the short survey and get the surprise gift of Living Food when you do! (Our story was in the Top 100 internationally in the world-class and largest WordPress.com platform).


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The Estrella kids from the Estrella Family Creamery in Washington state got a shock the morning of October 22 when the FDA showed up to shut the creamery and cheese production down and embargo all the cheese–while the parents, Anthony and Kelli, were away at the farmers market.

This was posted at their fabulous website Estrella Family Creamery:



Dear Friends,

Last night at about 5:30 three cars pulled into the yard with FDA and Federal Marshals, alarming our kids. They posted a seizure order that named all cheeses on the property.  This is serious, it could put us out of business.

I need to write something more lengthy than I have time for right now. But tomorrow we will be at the University District farmer’s market, sadly without cheese. But we’ve invited the media and would love to have our customer’s voices heard. Because we’ve been hearing you voice very strong opinions about wanting the right to choose your food. Please feel free to come and ask questions.


As in the Morningland case in Missouri , the FDA claims there is a potential of contamination with listeria. But, where is the data?

The report came my way first thing this morning while at the Raw Milk ARMi Boards, specifically the Washington Alliance for Raw Milk Facebook site, as I was  finishing my raw yogurt with roasted pecans and coconut flakes. I thought maybe I could lay off the milk raid stories for at least a day. But no, I had to click just once and then twice.


Oh, by the way, my Guide to How To Find Raw Milk and Cheese and All Your Real Food white paper is not ready to offer yet, but I want to remind my readers of the opening of the Journal’s iShop where we have eBooks for nutrition and health . . . with many more coming. Take a peek and come back to peruse. Rather than accepting donations, I wanted to give you something back in value, to keep our projects going.– Augie


In the Saturday edition of Seattle Local Food, a plea went out to help the Estrella family. It explains why the FDA agents have a bee in their bonnet over the possibility of someone getting sick from nibbling on national award-winning artisan raw cheese from pastured cows grazing on organic grasses.

The claim: Risk of exposure to Listeria.  However, Estrella’s current inspection records (available today at the market) show that all cheeses have tested negative.  There was apparently a positive test for Listeria at a point in the past, and so the FDA decided to shut down the dairy on the claim that the cheese might have Listeria, with no burden of proof to demonstrate they do, or to acknowledge records that show this is no longer a problem.

Anthony Estrella said this morning that even starting to fight this would cost $20,000-$30,000 or pro bono legal representation.

MY COMMENT: The legal and philosophical  “precautionary principle” states that if an activity’s or product’s  risk  to human health and the environment is unknown, then it must be proven to have no risk before it may proceed– or until the activity is controlled by the state. This is known as zero-risk or zero-tolerance mentality. Risks may be acceptable, but only if allowed by the State through its regulatory apparatus as developed by the government/corporate/academia partnership. This is especially true when offering superior and healthy raw dairy products that encroach on the competition of the milk monopoly– or creme cartel. It also applies when government agencies are so large they must always prey on small folks to justify their existence.


If you want to get a feel of the Estrella family, you should want to read the featured article appearing in Culture Cheese Magazine. The family consists of a number of adopted Africans (Liberians) and they are obviously Bible believers who walk the talk. It is another heartwarming story of a family integrating faith into their food and farm freedom mission.

If you can help, please contact Anthony and Kelli.  Legal/advocacy help, voicing your feelings as a customer on their behalf, wishes/prayers, or any other relevant resources sound welcome. COMMENTs from our readers are encouraged below.

Here is their contact info:

(360) 249-6541
659 Wynoochee Valley Road
Montesano,WA 98563
PLEASE TAKE OUR ONE-MINUTE SURVEY and get a free subscription to our Journal.

49 responses to “UPDATE on Another FDA Cheese Bust on Family Food Ministry: Award-winning Artisan Raw Cheese Producer in Washington State

  1. What next? The FDA knows the “little guy” can’t possibly afford to fight this in court, so it is a win for them.
    Perhaps they would like to raid our little chicken coop and take the eggs right out of our fridge….

  2. We are at stage two of truth: violent opposition. Hold tight, everyone!

  3. Teresa Bourgoin

    Its not the small farmers and dairymen that I am scarded of. I think there the safest places to get your food. Its the Gov. Run Food that I am scared to eat!! That is why I garden, do my own canning and raise my own chicken, beef and sheep!!

