First, I want to thank our members for your continued support and also the support that you have given us in the past. Without that we would not be able to continue our mission to provide your needs with nutrient-dense foods. In the past few newsletters, my goal was to provide you with information where we are with the USDA/FSIS government inspection group. They were hoping that Federal Judge Edward Smith would grant them an injunction against Miller’s Organic Farm, meaning we would stop selling our meat without having a Federal license plant facility, meaning an inspector would have to be on site everyday that processing and packaging meat is taking place at the farm.
Applying for a federal license is an extreme burden on a small scale like we are here. The paperwork, HASSUP plans, etc. & equipment that are required you could say are brutal. If I’m not mistaken, a local federal plant just got set up a year ago had an approximate cost of 2 to $300,000, which is an extreme amount for a small-scale operation like we have here. The good news is that the ruling Judge Smith made on Nov. 12th is not requiring us to set up a federal license plant here at the farm. So, then USDA was hoping to get a ruling from the Judge for us to go to the local federal plant, but I expressed my concerns to the judge that they do not have the ability to keep special parts of the animals such as brains, etc. and also they don’t like the idea of processing meats without any solution, rinsed preservatives, which most of our members do not want because of preservative sensitive reactions that our members have. So, the good news again is the judge is not requiring us to do that either. He rather asked the USDA if they are willing to work with us on a custom exemption facility, which is what we have been negotiating with the USDA the past few months.
So far they weren’t willing to accommodate our needs, but at this time when the judge asked them, they did say “yes”. We’ll see how they’ll do on that. What custom exemption means is that our members would agree to own a share in our animals or flock of chickens, etc. Then we would supply you the service of processing and packaging the meat rather than selling the meat itself. The biggest conflict between us and USDA is that under their policy (remember this is their policy which to my understanding is not the law meaning they can change it to their own liking anytime they feel like it) is that if we do custom exemption for the members, they would need to buy the whole animal or half of carcass or a quarter beef, which to my understanding would not fit to many of our members budgets or even have enough freezer space beings some of our members live in apartment homes, etc. We feel that being that is just a policy, they could work with our members where our members can have a however uneven amount of shares in an animal.
By the way, Pete Kennedy, from the Weston Price Foundation has done some research regarding this matter and has found actual documents that another buying club has asked the USDA/FSIS if a buying club can own an animal and have it divided among the buying club members and guess what the answer was, Yes!! So, our goal is to get an exemption like that buying club had. The sad thing is, that there is also some very intense negative news that is coming with the court order that USDA has gotten the judge to enforce upon our farm.
According to the court order that the USDA has gotten from the judge appears to me is like the zoo keeper would say is USDA is coming like a roaring lion or the farmer would say a charging bull preying upon Miller’s Organic Farm. Although the judge acknowledged that he feels he doesn’t need to shut us down, that we have an important business in place where members are dependent on our foods and he also acknowledged that we do have a clean record, meaning nobody has filed a complaint regarding food quality which we are grateful for. But for some reason, USDA/FSIS has little to no respect regarding that.
In the meantime, until we are able to work out the details of the custom exemption, according to the court order, they are coming very likely with full force. In 60 days, which would be around the middle of January, they would have the right to seize all meat inventory or fine Miller’s Organic Farm for selling meat products. This is a great concern to us because we know how many of our members depend on our chemical-free, citric acid-free, preservative-free meats.
Many of our members have come to us as their meat supply for this reason. We feel it could be time for our members to take action to preserve their right to their food source to fill their needs. Quite a few of our members are battling with their health including children that have allergies, etc. The illnesses that we have among us do not seem to get less. Very likely it is because of the manufactured citric acid (see link attached for the preservatives that are allowed as safe under USDA code). They do not need to be on their federally approved food labels. If every food that we consume that day has just a tiny amount of preservation in it, by the end of the day, this can be amazing to our specially designed human bodies.
Are the food preservatives in our food supply causing so many illnesses? Your guess can be as good as mine. The body could go down hill quite fast with not having the right kind of fats, including special organs, etc. One of our members contacted a well-known, well-respected grass-fed meat processing facility to find out what they use for meat carcass rinsing or spraying solution. It was what most federal license plants use – the Citric Acid Procedure. They acknowledge that not only the carcass but also the organs, and bones, etc. are sprayed. This is one of many reasons why our members have become dependent on our food supply.
As you may well know, we have established a private membership association based on the 1st & 4th Amendment, where some people could think it has no value in protecting your food sources. Let me explain why I think it does have some value. As you may know, in the 1st Amendment we have the right to believe what we want such as freedom of religion, etc. How could this have any value in the food movement? Well, we believe that strong preservatives in our meats could be doing us more harm than good. Something is causing many illnesses in our generation.
As you may know, we have considered setting up our own federal licensed facility, but the costs, paperwork, etc. involved, and having an everyday inspector from the outside of our culture on the farm just didn’t fit our comfort zone.
Option 2 – we checked about having our animals taken to another federally inspected facility, but that didn’t fit our needs to supply your needs with special organs, etc. So now the time is coming where USDA is forcing us to discontinue our service to you in selling small portions of meat to those who cannot afford or have freezer space to store a quarter of beef which is approximately 100 pounds of meat & bones.
So, does this mean you will be forced to eat MCA (manufactured citric acid) meats? This could be an infringement on your 1st Amendment right. As a business or corporation, we could be another set of rules, but you as individuals can claim all those amendment rights. They have the same meaning today as they had the day they were written, which I am ever so grateful for, that our country has those valuable documents in place so we can sustain our lives and beliefs as we travel life’s journey. Very likely the time has come where we need to exercise them more. The claim that USDA/FSIS makes is that they are doing all this regulatory enforcement action to protect the public, but the time has come where individuals find it hard to believe with all the approved preservatives & GMO’s that are being allowed in the food supply. (see links for “Why GMO’s are not the answer” & “Lawsuit filed: Monsanto Roundup Kills Gut Bacteria”)
Is it any wonder why our members have signed our agreement? Just like the saying goes – Trust has to be earned. I do not want to make it sound like I’m all against government officials. Not at all! We do need government, but when they favor big corporations over individual’s freedom of choice to nutrient-dense foods, I do feel there is an issue at hand that the argument can be made on the 1st Amendment. Just because the foods have been approved by the USDA, does that mean it is safe? Very likely not with all the recalls that are taking place nowadays.
So, what issue do we have at hand here? Just like when an individual has a health issue and an extensive treatment needs to take place such as chemo treatments, etc., do they need a signature from the individual so they can move forward with the procedure? Why couldn’t we as individuals have the right to sign our signature to have access to what our beliefs are is nutrient-dense foods to sustain our health? Your prayers and your support are appreciated.
Please read some comments our members have left us in regards to our situation….
Many thanks to our members who made a generous donation to help cover our legal expenses.