Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A letter to the Missouri Milk Board and the Missouri Attorney General

P. O. Box 345
Alton, Missouri 65606

Missouri Attorney General, Mr. Chris Koster
P. O. Box 899
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102
October 13, 2010
Dear Mr. Koster,
There are several constitutionally based protections offered to citizens of the United States that are essential to our freedom and serve to protect us from a government run amok. These include due process, the right to face one’s accusers, and the pursuit of happiness. The confrontation between the Missouri Milk Board and the Morningland Dairy epitomizes government violations of all three of these protections. The Attorney General’s office is participating in the persecuting of the honest and innocent owners and employees of Morningland Dairy.

There are legal and procedural processes required for our government to interfere with business. In this case, the government has ignored their own procedures for testing a food product for safety.
From Morningland Dairy’s rebuttal to the order to destroy their cheese:
"No sample of said product [from Rawesome Dairy in California] was shared with Morningland Dairy as is required by California and Missouri statutes; therefore, there is no confirmation of the findings reported by California Food and Department of Agriculture."
"No Missouri State Milk Board representative obtained samples from Morningland Dairy."
"Contrary to section 196.565 of the Revised Missouri Statutes, the only witness to the sampling from Morningland Dairy was the employee who did the sampling. When Morningland Dairy owners, Joseph & Denise Dixon, learned how the samples were taken, they knew that the tests would be inaccurate and, consequently, erroneous. Despite repeatedly informing Don Falls and also Audra Ashemore, of the FDA, of the faulty sampling methods, both of these individuals used the results of this inept test in their reports."

Although the testing of the product was not carried out correctly, one would still expect the original documentation to be presented to Morningland Dairy so that they can ‘face their accusers’ and have an informed basis on which to mount a defense. In the absence of such documentation and evidence, there would be and can be no legal basis for interfering with the business of making cheese at Morningland Dairy. From the Morningland Dairy website:
"To date, there has been no legitimate test performed on Morningland Dairy cheese, although Morningland Dairy owners have repeatedly requested that proper tests be done. California authorities did not sign the test they allegedly performed until 55 days after product was seized at gunpoint from Rawesome Foods. No sample of said product was shared with Morningland Dairy as is required by California and Missouri statutes; therefore, there is no confirmation of the findings reported by California Food and Department of Agriculture."

In addition, there has never been a complaint against Morningland Dairy’s products. Ever. From the dairy’s rebuttal of the order to destroy their product:
"Denise Dixon, owner and General Manager of Morningland Dairy says, “Morningland has been producing raw aged cheese for 30 years, and in that time, absolutely no reports of illness have been made by anyone who has consumed our product."

With no due process and no documentation of the alleged testing process and no accusers, rational observers must wonder what motivates the Milk Board in their ongoing legal assault against Morningland Dairy.

The constitutional right to pursue happiness should logically include the right of citizens to own and operate a business without unwarranted government interference. The Missouri Milk Board has obviously decided to trample over the rights and freedoms of the owners and workers at Morningland Dairy.

The right to pursue happiness also includes the right of citizens to eat the food of their choice. There appears to be a concerted effort by the government and the Missouri Milk Board to stop production of an internationally respected and much loved food product (raw milk cheese) and to prevent the populace from having the freedom to eat what they choose. Everywhere else in the world, raw milk cheese is a highly treasured food, demanding the highest prices at market and extolled by gourmets. Only here in the U.S. do we see an uninformed government trying to eliminate a valued and traditional food.

I respectfully request that the Missouri Milk Board and the Attorney General’s office immediately cease persecution and prosecution of Morningland Dairy. The Milk Board’s attack on the dairy has no legal basis and is repugnant to the citizens of Missouri and the rest of the United States.


Alice G. Kaspar