  4. I dearly hope they (and all farmers) are a part of the Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund – who may be able to legally assist.

  5. This is CRAZY! We need to do something to stop the FDA from being the food police! They need to know that Americans demand the right to choose our own food!

  6. Reposting. And reposting. And also…reposting. Publicity is our friend, folks. Please add this to your blogs, post it on Facebook and Twitter, and get the word out.

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  8. Mark McAfee’s (Organic Pastures) comments below are taken from the Complete Patient and concerns the Morningland case– but I think it applies much to the Estrella’s situation. Not enough radical actions by farmers and consumers to get CNN out with the cameras. If readers really want a synopsis of what is coming round, need to read Doreen’s three part series at the Journal starting with this one https://wholefoodusa.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/family-farm-ordered-to-destroy-250000-worth-of-cheese/

    Here is what Mark says:

    It must bleed to lead….

    It must scream loudly and with some very distinct cry. The shrillness of the desparate cries must be heard and the “consumers” must threaten to do illegal yet moral things and make demands. The consumers must start quoting MLK!!

    The media love a bleeding story. Nice stuff is buried and makes no money. Now if Morningland threatened the FDA and told their story in the national media backed by Willy Nelson, thousands of pissed off people with Oprah, Chelsea Clinton and Martin Sheen leading the charge now thats a story.

    We farmers need to be activists and more like Martin Luther King and Michael Schmdit. We must be all-in and think about the grand stage and melodrama of it all. We can no longer be passive and agreable. The FDA is a bunch of drug pushing criminals. We farmers must stand up and make and stake out our medical claims on our wholefood ie… cherries, pom juice, cranberries and grass fed organic raw milk.When was the last time you heard a farmer calling the FDA drug pushers on national TV and sighting international studies of how their cherries are more effective than the FDA NSAIDS ( celebrex, VIOXX ) that kill thousands.

    The health of our country is at stake…the health of our future ( and present ) generations have already been put at stake. The revolution is something that takes guts and that means painful upheaval led by the consumers defending their farmers.

    Consumers are sacred and the FDA will not touch them….but the consumer must be led by the farmers. The farmers must become much more radicalized to lead this charge and change.

    So help me if the FDA challenges CA raw milk…it will be their last mistake they make. Every raw milk mother lion mom in CA that has given their last asthma inhaler or antibiotic for an ear infection will come to the dairy and drive the message home….the media will be there because the cause will be alive and real. The FDA are cowards and will not be quoted or stand before a microphone. They have no science and they are greedy corporate fascist fool puppets.

    Stand and fight…..!! It is a time to stand-up and stand-out. Something Americans have been taught not to do….we must be much more like our founding fathers and pioneer and resist the king and his henchmen. In this case….we must connect to our consumers through email and teach the media….as well as the people that connect to us through our whole foods. The Consumers!!

    There does not need to be violence….if that comes it is at the hands of the FDA not the people or the farmer. They have their silly ass guns….but we have the video cameras and the moms and babies. The power comes in the truth and the mass numbers of pissed off people. Some one is not organizating the movie stars and taking a stand.

    Stop being nice. Infliction of political pain wins!!! My suggestion is this….someone at Morningland needs to get radical and do something to gain attention.

    I sent Morningland some money this week. Everyone needs to do the same.

    Now….Morningland needs to stand and fight!!


    END OF MARKs comments

  9. I don’t understand this – I just got finished reading an article about the potential for mercury contamination in HFCS – the original research was done by a woman who worked for the FDA at the time, yet they refused to do further research or take any action on the grounds that “no harmful effects had been reported.”

    Yet in this situation, they are proactively shutting down a family farm on the grounds that there “might” be a problem “in the future.” This is so inconsistent – it’s really frustrating.

  10. This is what I think the FDA is using to justify their actions …

    • In their own words:
      What is the Problem?
      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to discard cheeses from Estrella Family Creamery of Montesano, Wash., because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Environmental samples and one product sample collected by the FDA during an August 2010 inspection at the facility have tested positive for L. mono.

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  12. I’m ready to load up my sweet milk cow and take her to a protest with a clever banner draped over he back. This is really getting my ire up.

  13. And today FDA announced that it is making Hyland Homeopathics recall their Belladonna for Children’s Headaches because it contains belladonna. Apparently they don’t get that homeopathics contain MOLECULES of the ingredient. Hold on to your hats, folks. This is all a part of Healthy People 202o.

