Real Food Consumer Coalition

$32,657 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 93 people in 12 months
Right NOW!! New Jersey Residents Attacked by County and State Officials Threatening Civil and Criminal Penalties for Drinking Milk?!

About RFCC:

Real Food Consumer Coalition (RFCC) was established by a group of concerned consumers after learning that their Pennsylvania farmer was having troubles with the USDA due to his Private Membership Association having issues protecting them.

Ms. Reitzig , an accomplished and outspoken raw milk activist, quickly approached other leading raw milk advocates and core real food organizers to establish a coalition based on the fact that consumers need to be represented and protected as much as the producers are. RFCC was born.

RFCC’s first action was to take on Amish Pennsylvania farmer, Amos Miller, and his extremely serious USDA contempt of court issues. Through months of counseling Mr. Miller, as well as negotiations and strategy between Miller and the courts, Amos Miller’s contempt of court charges were dropped. A grand victory!

RFCC’s next action was the April 26, 2017 Citizen Petition on labeling raw milk products with the FDA. RFCC organizers approached renowned FDA attorney Jonathan W. Emord of Emord & Associates requesting feedback an interstate labeling concept. Emord is a highly successful and respected attorney who has defeated the FDA on many occasions. Serendipitously, Mr. Emord had long thought about a very similar labeling concept. Mr. Emord came on-board bringing attorney Bethany Kennedy and their vast legal experience and enthusiasm! The petition was filed on April 26, 2017.

Currently: The state of New Jersey and multiple counties are attacking American citizens and international guest for consuming raw milk. Be see David Gumpert’s articles here:

12-9-17 NJ Caught Up in Raw-Milk Dragnet with a Twist

12-12-17 Who Was That Masked Man?

12-14-17 Pennsylvania Asks Raw Milk Producers to Discontinue Brucella Vaccination

12-17-17 In Major Intimidation Move, NJ Issues “Cease and Desist” Order to 8 or More Residents Over Raw Milk

RFCC is comprised of thousands of consumers, farmers and real-food advocates who believe in their inherent right to freely choose the farmers and foods to feed themselves and their families. The coalition is quickly growing with new organizational partnerships and allies every week.

About the lead organizer:

Liz Reitzig is the founder of Real Food Consumer Coalition (RFCC) and . In 2007 Liz founded Grassfed On The Hill, a local GMO-free food buying club that serves the greater Washington DC metro area.

She is the co-founder and spokesperson for Farm Food Freedom, she is an event speaker, activist and Mother of 5! Liz has appeared as a raw milk spokesperson on several national radio and television shows, has been subject matter in national newspapers and has been featured in the documentary Farmageddon . Her most recent appearance was as a guest with Dr. Ron Paul on his Liberty Report show.

Liz Reitzig has spent a decade working on the politics of food access in support of small farmers and those who wish to obtain food directly from them. She believes that everyone has the right to peacefully access the foods of their choice from the producer of their choice. Her work on several key cases and her proactive approach to policy and activism have helped shape national and state level food and farming policies.

Firm beliefs in producing our own food, supporting our farmers and nourishing our families is not enough. Liz feels that sometimes further action is needed, and we are called to act in ways that might stretch us past our immediate comfort zones. Through inspiration and action, she continually leads by example in showing us the most beautiful opportunities we are given, to serve our fellow human beings.
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"The New Jersey State Grinch That Stole Christmas Dinners?!"

RFCC is closely monitoring and seeking solutions to issues regarding NJ residents/individuals that are under attack from New Jersey state and county agencies for choosing to drink raw milk! Please contribute as we raise awareness and funding to help these individuals and their communities that rely on the fresh, healthy and nutrient dense foods that NJ agencies are trying to keep them from procuring!

David Gumpert covers this critical news about the assault against American citizens and our international guests at:
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Raw Milk Consumers Under Attack In New Jersey!
- David Gumpert article

New Jersey is seeking to preserve its image as one of the least tolerant states in the country for raw milk by serving at least eight of its residents with “cease and desist” letters claiming they are “selling and distributing unpasteurized (raw) milk in this state.”

The letters, which arrived late last week via certified mail, demand that the recipients, within five days, “provide written confirmation that these practices have ceased…Failure to cease and desist in the sale and distribution of raw milk in this state will result in the Department’s pursuit of appropriate civil sanctions against you.” The letters are signed by Loel Muetter, program manager of the Public Health and Food Protection Program. (I have reproduced one of the letters here, without the names of the recipient or other related data.)

Most of the communities are in the south and central part of the state. Among those targeted by the NJ Department of Health are Cranbury, Princeton, Plainsboro, S. Plainfield, and Summit. Most of them include significant numbers of Indian and other Asian immigrants. Last week, the NJ Department of Health disputed one of my posts alleging that one of its investigators was involved in targeting these communities. It turned out that the investigation was likely carried out by one or more county health department investigators. But clearly, the NJ Department of Health was calling the shots.

As the NJ Department of Health no doubt intended, the letters have created a panic among the recipients and other members of the community who consume raw milk. “I am fearful of possible fines,” one recipient of the cease-and-desist order told me. “We’re frightened. It could be in the thousands.”

But this resident, who didn’t want to be identified, also expressed anger. “They want to cut off this great food. The gall of them!”

The targeted residents say the letter’s accusations are untrue, that they aren’t either selling or distributing raw milk in New Jersey. The milk is purchased at a farm in Pennsylvania, they say, and residents have it brought to the homes of volunteers in NJ who hold the milk until neighbors can pick it up. These volunteers don’t handle money and aren’t paid.

Indeed, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011 issued a statement sanctioning the transport of raw milk across state lines by consumers “for his or her own personal consumption.”

