David Gumpert

David Gumpert is the author of The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America's Emerging Battle Over Food Rights (Chelsea Green, 2009). He is also a journalist who specializes in covering the intersection of health and business. Read more on his blog.

In New Legal Initiative Against Cheese Maker, FDA Seeks Oversight Over Entirely Local Operation

At first glance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s two-year legal assault on Estrella Family Creamery in Washington state appears entirely vindictive. The FDA seems intent on using its enormous enforcement powers to cruelly stomp on and obliterate a tiny business that serves as the livelihood of the Estrella family, and a source of eating pleasure and important nutrition for a community of hundreds of devoted customers. As a prime example, the agency’s latest legal action in federal district court in Washington state rejects efforts by the Estrellas to negotiate a compromise that would allow the agency to continue monitoring …


Raw deal: Maine residents’ fight for unregulated food draws crackdown

Official "food sovereignty" ordinances in eight Maine towns haven't stopped local officials from suing an area farmer for selling raw milk.


The raw milk martyr

Schmidt in January 2010, after winning his court case.For nearly a month now, Canadian rancher Michael Schmidt has been engaged in a hunger strike. For over 17 years, Schmidt has been crusading for the right to distribute raw milk to a few hundred Ontario consumers who own shares in his herd of cows. He says he has been unable to convince anyone in a position of power to discuss how he and other raw dairy farmers can simultaneously service their herdshare members and abide by public health safety concerns. Instead, as he told me last week: “My farm has been …

Sustainable Food

As Obama pushes for rural jobs, his regulators obliterate them

FDA crackdowns on food clubs across the country intimidate producers at a time when our country can least afford to be trashing jobs and opportunity.


Moms rally to defend raw food club after federal raid

After members of California's Rawesome Food Club were thrown in jail, raw-food proponents, many of them mothers, are uniting in their defense.

Food Safety

Would the FDA let raw milk politics influence its food safety alerts?

The suspicious timing of a press release about tainted raw milk suggests the FDA hypes concerns over this product more than others.

Food Safety

Don't ban raw milk because of the E. coli outbreak

Why is CNN trying to tie the recent European E. coli outbreak to raw milk?

Organic Food

Family (farm) affair: my connection to Eliot Coleman’s rise to prominence

Portrait of the farmer as a young man: Eliot Coleman with children, circa early 1970s.Reprinted with permission from Melissa Coleman. I’m not sure exactly what it means to play a cameo role in a family memoir exploring the roots of today’s food movement; but certainly it makes you keenly aware of how quickly the years are piling up. I’m referring to the tale of my brief, but apparently significant, role in helping launch organic farmer and author (and occasional Grist contributor) Eliot Coleman toward fame, chronicled in the new memoir by his daughter, Melissa, This Life Is in Your Hands, …


FDA agents launch covert ops against D.C.-area raw-milk buying club

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just filed a complaint in federal court, seeking a permanent injunction against Amish farmer Dan Allgyer in Pennsylvania. It accuses him of violating a federal prohibition on interstate sales of raw milk by shipping unpasteurized milk to a Maryland buying club’s members. As part of its complaint, the agency says it carried out a lengthy undercover investigation to acquire raw milk, and as part of it, “FDA investigators picked up each unpasteurized milk order at various private residences in Maryland.” All of which has me wondering … Were the agents looking over their …

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