    • Yes, see FDA Gone Nuts: Walnuts are Drugs– here at the J. All foods are drugs if you claim health benefits as a producer or seller, apparently. Yes, the gummint has regulated natural molecules for years– unless they are modified and patented by Big Pharma.

      Thank you for arranging the fundraiser of Morningland, Sharon, Maybe it might be indicated for the Esprella case. More will surface on this later.

  14. It is outrageous that at this time when there is so much concern about lack of jobs, we have a government agency that is throwing their weight around trying to shut down legitimate farm businesses based on completely unfounded food safety concerns – over and over again. As a dietitian I am appalled at their arrogance! We can go to the store and buy all kinds of junk foods that are leading us down the path to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer and more and we can’t have raw milk cheese (or raw milk for that matter) because we might get sick??? Give me a break! I hear so many stories from our farm club members of healing from whole natural foods, but the public health authorities refuse to acknowledge that the benefits might outweigh the risks. Do we have to start marching in the streets to makes ourselves heard?

  15. Here is the publisher of The Daily Paul http://dailypaul.com on the FDA over at his Paper.

    An Arm of Codex Alimentarius……

    Working to destroy nutrient-dense based foods industry.

    I say, FARMERS and CONSUMERS UNITE! “Do not cow-er to the food police! Stick it out to the butter end!”

    Think this might just wake the sheeple up? I mean, even the sheep like it eat.


    Just my HO of course…..

  16. Violence isn’t necessary but in the great tradition of this land, these federal thugs need to be run off these farms that produce real food at the end of rifles. Farmers need nice large NO TRESPASSING signs on their property that specifically name federal agents by agency. In other words, who are you and what business have you with me? Prove who you are and that you have a right to approach me for any reason. Are you willing to stand on your full commercial liability for what you propose to do here?

    Yes, I am angry. Who’s next? The Washington dairy that provides my raw milk and that of my friends and neighbours? We all depend upon this vital food. Am I going to be arrested the next time I am gathering rose hips along the road to turn into jelly? Yes, angry. Let us all become exceedingly, noisily ANGRY. Is there a warehouse where the FDA sequestered this cheese? Can people get there and demand its release?

    Can our liberty caucus in Olympia help? This is a Tenth Amendment issue, people! Nowhere in the constitution for the united States is food safety mentioned. Government has no authority here. Period.

  17. If it doesn’t involve Big Pharma and lots of greenbacks dangling in front of them, they will destroy any and all that is good for us regardless of right or wrong! It’s sadly all about the money.
    Does anyone seriously think the FDA has our best interests at heart?

  18. I believe that there is something missing here!
    It appears to me that virtually no one here seems to know that the FDA (and /or any other agency supposedly created by an Act of Congress) is limited in jurisdiction.

    It appears to me that virtually no one here seems to know that unless your home is in federal territory, Washington DC or on Federally owned land that you have a right to privacy and therefore the right to post a notice at the entrance to your place warning government agents of trespassing unless they have a paper search warrant signed by a judge with a wet ink signature that you can examine. (The Real Dirt on Farmer John included an account of the need for posting no trespassing signs as a basis for having lawful support against the trespassers.)

    Looks like there is a war going on and yet there is apparently little or no knowledge about the Rights of individuals to be left alone unless they are being properly charged with a real crime based on a verified complaint by a real injured party. If a claim like that is not made against the party being attacked then the agents need to be ordered to leave or be charged with at least trespassing (and probably other charges as well).

    And what happened to having guard dogs on ones farm?

    I am convinced that our farmers need empowerment by having their awareness lifted up and expanded – above and beyond what these reports are revealing!

  19. Wow. Every single day, something like this happens and it disgusts me. We Americans HAVE to stand up for our food rights. Our rights to safe and healthy food should be of utmost importance, however I don’t think people truly understand what the gov’t is trying to do. I love Mark’s comments – I agree with him wholeheartedly. I’m doing what I can to create awareness about raw milk and the value of nutritious, unpolluted food. But, it’s going to take more than just a few people. It’s going to take a movement! Let’s go!!!!

  20. The Estrella children should have instructed to not cooperate with ANY adults whatsoever who did not have a prior appointment approved by Mom and Dad. They should have been instructed to call their county sheriff that men with guns were threatening them. If the sheriff didn’t escort the feds off of the farm at gun point, time to elect a new sheriff.

