As reported here (below) Saturday, FDA busted another artisan-cheese family food ministry in Washington. 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 the 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 cheesemaker 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 old equipment. There are no employees, only family members run the operation.The farm may not survive—their customers are livid- denying them food for needed for their health—for such a ridiculous action.
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