Tag Archives: Missouri Attorney General

Due to Your Calls and Requests for Justice….

Doreen Hannes, Truth Farmer, has posted new info.

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The Missouri Milk Board prepared and gave their version of the timeline on Morningland Dairy’s destruction to the representatives and senators in the Missouri Legislature.

There were a great number of obfuscations and a few outright lies in their timeline. To correct those, and to make sure that Reps and Senators had clear information, Denise Dixon went through and provided clarification and correction where needed on the timeline offered by the Milk Board. Denise emailed this and the original Rebuttal and Request for Humane Treatment (my words) given by Morningland to the Milk Board in October of 2010. The Milk Board, Attorney General’s Office and the Governor were also emailed both of these documents.

In the interest of full transparency, I have copied these documents for everyone to see. Please feel free to share them and spread the info all across the county. The fact is that there is a war on real food at the agency level. Since there is supposed to be a balance of power in our system of government, the legislature DOES have the ability to affect the conduct of the Milk Board if they choose to do so….More on that another time. For right now, here are the communications from the Dixons in response to the Milk Board Timeline given to our elected officials here in Missouri:

Read the rest here.

The Dixons are still very grateful for any donations you might feel moved to make.

Click here to lend your support to: Uncheese Party and make a donation at www.pledgie.com !

Update: A Decision Expected on Monday

Today was the teleconference where the judge heard more information regarding the stay. He will make this decision on Monday.

What seems apparent from the documents – and you can read them below – is that the Missouri Attorney General’s office is scared that the cheese will get away. They even asked that the Dixon’s post a bond of $250,000.00, which was later reduced to $2,000.00. [At this point in this post, let me remind you to donate some money, some more money, via Pledgie because they really, really are in need. ]

This is the Memo in Oppostion Defendent’s Petition [opens as a PDF]. Can you count how many times the Plaintiff [state of Missouri] claims their rights? How one sided is that?

Here’s what the Memo says in regard to their fear that the cheese will sprout feet and abscond:

If a stay is granted and the cheese continues to remain undestroyed, Defendant [the Dixons] will retain control over it and the risk to the public remains great. Should the Defendant remain in control of the cheese, the cheese might be shipped out of state, stolen and consumed, or donated as food to a food pantry.

This is Exhibit A – Rescission of Activities and Practices Involving Production, Sale and Marketing of Raw Milk Products. This is where the Dixons tell the court that they are going private and will only sell to private members. This is the main reason that they need more donations. In order to stay alive and keep the farm running until the final judgment is rendered.

Here is Exhibit B – Request for Judicial Notice, where Joseph Dixon makes his claim, and rightly so…”follow the teachings and precepts of scripture as the absolute and final authority in heaven and upon the earth.”

As I understand it, the AG’s office is very uncomfortable with all of the transparency. They’d much rather have everything kept out of the public eye. No kidding. If I were them, I’d want that too.

Morningland Wants YOU to Be the Judge

Morningland Wants YOU to Be the Judge

Yesterday, Morningland Dairy was informed that the Judge for their court date on the 11th and 12th had been replaced by a new Judge. They were also told that the case would NOT be  heard by a jury. Instead, the Judge will render a decision on the “Preliminary Injunction”.  The thing is, that the “preliminary” is not preliminary; it’s permanent. And the “injunction” isn’t a constraint; it’s permission for the Milk Board to destroy Morningland’s entire cheese stock. Joseph and Denise Dixon, General Managers for Morningland, estimate that close to 40% of the cheese is a loss at this point.

At issue in this case is nothing less than the entire basis of our system of law. Due process must be followed if we are to have any legitimate law in this country.

Morningland was notified that charges were being filed against them by the Missouri Attorney General’s office after they objected to a letter from the Milk Board stating that the Milk Board would contact Morningland to make an appointment to destroy their cheese.  The Milk Board informed Morningland that they had no right to appeal a decision of the Milk Board.

To put it simply, if there is no need for an agency to prove something is dangerous before they are allowed to destroy property, how can anyone’s property be safe from destruction? If agencies are allowed to destroy businesses and livelihoods without any illnesses or definitive evidence that a product is dangerous or harmful, then we cannot have no certainty that we can make and sell anything and profit from our labor.

Joseph Dixon, General Manager of Morningland asks that you be present to not only judge the claims made by the Missouri Milk Board, but to watch the proceedings and stand vigilant in the protection of our inalienable rights. Please do all you can to be present. It could be you next….

Here is a link to a map of the Court in West Plains, Missouri: Map to Court House

Morningland Dairy Gets Ready to Go to Court—

Morningland Dairy Gets Ready to Go to Court—

December 6th, 2010

©Doreen Hannes

As we’ve been watching Senate Bill 510 for the past several weeks, going from hither to yon with much angst amongst the various food activist groups regarding the ability of the Tester Amendment to ‘help’ (or NOT) independent agriculture, other things have been going on. Morningland Dairy, for instance, has entered the next phase of their fight to be able to continue to make cheese that the FDA thinks “poses an acute and life threatening danger” because it is made from raw milk, and hasn’t had a single report of illness associated with the dairy in 30 years of production. (You can read more about it here)

Morningland is charged with three violations by the Missouri Attorney General’s office on behalf of the Missouri Milk Board. They are charged with, “Unlawful Sale of Dairy Products”, “Failure to Comply with a Destruction Order”, and “Unlawful Interference with Milk Board Duties”.  The Missouri Milk Board claims that there is no procedure in place to appeal the decision of the Milk Board, and that belief is actually responsible for all three charges levied against Morningland Dairy, since they haven’t made or sold any of their cheese since the Milk Board first placed an embargo on their product on August 26th.