    • Right-On. John!
      Children, virtually all children, are now in on this! Now with the parent’s instructions, government will learn that children are following what their parents say. In any case that is perfectly right-on about calling the sheriff!
      Thank you!

  21. Why are we wasting our tax dollars????
    particularly now????
    Maybe we might flood our representatives with phone calls, and the FDA, FBI, CIA and certainly the local community officials for allowing it. Insist on talking to a person, take their time, cripple their offices….we pay them. It is non-violent. Read all of this material above so you have talking points, not defense, but OFFENSE!!!! Demand answers to the rules and constitutionality….do not accept the lines they have given–not if you have read the above.

    CALLLLLLLLL!!!! Take action, do something, and if it is not your community, call anyway, as you want to know what is happening in your country and the standards it sets. I certainly want to know how folks that are someone’s neighbors can act with such lack of integrity, truth, justice, their own code of ethics, and instead be part of the downfall of a nation–Canada or the United States…with what govt. has been doing with treaties and behind the scenes manipulation…you see how they are treating us the same…..you can see by how they are attacking the raw milk industry, the family farmer they thought they had eradicated in the 70’s to do their poisoning without CRITICALLY thinking, community minded, wisdom seeking, ethical citizens to raise objection to unethical activities!


    Make those phone answering people take time to hear you…they are paid by your taxes! Slow them down and demand to be heard, have them read it back to you.

    Then, CALL AGAIN TOMORROW….give it right back to them, make them so busy that they cannot get their work done….they asked for it! Demand to be heard, demand that your comments be recorded and submitted today…keep reading posts so you get more ammunition….in courteous but STRONG words. Make a bond, make certain you make a bond with them as a human being with loved ones who have become sick from so called medicines and so called food…..cancers, ms, seizures, add/adhd, you name it…they know folks too….they are your neighbors….they are someone’s neighbors….get heard!
    Yes, we have the time, …..turn off the TV, turn off the video games….get your children to call for papers for school, get your young adults to call, get your neighbors to call…bake some bars and have a nightly call-in, or a friday night radical Claim-your-rights-and-health phone party–ok, they aren’t working…..find the numbers with voice mail….but talk it up, make plans for the next week’s phone calls, make a chart, and watch Fresh, Food Inc, or the new Chem trails documentary….or write letters, the old fashioned kind, and pay that little extra to get it certified delivered so they know!

    Remember to not stoop to their level in choice of respectable language. ANd do not stoop to the level of ignorance….speak slowly, practice if you must with someone first, so you do not buy their come-backs of fear….if they state that they have tests to prove it, ask for copies, proof of the sick that they were sick and not in healing–dumping toxins instead. Stay non-violent, but firm! You get better every time….and then, we will build a movement. WE will not build a movement only by information…it takes action! Be courteous to listen, then answer what they said…soon, they will not believe in their position either…they are just phone answerers….but also, press for the one who gives the orders.

    Who is that boss that ordered it? Who do they answer to? Get a name….then, use all of this to collectively write a letter to the local press, but also send it to these blogs, and to NYTimes and Wall Street Journal….local media…last to cover it….saturate with the story everywhere you can.
    And for Pete’s sake, Please, talk about it at Church! Unless you want to be on the prayer chain for deathly illness, you care about health! Christians ought to have a keen interest in serving their flocks, not taking the brainwashing that church is only in their walls, not in the community.

    Glad you are all here too!
    Together, we will only succeed!!

    May every people be blessed with clean air, water, land, and food, good seed and tools to work the land, joy, peace, and laughter, and the wisdom to guard it all diligently!

  22. I appreciate the information about federal agents having no rights to be on our land, without the proper papers.
    If the children called 911, would they be supported? do the local officers KNOW they have no rights without a warrant, or will they be intimidated also?

    What would they do if no one was home? Break in anyway? Obviously they planned this timing to only be there with the children. Is their attorney going to charge for illegal entry? Kids cannot be expected to be anything but obedient to authority….that is frightening right there!

    the point, how are we to be prepared at all times?

    it will only get worse until the publicity and justice stops it.
    We can wait to start acting, but they will not stop voluntarily. They have an agenda, and the one giving the orders, choosing the targets….WHO IS THAT PERSON?

    How do we fid that out?
    How do we get covered in HUGE press?

    • Shar, FOIed papers and emails from a WI case, showed planned collusion/communication with Feds and surrounding states to target Max Kane. Search the Journal for him and the brilliant video.

