Raw Milk Acquittal: A Victory for Freedom



 by Kevin Barrett


In these days of creeping tyranny – some would say galloping tyranny – whenever freedom wins a battle, it’s time for a celebration.

So pour yourself a champagne glass full of healthful, delicious, GMO-free raw milk, and raise a toast to Vernon Hershberger, who was just acquitted by a jury on three of four counts of “foodcrime.”

Hershberger can now return to his farm and continue producing healthy food for his neighbors. The jury’s verdict sent an unmistakeable message: When a farmer like Hershberger wants to run a cooperative food club, and provide his neighbors with raw milk and other non-Monsanto, farm-grown foods without a retail license, he is acting within his legitimate rights. In other words, both raw milk and direct-to-consumer food clubs have been effectively legalized in Wisconsin.

Hershberger was only convicted on one of four counts: Violating the holding order placed on his products after he was raided by the food gestapo. Since the jury effectively ruled that the raid itself was unjustified, and since Hershberger is a peaceable man with a reputation for community service, it seems unlikely that Judge Reynolds will impose anything close to the maximum penalty of a year in prison and a $10,000 fine.

As the 2008 Libertarian candidate for Congress in Hershberger’s district, and a member of his food club, I have a personal interest in this case. I would like to see western Wisconsin’s Driftless Zone, which is roughly contiguous with its 3rd Congressional District, become the launching pad for a global renaissance of small organic farms, natural foods including raw dairy products, direct farm-to-consumer distribution arrangements, wide-scale hemp production, and a revolt against frankenfoods, GMOs, and dangerous technologies in general – including all genetic engineering technology, which ought to be put under a five-century moratorium and reconsidered only after humanity gets its act together.*

I would like to see western Wisconsin ban GMOs immediately, and then move toward becoming an organic-farming-only zone. I would like to see dozens or hundreds more buyers’ clubs selling healthy food directly to consumers – including raw milk. (Once you’ve tasted raw, “living” milk, and noticed how much easier it digests, you’ll never want to drink dead milk again.)

The food freedom movement, and its new hero Vernon Hershberger, could play a key role in catalyzing these changes.

The food freedom movement, unlike some branches of the freedom movement, is an easy PR sell. One reason: Real food tastes so much better than fake food. Another: You feel better, and have fewer health problems when you eat it. And: Food itself is a convivial, non-threatening topic. (Non-threatening until the corporations start toxifying it, anyway.)

Guns can be scary. Unconstitutional drone strikes and presidential death panel killings-without-trial are scary. Even mind-altering drugs can be scary – take a look at a habitual meth user if you doubt this.

But natural, healthy, delicious food is an easy topic for people to get together and agree on.

God bless Vernon Hershberger, the farmer who decided to fight back. And God bless the whole food freedom movement. May it flower into something vastly bigger.

*Note: “Pro-freedom” people who support genetic engineering as a “free choice” activity are extremely shortsighted. As Bill McKibben explains in his book Enough, genetic technologies, especially germ-line genetic engineering, will inevitably put an end to all forms of freedom, and destroy humanity within a few generations, if they are allowed to continue.



  1. Same problem all over. Front page of the paper today, May 26, in Elkhart County, Indiana… The sheriff faced off the US Food and Drug Admin. for its harassment of a Middlebury raw milk producer.

    Surely there has to be a middle ground…

    The biggest problem I see with milk, whether raw or purchased in stores, is the presence of the bacteria that causes Crohn’s in people, which is the same disease called Johnes in cattle. It’s related to TB and it’s tough to kill. Pasteurizing will not kill it. Only the higher heat of DOUBLE pasteurizing will kill it.

    So yes, right now it’s safer to drink the raw milk rather than the regular pasteurized milk, because the store-bought milk is mixed up with milk from thousands of cows, and many of them have the disease.

    • Dairy cows are easily tested for Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. As far as paratuberculosis infection in humans, it is very easily eradicated with some of the older antitubercular antibiotics in combination with oral liposomal vitamin C. If paratuberculosis results in Crohns disease (the veracity of this assertion is still in question), in conjunction with antibiotic and liposomal vitamin C treatment, Crohns is healed by switching to an organic diet, starting with the GAPS diet, along with vitamin, mineral, micronutrient and probiotic/fermented food supplementation. If your physician doesn’t know this, it’s because he/she is one of the conventional western allopathic physicians whose treatment and malpractice are the leading cause of death in the U.S., what those of us who are awake call death by medicine.

      If you are concerned about the possibility of your raw milk being contaminated with paratuberculosis, freeze it for 2 weeks; paratuberculosis rapidly loses viability under that condition. If you know the farmer supplying your raw milk, you can simply eyeball the health of his dairy herd.

      Though there is some suggestion, the issue of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis being the cause of Crohns is still not settled, without much difference seen in the seroprevalence between the affected and healthy populations studied. If you know of definitive studies, please cite them as I would very much like to read them. It may be that the large part of digestive disorders, including Crohns, is due to the unhealthy effects of GMOs plus pesticides, particularly glyphosate and Bacillus thuringiensis, in food in addition to leaky gut linked to some vaccines.

      And of course, my disclaimer: none of this information is meant to replace the advice and treatment of your ineffectual-to-dangerous allopathic physician or the ill treatment for amoral profit espoused by the Faster Death Administration (FDA) or the Amoral Medical Association (AMA).

  2. Thank you Dr. Barrett, this is an important battle in our war against those who would take all our freedoms away. If there were real “justice” those who violated this mans rights, would find themselves charged as the criminals they are. . But for now, we need to be thankful for this victory, and prepare for the next assault.. We all know it’s coming. .

  3. Dr. Barrett,
    A strong message, but as usual, one with a hook at the end. He is convicted on one count.
    When will the pathetic plebes finally grasp that “lawful” does not mean corporate generated legislation passed by pond scum politicians, who have their psychopathic egos stroked by corporate dollars?
    The oldest law in all English speaking lands is Natural Law, and Common Law. Its time for the people to really understand what unlawful really means. Do they have any frikken understanding of why the King of England was forced to sign onto the Magna Carta?
    God, this is SUCH a pathetic country!

  4. Great report!

    What are the odds the Supreme Court will rule against them for not bending over to corporate tyranny?

    I was raised on fear-mongering stories about the dangers of raw milk and the futility of vitamins and supplements.

    All promulgated by a pathologist father who seemed to see dead as the true natural and ideal state.

  5. As the food gestapo raid was unjustified, that makes the holding order that was placed on Hershberger unlawful and illegal. Throwing out 3 out of the 4 charges, all 4 of which constitute abuse of office and official suppression, was a start; the jury should have nullified the spurious charge of violating a holding order, dumb sheep.

  6. Major victory which should encourage my friends in Southwest Missouri with a similar operation to Hershberger’s. Personally I gave up on milk about 15 yrs ago.

    • Where at in SW MO??? I live there and would love to get my hands on fresh raw milk!!!!

Comments are closed.