Since I was hired in Oct 2018 to write a story concerning the dairy industry, I've been threatened with a lawsuit and more bad news keeps coming out.
Yesterday, Reuters, the Portland Press Herald, and WGME are reporting that "One dairy farm" is dumping its toxic milk because PFAS/PFOS aka "forever chemicals" were discovered at "horrific" levels. They discovered this in 2016.
"There’s no federal standard for safe levels in milk. But Maine public health officials said in 2017 that milk with PFOS exceeding 210 parts per trillion should be considered “adulterated” and banned from sale. So far, this ban has only affected Stoneridge, whose milk had levels as high as 1,420 parts per trillion."
However, the toxic sludge was used on farms state-wide since the 1980s.
“It seems highly unlikely that Mr. Stone’s farm is the only one with PFAS contamination from sludge,” said Patrick MacRoy, deputy director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center. “All of the evidence suggests that this is but the tip of the toxic iceberg. There are likely other farms – dairy or otherwise – with similar contamination. Until the tests are done, that is the only safe assumption we can make.”
"Studies have shown that PFOS can lead to thyroid disease, liver damage, high blood pressure during pregnancy, decreased fertility, low weight in newborns, and possibly cancer," research scientist Dr. Laurel Schaider said.
Here is what I found out that has me contacting U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives nationwide:
I discovered that the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, allows the exemption of agricultural workers from receiving minimum wage or overtime hours if they are between 16-20 years old. They work 65+ hours with no OT and make around $3.50/hr. Legal serfdom across our nation. This is a racially-motivated exemption hold-out since the passage of FDR's New Deal. Our representatives are still defending it and are even expanding its usage.
Just this week, my U.S. Senator Angus S. King (I-ME) proposed a "Future Loggers Career Act" bill that will allow 16 & 17-year-old migrant workers to work on logging farms, under the guise of introducing logging to newer generations of Maine workers. This legislation is designed to “level the playing field for the logging trade with other agricultural fields.”
This is a ploy to get cheap labor for the logging industry now. It is what is driving our immigration issues. We are enticing young migrants with jobs and driver's licenses. The Dairy and Farming industries have been exploiting the FLSA Agricultural Exemptions for decades. A wall doesn't stop this kind of enticement.
So when you hear someone saying immigrants are bringing diseases to our country, you'll understand the correlation. Our legal subjugation of our neighbors to the South is the source of our country's cancer. If you believe that "Karma is a bitch", "What goes around, comes around" or in "God's Retribution", look no further than the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
BTW, the new Farm Bill that just passed in Dec 2018 and since milk consumption is down, new legislation allows Big Dairy to "donate" it to our children’s schools:
Sec. 1404. Dairy Product Donation
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, the Secretary shall establish and administer a milk donation program for the purposes of—
(1) encouraging the donation of eligible milk;
(2) providing nutrition assistance to individuals in low-income groups; and
(3) reducing food waste.
Here is how taxpayers pay for Big Dairy "Donations" in the new law:
Of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall use to carry out this section $9,000,000 for fiscal year 2019, and $5,000,000 for each fiscal year thereafter, to remain available until expended.
Ask your U.S. Representatives and Senators about it.
Please sign my petition ending the Agricultural Exemptions in the (un)Fair Labor Standards Act.
Linder, M. (1987, Jan 1). Farm Workers and the Fair Labor Standards Act: Racial Discrimination in the New Deal. Iowa Research Online, University of Iowa College of Law Publications, ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1017&context=law_pubs.
Valdmanis, R. (2019, March 19). The curious case of tainted milk from a Maine dairy farm. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-dairy-chemicals/the-curious-case-of-tainted-milk-from-a-maine-dairy-farm-idUSKCN1R01AJ
Writer, K. M. (2019, March 19). Public health experts aim to stop spreading of sludge. Retrieved from https://www.pressherald.com/2019/03/19/after-farm-contamination-health-advocates-urge-state-to-ban-sludge-spreading/
Cairns, T. (2019, March 18). Maine milk farm contamination worries health experts. Retrieved from https://wgme.com/news/local/maine-milk-farm-contamination-worries-health-experts
Press, T. A. (2019, March 19). Angus King, Jared Golden introducing bill to get teenagers involved in logging. Retrieved from https://bangordailynews.com/2019/03/18/politics/angus-king-jared-golden-introducing-bill-to-get-teenagers-involved-in-logging/
Valigra, L. (2019, March 15) Study for Maine Loggers Group Cites Low Pay as Barrier to Industry Growth. Bangor Daily News, Retrieved from https://bangordailynews.com/2019/03/15/business/study-for-maine-loggers-group-cites-low-pay-as-barrier-to-industry-growth/.
Laca, A. (2019, January 31). New Legislation To Allow Whole Milk In School Cafeterias. Retrieved from https://www.milkbusiness.com/article/new-legislation-to-allow-whole-milk-school-cafeterias
H.R. 2 (115th): Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr2/text