After a month of testing, frustration and waiting, Organic Pastures Dairy filed an emergency injunctive relief petition with the Fresno County Superior Court, along with all of the test results supporting the petition. Three hours later, the quarantine was finally lifted from Organic Pastures products!
This means that Organic Pastures products will be available as soon as they hit the stores. Their farm store is now stocked and open for walk-in sales, and trucks are being loaded to transport products to the Southern California hub store. The trucks should arrive early this evening, and from there the retail stores will be stocked. Once it hits the stores, the thirsty raw milk consumers will probably clean off the shelves very quickly.
There will be a rally at the OPDC hub store in Glendale at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, December 17. Mark McAfee will be there along with untold throngs of jubilant raw milk fans, delirious after a month of abstinence!
The Raw Milk Institute (which we visited recently) was instrumental in helping with the litigation, and they are delighted with the news. Stacy Pearson, RAWMI vice-president, has declared today “White Friday” and is twittering with delight (with good reason!)
The story has repeated itself over the past month—samples, tests, waiting. Earlier this week, California Department of Food and Agriculture took more product samples from Organic Pastures Dairy Company. At the same time, OPDC took duplicates and submitted them to an FDA and State approved third-party lab for testing. The results came back about 36 hours later: all samples “met the standards for coliform, Standard Plate Count, and were pathogen-free.” Despite the fact that they used an approved laboratory, the CDFA would not acknowledge or accept the results of these tests and were waiting for their own results, which were expected to take about five days.
Yet throughout it all, Mark McAfee has emphasized the need to cooperate with the CDFA and has tried to go above and beyond to fulfill their requests. And he has taken the high road, not speaking a negative word about the officials. OPDC reported, “Although it may have appeared that all has been calm, we have been working around the clock.” With the new bottling machine installed and many CDFA-approved upgrades to the creamery, the dairy will undoubtedly be better than ever.
OPDC will be holding a press conference Friday afternoon to disclose all of this information to the press.
Hope there are hundreds at the hub store for the rally tomorrow!
Until next time~