  23. the bottom line is that we have a Nazi federal government that is treating raw dairy like some sort of horrid drug like heroin or crack! IT’S CHEESE!!
    they are putting CHEESE and raw milk products right up there with the same sort of raids that go on with drugs! i am appalled at our government’s behavior.
    they just want to shove Monsanto and DuPont laden foods at us. WOW..how do we stop the feds from messing with what little REAL food we have left?
    i’m in for a major revolution to save real food! (and our lives)

  24. For the record, here are comments from the Daily Paul.
    Need to protest like was done
    Submitted by meekandmild on Mon, 10/25/2010 – 10:58.

    with the Oathkeeper baby in New Hampshire.

    * reply

    Submitted by legalizeliberty on Mon, 10/25/2010 – 10:17.

    Thanks for posting.

    One of the key ways to have control over population is to control their food.

    latest news uplifting songs & more:
    “the ultimate commodity in which to invest is not gold or shotgun shells but people you can trust”
    Demetri Orlov

    * reply

    I’m sure the FDA has become as welcome on family farms…
    Submitted by Bob-45 on Mon, 10/25/2010 – 09:54.

    as the ATF.

    “Let’s give a warm, West Virginia welcome to Agent Smith of the Food and Drug Administration!”

    * reply

    We could end all of this today.
    Submitted by fishyculture on Mon, 10/25/2010 – 06:57.

    If I could find the farmer who understood it, I would make this arrangement with him:
    My government is determined to keep me safe from your scary, scary food, so I don’t want your milk. But I DO want a pet cow, really badly, but I can’t keep one at my house. If I buy a cow and pay you to take care of it, will you save all the manure and anything else that comes out of it for me? I will dispose of all the “waste” the cow makes.

    What? Me by raw milk? I would never do that. Might have listeria…

    Everyone is so enchanted by the FRN that they will not barter, will not take the leap and say “I will trade or barter.” Heck , the one farm where I tried to buy raw milk did not approve of my old beater car and jeans and t shirt, and I wound up going home with no milk. It was crazy – I had an appointment to set up my weekly pick up, I showed up and got treated like I was there to rob them. That is trivia, I know…

    Promoting fish n’ chix liberty at http://www.fishyculture.com
    (Once I was paul4won but I quit paulitics.)

    * reply

    This is a Tenth Amendment Issue
    Submitted by yesliberty on Mon, 10/25/2010 – 02:26.

    Federal government has no business in our kitchens, at our tables, in our dairy barns.

    And unless specifically noted in the state constitution, neither does the state.

    * reply

    How can you claim any protection from the
    Submitted by riceowlex on Mon, 10/25/2010 – 09:00.

    10th Amendment when your a debtor 14th amendment citizen in a bankrupted country ? How can you have unalienable rights when you’ve got a social security card that specifically states your a debtor in a bankruptcy ? All you can do is recognize the difference and make that plain through public filings. THEN you can claim sovereignty. You can be a part of the bankruptcy (citizen) or not (sovereign man / woman)

    Just one last kick in the nuts, then a final deathblow

    * reply

    Let Us Indeed Get Angry!
    Submitted by yesliberty on Mon, 10/25/2010 – 02:07.

    Any betting folks on DP willing to wager that the FDA goons knew very well they would encounter no adults at the farm?

    The Estrella’s need prominent, specific No Trespassing signs on their property naming such agents of the state as forbidden to step on their property.

    The Estrella family is one of a number of small raw milk dairies producing wonderful real food from pasture land–who is next on the FDA’s hit list? The dairy that supplies my raw milk? A food we and our neighbours depend upon?

    I say let us indeed get angry. I say let every farmer stand ready to protect livelihood and property from these interfering thieves who would destroy businesses and people. The so-called American way would be to run the varmits off at the end of a rifle.

    * reply

    abolish the FDA
    Submitted by MMJ Ministry on Mon, 10/25/2010 – 02:06.


    “We have allowed our nation to be over taxed and over regulated and overrun by bureaucrats, the founders would be ashamed of us for what we’re putting up with” Ron Paul

    * reply

    that is their aim.. to put
    Submitted by SIERRAHPBT on Mon, 10/25/2010 – 01:57.

    that is their aim.. to put the family farmer out of business. Control the food you control the population.