Last week the State of Missouri brought in their first expert for a deposition. This was John Frank, who reportedly was to demonstrate that Morningland Dairy’s cheese should all be condemned because it is a single line production facility. It’s my understanding that his deposition didn’t actually prove that to be the conclusion a reasonable person would arrive at when considering the evidence in the case.

Next, the State desires to depose the principals Of Morningland Dairy. Those being Joseph and Denise Dixon, co-owners and General Managers of Morningland Dairy, and Jedadiah York, the Plant Manger. Mr. York and Mrs. Dixon are readily available for deposition, but Morningland’s attorney, Gary Cox, of Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund wants to be present at their depositions to be able to assert proper procedure in defense of his clients. He is only able to be present for a few days in December and early January, and the Missouri Attorney General’s office isn’t pleased with such limited access to the objects of their affection….so they have requested that the counsel sponsoring Cox into Missouri take the position of defending Morningland in their depositions.

The Missouri Attorney General’s office is going to have a bit more difficulty in getting a deposition from Joseph Dixon in this suit. As if having to dump their milk for nearly six weeks wasn’t enough, the Missouri Milk Board has prohibited Morningland from resuming production to keep this family run farmstead cheese plant providing for the families dependent upon it for their livelihood. Mr. Dixon insisted that their counsel inform the Attorney General’s office that he was unavailable for deposition in the following manner:

“Unfortunately, Joe Dixon is not available for deposition.  Since the state has put his family’s cheese making business out of business Joe has to work out of state to support his family.  This week Joe is working in Maryland, next week he is working in Alabama and the week after that I understand he is working in Florida.  To give you an idea of what the state has done to the Dixon family, Joe has to leave his family on the weekend, travel all night to get to his place of work, then work all week before returning home on the weekend.  He then leaves home again, let’s say for Maryland, and drives all night to get to his place of work.  Thus, Joe is not available for depositions unless you wish to travel to Maryland, Alabama or to Florida after first serving him with a subpoena.  Moreover, Joe finds it perverse that he has to work to support his family and then the state collects taxes from him so that those tax dollars can be used by the state to harass he and his family and deprive them of a livelihood. Finally, any information you would need from Joe would be available from Denise.” (emphasis added-otherwise sic)

In the Deep South, there’s a colloquialism that is used to sum this kind of statement up…With the actions of the Congress and the agencies they empower, it sure looks like many more of us will have the opportunity to use this expression…”And that’s how the cow ate the cabbage!”

Can Properly Done Tests Clear Dairy to Sell?

Missouri Milk Board Agrees to Allow Morningland Dairy to Test

11/10/10 – Doreen Hannes

Morningland Dairy of Missouri, the farmstead cheese operation that has been shut down and under investigation by the FDA and Missouri Milk Board since August 26th finally obtained agreement from the Milk Board to properly test their cheese. Morningland, a farmstead raw cheese company, was shut down over concern by the Missouri Milk Board and the FDA that their cheese may harbor harmful bacteria.

On Monday November 8th, Morningland Dairy attorney Gary Cox, of Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, informed Morningland that an agreement had been reached with the Missouri Attorney General’s office which will allow Morningland to test batches of their cheese that have been under embargo since August by the Missouri Milk Board.

The Missouri Attorney General’s office, representing the Missouri Milk Board in legal action against Morningland Dairy, offered eight stipulations under which they would not object to the dairy testing their cheese. After negotiations, Morningland Dairy and the Missouri Milk Board settled on six requirements to be followed.  The stipulations agreed to are that the Milk Board be present, have three representatives observing, receive split samples of the cheese, approve the sampling and analysis process, receive results after testing, and receive production dates of sampled cheese. The two stipulations that were dropped were the advance identification of the lab to do the testing and the identity of the individual who designed the protocol for test sample collection. The removal of these conditions is significant to Morningland because approved laboratories are licensed by the agencies investigating the contamination, and this secures the opportunity for testing through a non-affiliated lab in the nature of a double-blind study.

During the course of the investigation Joseph and Denise Dixon, owners of Morningland Dairy, have maintained that they should be allowed to do properly sampled tests on the alleged contaminants to clear their cheese for sale. Denise Dixon said,  “It seems to me that if tests that are done improperly can condemn our cheese, accurately done tests should be able to exonerate the cheese.”

Conversely, Don Falls of the Missouri Milk Board has stated, “If you want to do testing for investigational purposes only, that would be fine.”  The Milk Board has held that all Morningland Dairy’s cheese is suspect and must be destroyed. Joe Dixon responds, “We hope that the Milk Board will see reason. If properly collected test results indicate the cheese is clear of contamination, we should be allowed to sell and resume production.”

The agreement does not state that Morningland Dairy may resume normal business operations if tests indicate no pathogenic concerns.