Food Nazis Versus Award-Winning Cheesemaker

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The New York Times reports, with a welcome minimum of snark, on the totalitarian Food and Drug Administration’s mission to shut down one of the finest cheesemakers in the United States, whose products are proudly served in the finest restaurants in New York and Los Angeles. The FDA jackboots barged into Kelli Estrella’s farm and found a bit of bacteria and demanded that she immediately recall all of her cheeses, even though no one had ever gotten sick from her products (unlike those from FDA-approved factory agribusiness outfits).

But the heroic Estrella, who raises her own cows and goats and then turns their raw milk into cheeses revered by the growing local-food movement, has done what very few of the small food producers increasingly targeted by the federal government have done:

She said “no.”

She refused to allow the federal government to destroy her business over a product that had never sickened anyone, and as the FDA did not have the authority to forcibly recall her cheeses, they laid in for a long siege, sending in cops to impound some $100,000 worth of her cheese. They are now in a face-off, but soon the thugs will likely triumph over the artisan, as the Senate is expected to pass a “food safety” bill that would expand government power to steal the labor and livelihood of people like Ms. Estrella.

Many will dismiss those concerned over the plight of Ms. Estrella and the hundreds of raw milk farmers who are terrorized by government thugs on a regular basis, but the issue cuts to the heart of our personal freedom and liberty: our right to put whatever we wish into our bodies and our right to nourish our bodies as we rather than a government bureaucrat or politician well-funded by lobbyists sees fit. When this is gone, there will be not much left.

Three cheers for Kelli Estrella and everyone else with the courage to say “no” to the government jackboots!

6:05 pm on November 23, 2010