    “When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    I am more concerned about the return of my money than the return on my money. –Mark Twain

    * reply

    Aaaaaagh, another federal agency
    Submitted by reedr3v on Mon, 10/25/2010 – 01:43.

    that needs to bite the dust.

    * reply

    Did you guys see the colbert about this topic?
    Submitted by JohnGalt300 on Mon, 10/25/2010 – 01:34.

    welcome to the war on dairy. sheesh. Pretty soon it’s going to be required to ingest a daily amount of recombinant bovine growth hormone.

    Fortune Favors the Bold

  25. The FDA is a bunch of drug pushing criminals. We farmers must stand up and make and stake out our medical claims on our wholefood ie… cherries, pom juice, cranberries and grass fed organic raw milk.

    I wholeheartedly support the local dairy providers, but this attitude is absolutely counterproductive.

    The FDA is not a monolithic group. It can and does do good things in addition to these abhorrent actions. It IS necessary to protect the safety of the US food supply. The focus SHOULD be on factory farming, not the little guy.

    In addition, the superfood “medical claims” of products like pom juice and açaí (as with many other “superfoods”) are bogus. The foods themselves are healthy, but you’re siding with fadders, the snake-oil salesmen who claim miracle cancer cures, and have no interest in the actual health of their customers. If you’re going to make healthy foods, continue to grow and sell healthy foods. Outrageous claims make you less trustworthy to your customers, we don’t want to be deceived by the latest substanceless trend. We just want to eat healthy!

  26. I suspect that another issue here, unrelated to the listeria issue, is the FDA/FSIS hard spot with the 60 day rule on aging of raw milk cheeses. The Estrella family does a number of soft cheeses which have a relatively narrow marketing window between the 60 aging minimum and the date that they are no longer saleable / too ripe (90-100 days). The FDA would like to see the minimum aging period for raw milk cheeses pushed to 90 or even 120 days which would completely lock raw milk processors out of the soft (and most delicious) rind ripened cheese markets.

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  28. Vote for Ron Paul if you want things like this to cease!

    • Vote for Ron Paul if you want things like this to cease!

      child labor laws, minimum wages, health standards, ANY ability to enforce codes.

      Hope you enjoy your melamine tainted food, because you’re voting for big business, not local production with naive corporatists like Ron Paul.

  29. This family has slept in my house. They hold themselves to the highest quality standards and had ONE positive test and then threw away THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS worth of cheese, scrubbed every living inch of the place and continued to test themselves. The FDA took THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS worth of cheese last weekend. The best safeguard in any business is looking your customer in the eye. The FDA can’t stand it. This was senseless and needs to be a seattlepi investigation.

  30. Re:
    Augie | October 26, 2010 at 12:58 am |
    “Put the children on the front lines?”

    I find that a curious question, Augie and I’m glad you asked it!
    No, I’m not advocating that! However, now that there has been at least one reported event where children were, essentially, on the “front lines” maybe farm parents can consider the possibility that agents may prey upon their children if they are the only ones on the farm.

    Attention dear family farm parents: if you are thinking of leaving the farm with only your children behind than please think again as it may cost you the farm! Also put up that no trespassing sign addressed to government agents! Then consider having a talk with your sheriff.

  31. Praying for this family! Augie, if you hear anything about how we can support them financially, can you let us know? Thanks!

  32. I used to love visiting the US. It’s such a beautiful country with such friendly folks. I have also been invited to lecture in the US many times.

    BUT now I have to refuse – because I no longer trust the food and water supplies not to harm my health, and it is not practical to bring my naturally-produced food and unfluoridated water with me.

    International laws make a person’s health and wellbeing the responsibility of that person. I think it is right that people should be made aware of possible risks (if any), but it is then the responsibility of the individual to determine whether they wish to take those risks. IT IS NO ONE ELSE’S BUSINESS. If I want to drink raw milk, or cheese, etc, then that is my responsibility and mine alone. Governments and the FDA are way out of line.

    If such food makes me and others sick, the maker will soon go out of business. For that reason, manufacturers like the Estrella family are likely to be far more careful and hygienic than the mass-producers. I would always trust their products more than I would those of Big-Food.

  33. I’read excerpts of “The Black Book of Communism” in it I read that the independent farmer was the last bastion of independent thought. After the Bolshevick Revolution farmers were starved by confiscating their food crops and personal food stocks to the point of cannibalism. All because they would not subjugate themselves to the new revolutionary state authority.