Presumably the FDA doesn’t see the NJ residents as fitting into its 2011 exception statement, since the agency gets involved in pretty much every situation alleging interstate sale and/or distribution of raw milk, and should be assumed to be involved in this one, helping guide the NJ Department of Health.

At least one food rights organization, the Real Food Consumer Coalition, is monitoring the New Jersey situation. It is seeking to provide the recipients of the cease-and-desist letters with legal assistance, and asks that supporters direct new funding to its fund-raising web site to aid in that effort.
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Petition Explained: Citizen’s Petition For Exemption of Raw Milk Interstate Transportation Ban When the Milk is Labeled as Indicated

Advocates for direct farm-to- consumer food rights, the Real Food Consumer Coalition (RFCC), have filed a petition with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This petition, when accepted by the FDA, would eliminate an important layer of FDA regulatory enforcement against raw milk farmers—the agency’s ban on interstate transportation or sale of raw milk. Farmers would be exempt from enforcement of this regulation if they provide warning labels and a recipe for pasteurization on raw milk products.

The warning labels are similar to labels currently required in many states. The recipe for pasteurization is included so that individual consumers can make their own choices about how to best handle the milk.
This petition asks the FDA to accept such labeling for raw milk products, as an alternative to its draconian prosecution of Amish farmers and others who for centuries have produced and consumed raw milk products.

Emord and Associates, a Washington DC law firm with extensive experience in food regulation, filed the citizen’s petition with the FDA on April 26, 2017. The FDA legally has 180 days to respond.

While we await the answer to the petition, attorneys for any farmers cited (now or during this waiting time) for non-compliance with CFR1240.61 can file a motion of stay for their clients pending the response to this petition.

During the 180-day period, advocates for consumer choice will work with Congressional representatives to push for a legislative and more permanent repeal of the regulation in conjunction with the request in the petition.

Please support our efforts
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Update on RFCC and the Amos Miller Case

Dear donors and supporters:

There hasn’t been much formal news lately about Amos Miller’s legal problems with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. District Court. But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a fair amount going on in the case.

Because the case is still unresolved, we can’t provide a lot of hard information. But those of us who organized the fund-raising campaign last fall on behalf of Miller’s private association members and all interested real food consumers, wanted to report on where things stand.

It all started early last year with the U.S. Department of Agriculture ordering agents to inspect Amos Miller’s farm in Bird in Hand, PA. When Miller refused to provide the agents access, unless they joined his private membership association, they appealed to a federal judge who, in June, issued a court order clearing the way for the inspections.

After several USDA inspections last June and July the agents and Miller ran into irreconcilable differences when the agency demanded invoices from private sales of farm products. Miller declined to provide the information based on clauses in the agreement that prohibit releasing member information without explicit member approval, including such information that would be found on invoices. The USDA returned to U.S. District Court, to try to have Miller penalized with contempt of court.

During this back-and-forth between the farm and the agencies who wanted to inspect, several members of Miller’s private food association became very involved, including making sure to have a presence at the farm for anticipated inspections and often at other times in case of an unexpected visit or raid. These members, along with a few others, eventually organized the Real Food Consumer Coalition and then started the campaign to ensure that the rights of members were tended to, along with those of Miller.

We did this because RFCC believes that people have the right to the foods of their choice from the producers of their choice. We believe that farmers have the right to peacefully farm their land and make their foods available to the consumers who want it without the threat of unwarranted raids or inspections against their farms, homes or persons.

The campaign raised more than $25,000 from other members, as well as supporters around the country of private food rights. Clearly, there are many of you who believe the same thing. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with you toward a common goal.

As of right now, we are not called upon to show up in court, take to the streets in protest or organize actions among the consumers. We are however, working on the less noticeable behind-the-scenes actions that can help us all. We are honored to have so many of you to stand with us in solidarity.

While the contempt issue is still not formally resolved, there have been a number of legal twists and turns, and our campaign has been active in helping Miller through the proceedings in a way that both keeps the farm operating and enables members to continue to access the farm’s food. The Real Food Consumer Coalition has also worked to ensure consumers’ rights to privacy while not compromising Amos Miller’s legal situation or standing.

-The Real Food Consumer Coalition (RFCC) has been formally established, and has engaged legal representation to provide input and advice on how best to protect the rights of private members, not only of Miller’s farm, but of farms and buying clubs around the country.
-RFCC leadership has been advising Amos Miller on the best approaches to handling the government offensive against his farm.
-RFCC leadership has been working directly with Miller’s legal advisers, including his lawyer, to help him determine the best steps to avoid the pending contempt order.
-RFCC representatives have helped Miller work through a compromise arrangement whereby he has turned over redacted records, with the identities of private members omitted.
-RFCC continues to work with Miller and others involved in the case to help steer it toward a satisfactory conclusion, whereby Miller is able to continue providing food to private food club members. And, more broadly, where people across the country can organize to support the producer of their choice for access to the foods of their choice.

We feel hopeful that the worst of the threat to Miller and his farm so far has been averted, though we won’t know for certain for at least several weeks, and possibly months. In the meantime, RFCC will continue to strengthen its presence and deepen its expertise, by working actively to help resolve the Miller case, and continuing its work in other cases that affect private food rights.

We will continue to keep you updated on progress in all the cases that we become involved with. Again, we are honored to have the opportunity to work towards food freedom with your support. While we never want to see adversity on our wonderful farmers, we must organize to make much needed changes. With your help, we have taken several steps in the right direction, and will continue to relentlessly do so.
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$32,657 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 93 people in 12 months
Created April 13, 2017
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George Sinclair
23 days ago

Great webinar, keep up the good work!!!

Cheryl Huftalen
3 months ago

Thank you Millers Farm for everything you do for NJ residents.

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