  34. This just in from lay lawyer Charles Rutledge, WI raw dairy farmer

    This article includes a copy of the affidavit in support of the complaint against Estrella Family Dairy. It makes no allegation that anyone got sick from this cheese ( If it had the person who did get sick should be the one who filed the affidavit alleging that the cheese made them sick). Since there is no such person, that complaint is in direct violation of the Constitution of the United States ( fourth amendment, seventh amendment and the fourteenth amendment where state agents are involved)

    This LISA ELRAND who files this affidavit should be prosecuted for civil rights violations under federal statue 42USC1983, 1985, and possibly under criminal indictment under 18USC 241, 242

    Charles N. Rutledge
    Exeland, WI

    PS: Please forward this email as you see fit.

    PPS: I also suspect the affidavit itself should be voided because ELRAND admits that all of the allegation in the affidavit are hearsay. She has no direct knowledge of the facts of the case, and admits so in the affidavit.


  35. I tried their cheese a few years ago when I was a student at the Univ of WA. I had some concerns as I have not necessarily had the best digestion up until then. Anyway, I have since moved out of the area, but as the result of eating their excellent cheese, have been a regular consumer of Raw Milk for months now, (albeit sourced from a different dairy) and as a result, have found my digestion, and my stress-load, has very much improved, and subsided.

    This is sad news. No one like to be reminded we are being bullied by our own government.

  36. Please keep up with the Estrella Family Creamery and support them at the Estrella Cheese blog: http://estrellacheese.wordpress.com/

    We really need help getting out the Pledgie support. See the blog for more info and please help and donate are you are able. Thanks!!

  37. As a paralegal, I want people to know police agents are entitled to enter onto private property where the general public is welcome/admitted. This is a well settled area of law. Gideon Israel attempted to suppress evidence gathered by under cover detectives based on posted signs announcing they were singularly unwelcome. The Court refused to suppress the evidence reasoning as I outlined above.

    Food safety inspectors should be respected. They’re not conspiring against anyone. If anything, food safety regs are too lax. Watch the KIROTV video of the interview/tour of the Estrella farm. You can SEE the rough lumber and splintered shelves on camera in one of the cheese ‘caves’. If those shelves were made of some impervious washable surface (stainless?) perhaps Kelli Estrella would have been able to eliminate any/all bio-film and lysteria. It’s tough to remove from wood fibers. She needs to budget and manage for such sterilization cleanups. Get rid of the rough lumber and porous surfaces, Kelli. Utilize modern impervious surfaced material that can be easily cleaned/sterilized. Purchase weights, etc. that won’t RUST. Don’t leave loose metal objects near/on the cheese wheels. Be more aggressive about eliminating pests/insects. Thoroughly wash the cheese sampling tool before you use it on a separate wheel and risk cross contamination. A lot of this is common sense if you’re still committed not just to the artistry of cheese making, but to its safety! Perhaps you should hire someone competent to oversee food safety and delegate authority to that person? Finally, whether the FDA are Gestapo like or not, obey the speed limits. I understand your irritation with their not calling you in advance. But they had a SEALED warrant. Someone didn’t trust letting you know in advance. You don’t trust them, and they don’t trust you. They advised you to recall more product than you wished because they had no legal authority to order you to do so. You balked. They took the time to go to court and petition for the authority, which was granted in the seizure order. You started with little or nothing. You now have a professional and impressive facility, a husband who helps and 6 children too. You have enough acreage and milk animals to make a go of it. If I were you, I’d either pay someone (getting court permission) to sample all your cheese on hand, or seek permission to dispose of it along with proving all lysteria has been destroyed. THAT will require installing equipment more easily sterilized. Just do it. Get on with your life/business and be glad of it.

  38. BTW, if were going to invoke Biblical logic, I feel your PRIDE has led you to believe you know better than FDA officials and allows you to ignore their requests. They responded in the only legal fashion they could: A press release warning the public of your product. You are NEVER going to make a profit fighting with the federal government or its agencies. That is a BAD business model! Either learn to adapt to the regulatory environment, or throw in the towel to someone who can. No federal enforcement agency is going to allow its charge to 2nd guess it. That’s imprudent no matter which agency you’re dealing with.

    • Thanks for your well thought out comment. “Cooperation” is what is necessary–however, they did and then FDA jumped into this. There is more to this story than I stated here.

  39. Ah, a shill steps forward. Thank you so much for your wise counsel…not.

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